One week on line in chase of the Golden Dragon
- Published on Monday, 09 August 2010 11:33
- Written by Adrie van Geffen
SAN DIEGO - The newsletter of Mahjong Time of July 27 announced the start of a new tournament which will last for three months and will have a finish with only four players. The best player until then decides which variant will be played: HK, TW, MCR, RCR or (hopefully not, ‘do you have a card?’) AM. First prize: a gold plated silver tile, a T-shirt and virtual medal on the avatar. Mahjong News correspondent Adrie van Geffen and VIP on Mahjong Time dived into experience a week of competition.: ‘I am exhausted.’
With the introduction of the latest version of Mahjong Time at the start of 2010, the site introduced ‘virtual currency’. Instead of just playing for ranking and rating in the fun-section players had to put in a stake of dragon chips. These are handed out to all players, being member or not, in different amounts. If you are out you can wait a day or buy them for real money. Dollars are converted to golden coins ($1/100) which can be converted to dragon chips (100gc/1000dc). Going the other way is only partly possible.
The old EMA-tournaments were reinstated as Global tournaments and instead of one MCR-tournament per month every week a tournament is played on Saturdays. To enter those tournaments you need golden coins. One way to get those is to buy them, another way is to play a daily Sit & Go tournament that starts between 13.00 and 13.30h (Amsterdam time). These are elimination tournaments, meaning that the best two players at a table make it to a final table. The tournament lasts therefore 2 x 45 minutes.
The principle of elimination is used in the Dragon tournaments as well. The number of dropouts and no show in regular tournaments is extremely high, which is frustrating the remaining players and the organization. It makes the tournament unfair. MT has more or less solved this issue in the new Dragon tournaments by getting to a next round with only players that have a chance to win.
Combining everything described above, the Dragon Tournament started on Monday 2st of August. I had to forfeit my Sit & Go tournament because the tournament started at 14.00h and thus overlapping it by half an hour. There were tables in four variants: HK, TW, RCR and MCR. I chose for the last. A tournament is started as soon as four players have subscribed. Entry fee: 5000 dragon chips. Being a popular variant the MCR tournament has 16 participants, making the total of prize dragon chips 80000 of which the final winner gets half. I’m out after the second round.
The next session is at 19.30h. Again 16 players, but this time, after three exciting rounds of one hour, at 22.50h I pocket 40000 dragon chips.
To my surprise I appear to be in lead in the overall standings. Being a VIP member there is no raking that is deducted. Besides that my guild has won the week before which brings me another 5000 chips. The total is enough for a first place. And it more or less forces me to go on with the tournament. I subscribe for two sessions of MCR on Wednesday and one session of RCR on Thursday. At the same time I decide not to subscribe to the tournaments that starts at 4.00 in the morning.
Being not totally unsuccessful ending 2nd and 3rd in the MCR tournaments, I am still in the lead at Friday. Saturday has tournaments in all variants and I subscribe to the MCR one. Entry fee is now 20,000 golden coins. Not everyone has got that and it still is $20 in real money if you have to pay for it. So only 12 participants but a total of 240,000 chips. Unfortunately I’m out after the second round. Of course I’m no longer in the lead in the overall standing as well.
On the other hand: it gives me time to have a more or less proper meal because now I have more than an hour instead of 10 minutes before the old time MCR-GMT starts. That tournament means another four hours of mahjong. And because the dragon tournament started at 15.30h, I had the possibility to play 2 rounds in the Sit & Go tour at 13.00h to win some golden coins, which I did. With two breaks of about an hour I have played 10 hours. All that time, Marina of Mahjong Time was there as live help, coordinating and monitoring all tournaments and rearranging tables to eliminate the drop outs and no shows. Hats off to her. I am more or less exhausted.
The quality of the play of the tournaments has increased substantially by using elimination. Most players show up at the table. Not all. Even with a subscription fee of $20, some players subscribe to more than one tournament and stick to only one. Because of overlapping tournaments and thinking that they can handle more than one game at the same time, some players use the feature to play multiple tables. As far as I can tell only one player is able to do that without being slow and playing badly and that’s the current leader: ‘once’.
Seeing how many points are scored in the guild standings and the amount of hours I have played last week, I now know how many hours some players spend on Mahjong Time. It’s astonishing and I can’t keep up with that. Especially with another 13 weeks to go. The winner will finish with about 1,500,000 dragon chips, equal to $1,500 dollars. To get the golden plated tile he will have to hand them in. Surely a lot of money for a prize. But what else can you do with dragon chips? A step to playing for real money?
Illustration courtesy of www.destructoid.com