2018 IORMC USA Qualification Session #1

Standings and Session Results

The first of five qualification sessions happened today and we have some early front-runners to head up the USA squad.

Panhandle Mahjong's Ryan Adams (Panda84), who has put up very good results in tournament play, did so again here with three 1st place finishes with his only blemish being a 3rd in the third round. Even still he posted an average of 33.45, a full 8 points clear of 2nd place Tina Koshimoto (破顔の楽士), who put up 2 first and 2 second place finishes to bank an average of 25.45.

Right on her heels is one of USA's representatives from last year, Kinyan Lui (Yukitora), who also put up 2 first and second place finishes, and sits just a little over 2 point adrift with an average of 23.20.

Holding onto the 4th spot for now is Nathaniel Kozinski (tateniu). A last place finish at Tina's table in the final round dampened a good effort, but he still sits with an average of 16.15.

The next 4 players also finished in the positive, and are one good session away from contending for a spot. Even for those who struggled in the first session, they still have the ability to drop a session later on if they play at least 4 of the 5 scheduled dates. So there's still time to put in some good scores and contend for a spot on the USA roster.

2017 IORMC Individual Recap

Results and links to replays can be found here.

Heading into the individual tournament, we had 2 representatives in the top 16 - one each from Canada and the United States. Before things started, there was a bit of a hiccup as the 7th place player from Japan was actually a no-show. While a staff member was put in to replace the missing player going forward the players just missing will probably be asked to be subs in case something similar happens.

To the quarterfinals though and the USA representative xGeo (George Liu-Krason) was basically involved in a 3-way beatdown of the 16th place participant cutieboy (Woo-Jin Choi - KOR). George was holding onto the lead, but in the final 2 hands he wound up paying in, including an unfortunate riichi then paying in on his next draw to finish outside the top 2.

For Canada's Khold (Simon Chen), it was a successful, but perhaps bizarre game. He led wire to wire, won just 3 hands, all of them were by tsumo's, and most bizarre of all - all were either via haitei ryaoue, or in the case of all last - a penultimate tille tsumo-haitei-chitoitsu.

That earned him a 1st and into the semfinals, but it was not as easy. In fact, heading into S2 he was yakitori and 18700 points from 2nd place. But after a ryuukoku, Simon is able to draw the right side of his 2 sided wait for sanshouku for an oya-mangan  He'd close out the game with another win, securing his 2nd place finish and a spot in the final table.

If the finals were one hanchan only, Simon would have won the title. 4 hands went for mangan and three of those belonged to him, giving him a 51.7 score and a 35 point lead over 2nd. However, the finals were an aggregate of 2 hanchan - though all he'd have to do avoid is a last place finish and he would probably secure the title.

Unfortunately for him, he never got any traction in the 2nd hanchan. In E1-1, soraru (Lulu Zhou - CHN) would tsumo a haneman while Simon was oya. And in S-1, Karlocia (Karolina Trepinska - FRA) would tsumo an oya-baiman. As a result of that, Simon could not avoid finishing in last, and in fact the order of the first hanchan was reversed in the 2nd. But due to Simon's loss being greater, he fell from 1st to a tie for 3rd as soraru would combine her 2nd and 3rd place finishes to win by 0.4 points.

While certainly it is not the result either player wanted, it was still very impressive that we had 2 players competing here earlier today. Congratulations to our participants and we'll look to build for next year!

2017 IORMC Team Recap

Final team results can be found here.

The 2017 IORMC Team competition has come and gone and while neither the USA or Canada disgraced at the table, it should be said that both countries struggled to hang in there the entire tournament. I won't go through the games because the records are out there since I'm sure there will be those who can parse the game better than I (I'll have the game links on the spreadsheet though), but I can at least give my perspective (for what brain activity I could have at 3 in the morning).

In fact, the USA was about to go really negative until Yukitora (Kinyan L.) on all last ended up with a riichi-ippatsu-tsumo-tanyao-sanankou-dora 5 for 11 han for a sayonara gyakuten (walk-off) win. That helped the USA go from 0-1-1-2 to 1-1-1-1 and finished the opening round around 0 at (4.4). Same went for Canada who went 1-1-1-1 and was at (1.1).

The idea that it was perhaps jitters or getting used to the dynamic seemed to not pan out in the 2nd round. There was no lifeline this time for the USA, though xGeo banked his first 1st place to help minimize the damage. Canada treaded water again with another 1-1-1-1 finish, but registered a slightly more negative score.

There was still a chance for a good showing I thought with a solid 3rd round, but the two countries apparently diverged from this point. USA continued its struggles with xGeo being the only bright spot banking yet another 1st in a 1-0-1-2 round, sending the team to a (113.4) score and a 13/16 placing. Canada put together 2 1st place finishes, one of which was from Khold (Simon C.) making him 2-1-0-0 so far putting them in 7th with one round to go.

