A mahjong player with a poker face
- Published on Friday, 27 August 2010 10:42
- Written by Martin Rep
UTRECHT, the Netherlands - After one hour of playing mahjong, it is already rather warm in the venue where the World Mahjong Championship 2010 takes place. No wonder: over two hundred players are struggling and fighting to get the best scores. Around them circulate referees, officials, journalist or just curious by-standers. Outside it is still raining, but none of the players seem to care much.
The first gong was beaten at 09:00 a.m., after which the well-know sound of mahjong tiles being shuffled was heard for the first time.
Jeroen Meijer, head of the organizing commitee, walks around with a big smile on his face. "Everything is going well", he beams. "I am so glad that everyone was on time, so we could start without any delay."
Dutch player Adrie van Geffen tempts the organizers by wearing a Mahjong Time T-shirt . MJT is the competitor of eMahjong/Mahjong Logic, the main sponsor of the World Championship. “I have asked written permission to wear it”, Adrie says. “I got no formal reaction, but it seems to be all right.” Dan Glimne of Mahjong Logic, also present in the venue, does not have any problem with the T-shirt. “He can wear what he likes.”
Also much discussed: the sunglasses of Italian player Marco Montebelli. When you see him, he looks more than a poker player than a mahjong player.
Head referee Robert Rijnders is not exactly pleased with the sunglasses. “But, until now, we have had no complaints. If other players will do so, we will have to consider what to do with it. He seems to wear them in every tournament. But I think it is very close to what is allowed."