At this point, a score around 0 seems about the best I could ask for from the USA, while Canada could move up a position or two with good scores. I was on my last legs entering my 23rd hour of being awake so I just waited for the scores to show up in the lobby.

First person to show up was xGeo (George L-K), whose 2nd place finish all but cemented him a spot in the individual competition. What came next was a first place finish from Corak to salvage his tournament, and then another first from DdR_Dan and next thing you know, the USA is back around 0! A first place finish from Yukitora could put us in position for yet another 6th place finish!

And when her score popped up as +48.4, the USA was actually sitting in 6th! The last table though saw Lindskog from Sweden put in a +63.4, and knocked the USA to 7th.

Canada was faring much better early on in the 4th round. Even with a 1-1-1-0 put in, they at one point held the 4th place spot. Unfortunately DdR_Dan's 1st place finish came at the expense of Canada's Element (William L.), but still put them 1 place better than last year in 9th.

So as a team, both the USA and Canada put up comparable results from last year, and we'll hope to make inroads next year.

There is still the matter of the individual competition to be held 2 weeks from now, and here each country was able to send a representative to compete for top player. As mentioned before, xGeo's results improved each round eventually finishing in 12th overall with a score of 77.6. Most impressive was Canada's representative, Khold (Simon C.), who put together 2 strong 1st and 2nd place finishes for a score of 128.6 and a 3rd place finish - the highest from any NA player in the IORMC.

So congratulations to our representatives this year, and good luck to Simon and George in the individual competition!

2017 IORMC Team Competition Things to Know

With the season turning and the weather turning a shade colder (at least for us here in NA), the 7th IORMC Team Competition will take place early Sunday morning (Nov 5th) with country bragging rights at stake. For the individuals, the top 16 will compete 2 weeks later in a separate individual competition.

The pairings are rosters are out, which can be found here.

People willing to burn the midnight oil can view the games in the tournament lobby here. The first round begins at 3 AM PST/6 AM EST/7 AM AST.

Will a North American team finally take the title? Or will Russia and Asia continue their dominance?

Good luck to our participants!

 

IORMC Update!

Qualification for the IORMC has been completed for both USA and Canada and we have our 4 representatives for this years' competition! Full standings can be found at the end of the article, but our teams for 2017 are:

United States

  • Yukitora (Kinyan Lui)
  • DdR_Dan (Daniel Pascua)
  • xGeo (George Liu-Krason)
  • Corak (Arthur McAnally)

For Daniel, he returns from the 2016 team and George make his 2nd appearance after being on the inaugural team in 2015. This will be Kinyan's and Arthur's first year representing the USA.

Canada

  • Juun (Jun Oh)
  • Khold (Simon Chen)
  • Element (William Lou)
  • AW (Casper Tsai)

For Casper and William, they represent Canada for a 2nd consecutive year (which is also the duration of the team's existence). while Jun improves from a reserve to the main team joining Simon as first time participants.

Pairings have also been announced for the IORMC, with 16 countries in all participating. The parings can be found here. Several players from the recently concluded WRC are participating including Top 8 finisher Lena Weinguny.

Good luck to everyone in the wee hours of November 5th!

United States (Standings)

Canada (Standings)

IORMC US/Canada Rules and Registration

Hello! Thanks for your patience!

We are ready to take signups for the IORMC Qualifications. Dates and times for US and Canadian qualifying can be found in our last article.

Both USA and Canada sessions will be on Tenhou and constitute of 4 hanchan each. USA will pair players by dividing the players into quartiles by score and putting one person from each quartile together avoiding duplicates when possible. Canada will be pairing randomly.

There are some rules changes, those are found below with translations (error: busting is not allowed).

Eligibility rules for the IORMC state that in order to participate for the US or Canada, you must either posses a passport of that country or have permanent residency. While we will not ask for that detail of personal information, we do ask that you respect their rules when signing up.

Registration for each country are found below (Players can register by end of day Wednesday for each session up until the penultimate session. You will receive a link to enter the tournament lobby once registration for each qualifier date closes):

IORMC US/Canada Qualification Schedule

Hello! Tournament coordinator Edwin here with an announcement regarding the qualifiers for the 2017 IORMC to be held later this year.

(Edit: Canadian qualifiers are announced below)

First of all there is a new addition to the tournament! Not only will there be the team competition as done in prior years on November 5th at 1100 UTC (0300 PST/0400 MST/0500 CST/0600 EST/0700 AST as we will have turned the clocks back already for those observing Daylight Savings time), but there will be an individual competition for the top 16 finishers two weeks later on November 19th at the same time!

We had 17 countries represented last year and we only expect that number to grow this year!

That said, it is that time again for us to start qualifications!

At this point, the US qualifiers will be held on Tenhou for the following dates:

  • Saturday, July 29
  • Saturday, August 26
  • Saturday, September 16
  • Saturday, September 30

The US will hold their qualifiers first at 1200 PDT/1500 EDT.

Same qualifying format will apply. The top 2 qualifying scores will be taken with the average of all hanchan scores within those sessions becoming the basis of ranking players. This is to factor in the possibility of byes in rounds which would adversely affect those receiving byes.

Updated: Canada will have their qualification on the following dates:

  • Saturday, September 2
  • Saturday, September 9
  • Saturday, September 16
  • Saturday, September 23
  • Saturday, September 30

A minimum of 2 qualification sessions is needed to qualify, and if you play 4 or all 5, your lowest session is dropped.

Canada will hold their qualifiers first at 1400 PDT/1700 EDT/1800 ADT

The rules have changed since the last IORMC, and we will have those posted here as well as links to registration for the qualifiers so please stay tuned over the coming days!

North American IORMC Qualifiers Complete

Report by Edwin Dizon (Tournament Director)

The North American Riichi Mahjong Association recently finished qualification matches for the 2016 International Online Riichi Mahjong Competition (IORMC) to be held Saturday, November 5th at 2000 JST (0400 PDT/0700 EDT/0800 ADT) on Tenhou. The IORMC began in 2011 as a competition between Japan and Korea, but has since expanded to include countries around the world. This years’ iteration, as of this writing, has 16 confirmed countries. This will be the USA’s second year, and Canada’s first, in the competition. Last year’s results, where the USA placed two players in the top 12, can be found here.

The format for the USA and Canadian qualifiers played throughout September and October was four events, each with four hanchan. Players could compete in all events, but were required to play in a minimum of two. A player’s top two qualifying scores were taken and an aggregate average (in event of byes) calculated. The top four ranking players in each country would represent their respective nation.

Qualification replays can be found on NARMA’s YouTube channel.

In the US region, Harmonix (Wei Bin Wang) jumped out to a whopping 241 score (60.25 average) in the first qualifier. While he couldn’t match that total over the final 3, he used it to secure the 4th spot with an average of 38.57 over 7 games.

スピカテリブル (Martin Zhang) played in all 4 qualifiers and scored no less than 63 points (15.75 average) finishing in the top 5 in every single event. His top two scores of 136 and 174 (38.75 average) qualified him for 3rd.

雪泉@月閃 (Zixuan Jiang), was unable to make the final qualifier due to a late schedule change, but it wasn’t necessary. He finished top 2 in two of the qualifiers with scores of 129 and 190 (39.875 average) making the 2nd highest overall score.

Finally, the top qualifier DdR_Dan (Daniel Pascua) missed the first qualifier but didn’t need it. His name was already familiar to our broadcast staff as a solid player. He didn’t disappoint, finishing top 2 in two of the final three qualifiers with scores of 204 and 132 (an amazing 42 average.)

Moving north to Canada, things were not as clear-cut. Their top finisher was Element (William Lou) who had been sitting comfortably with a total of 165 in his two qualifiers (20.625 average.) He cemented the top spot by scoring 160 in the final qualifier, raising his average to 34.375 - more than 10 points over the closest competitor.

Unfortunately エンジェルス☆ (Stephen So) was also a casualty of the late schedule change of the final event and missed the last qualifier. However, his two qualifying scores of 125 and 46 (21.375 average) were enough to secure 3rd overall.

AW (Casper Tsai) played in all four qualifiers and used a top score of 152 in the 3rd qualifier to propel him up to the top 4 taking the last spot with a 20.375 average.

That left one more spot which was all to play for in the final qualifier. At the time, Chien held the all-important slot with a total of 105 over 8 games. But there were players behind him who, if they could drop their lowest standing score, could easily overtake the position. They included kuowiz (130 points in 4 games), 505fam (103 points), riya (92 points) and mjfever (68 points), so Chien’s position was tenuous at best. Early on, it looked it like it would be a battle between 505fam and mjfever; after two rounds mjfever was +13 and 505fam +81. But an unfortunate connection issue by 505fam brought it all down to the final hanchan.

505fam +40 (143 points through 7 games)
mjfever +73 (141 points)
Kuowiz -2 (128 points)

And as the pairings would have it, all 3 would play each other in the final hanchan!

In that final hanchan, the players all went aggressive knowing that finishing above the other 2 all but guaranteed the final spot. kuowiz would jump out to an early lead, while 505fam struggled to gain traction. mjfever held steady and had the best chance to close the deficit, but in the end kuowiz (Josh Kuo) continuously shut the door on hand after hand, claiming a victory score of +59 and rocketing to 2nd overall with an average of 23.375.

With kuowiz’s qualification to the Canadian team, this means that the entire contingent is of current and former University of British Columbia’s Mahjong Club members! Perhaps not surprising as their club boasts a roster of about 100 members.

Congratulations to all our qualifiers and good luck in the wee hours of November 5th!