Why Become A Professional Mahjong Player?
In America, Japan, And China, people have enjoyed playing the game of mahjong for many years.
There is more to becoming a professional mahjong player than you may imagine, and they play a significant role in this mahjong society.
We'll look at what it takes to be a professional mahjong player in this article, as well as where they play, how they play, and how you can do the same!
Mahjong calls for four players, 144 tiles, and two dice rolls. It's vital to remember, though that each country has its unique version of the game. Making matching sets and pairs is the object of mahjong.
A pair is two of the same tiles (commonly referred to as "eyes"), and a set is three or four identical tiles or three consecutive tiles (also known as "melds").
Mahjong players must create four sets and one pair to win. You can yell "mahjong!" when you are certain that your hand is going to win.
Three suits of 144 tiles, known as circles, characters, and bamboos, make up a whole mahjong set.
Four sets of tiles with numbers one through nine make up each suit. There are also wind and dragon tiles, and many sets additionally come with eight bonus tiles with four seasons and four flowers on each.
Each player takes turns picking up and removing tiles during the game to form sets and pairs.
The game is started by the dealer in the "east" placing their 14th tile in the middle of the table. The player in the south position (right of the dealer) takes a turn by picking up one tile and tossing away one tile.
The player has two options: pick a tile from the wall or take the most recent tile to be thrown away.
You'll continue to play the game in this manner until you hear all three of the following Chinese words: Chi, Pong, and Gang These expressions refer to the developing "sets."
The objective is to arrange the tiles into four groups of three and two. There are three different sets that a player can create:
- Three similar tiles are used in the game "Pong."
- A group of four identical tiles called "gang"
- Three tiles of the same suit in a row are known as a "Chi!"
By taking discarded tiles from the table, you can complete certain sets. For instance, if a player discards a tile that aids in your creation of a set, you can quickly claim that tile by shouting the appropriate word, such as "pong," at any point during play.
A mahjong player who is a member of a reputable professional association is considered a professional. Other than that, there are no prerequisites for professionals.
As you are aware, professional athletes in the majority of conventional sports are compensated handsomely for participating in the competition by their employers, sponsors, agents, or budgeted teams.
You'd think that mahjong players would also partake in some fame and glory and profit regularly from the game.
With mahjong, though, this is not the case. Many people appear shocked to find that the majority of mahjong players don't make a profession playing mahjong.
The system is set up to require steady work and a respectable wage just to cover your monthly/annual dues and mahjong expenses (although incredible initiatives like M-League are on the way to changing that!).
Mahjong players who want to call themselves professionals must pay fees to do so.
The costs of being a professional mahjong player are as follows:
- Cost of a pro license
- Seasonal League fees
- Multiple entry fees for competitions
- Transport charges (especially if you have to travel from other cities to Tokyo)
Your annual payments might range from $600 to $3000 US dollars depending on how many tournaments you attend and whatever organization you are a member of.}
The majority of players are professionals in other fields, like IT, sales, or writing, and they take their work extremely seriously.
As a result, they frequently improve their mahjong skills more than those who play the game full-time.
There are other instances; many people are aware of Sonoda Pro, an M-leaguer. When you consider it, it's pretty cool.
The title itself and the associated "bragging rights" are the most important prizes in a tournament; regardless of how frequently you can win, tournaments never actually turn into a sustainable source of income because they offer a low return on investment.
Mahjong players need fame and a polished image because they can promote themselves, reinvest in themselves, and sell themselves. Many of these traits come with tournament titles. For oneself to remain relevant, you must create a brand.
The answer to your question about becoming a professional player is that it's not simple. Making it as a professional mahjong player takes some time of study and practicing - you have to be skilled at many parts of the manners and rulesets.
Players frequently begin playing online so they may practice while developing their games or preparing for tests.
However, I believe that the professional community is opening up and becoming more accessible every year.
In just one to two years, you may practically start from nothing and become a professional athlete. Typically, all you have to do is:
- Locate the organization you want to join and look up the Pro-Test schedule there.
- Examine their guidelines, players, and players' names.
- ace the written test, the interview, and the practical test
- complete the fundamental training (usually less than a month)
- Remit your fees.
In the future, it's still possible to play Mahjong competitively if you're just getting started.
Mahjong professionals from various backgrounds are being welcomed with open arms in the US, Japan, and China.
The nation has a long history of encouraging athletes through its well-established pro system for both sexes.
There are a few ways you can make mahjong your primary source of income as a professional player if you truly want to dedicate yourself to working "just in mahjong."
The most common methods include:
- working as a member or visitor in mahjong lounges (especially female regular guests are in somewhat high demand)
- Creating mahjong books on your own or with collaborators
- being a pundit, invited player, or another guest on mahjong broadcasts
- working as a consultant or teacher for mahjong
- providing more mahjong-related services
The bigwigs in the industry might even star in TV shows and films or play for cash versus wealthy CEOs. who knows! Professional athletes typically refuse to acknowledge their involvement in gambling.
The sole requirements for joining a professional organization are paying the fees and thoroughly understanding the game's regulations. You don't need to be "strong," as no established association objectively measures or objectively evaluates playing ability or abilities.
However, if you put in the work, the competitive atmosphere of any mahjong league will undoubtedly make you stronger very soon.
Being a professional player myself, I can state unequivocally that turning pro in mahjong is not the wisest course of action.
Unless your affection for the game borders on obsession and addiction, that is.
Pro athletes that have been active for more than ten years are stoic and all "in for the game!" Additionally, a lot of them genuinely think they are the finest player in the world.
A little bit of fame and the exclusive title appeals to certain other gamers as well.
There are many reasons to become a professional player, but it can be challenging to stick with it over the long term without a strong sense of desire.
As professional mahjong associations become more accessible each year and the public perception of mahjong professionals declines,
Many of the best players in Japan right now are amateurs (or professors, or gamblers!) who have no desire to enter the world of professional mahjong.
Although being a professional is not all that difficult, the professional world is highly challenging.
Although being a professional is not all that difficult, the professional world is highly challenging.
Access to Major title tournaments and media attention are the two primary advantages of holding the "pro" status.
If you want to publish a mahjong book, you better be quite sure about those two things.
Since there are at least two new mahjong strategy books published every month, readers are getting more selective about the books they choose to read.
The World Mahjong Organization hosts the World Mahjong Championship to crown the World Champion of the table game Mahjong (WMO).
This title is open to both men and women, and it includes both an Individual event and a Team event.
To regulate the game and spread it globally, particularly in the Western world, the Mahjong International League, or MIL, was established During a press conference held in Beijing, China.
The main goal of MIL is to have Mahjong represented at the Olympic Games, as is the case with other Mind Sports and Sports in general.
The organization is still recognized as the International Federation for Mahjong and is still linked with the International Olympic Committee. Regional and international contests are also managed by MIL. Currently, MIL has more than thirty member countries listed. The corporate office is located in Hong Kong.
- Always have a strategy in place. Consider carefully which tiles you pick up and which ones you leave behind.
- Be adaptable in the use of your tactics. Be ready to adjust your strategy and tactics if the game takes a different turn.
- Avoid grabbing the first scrap.
- Keep a set and take a seat with them.
- Keep your tiles from having gaps.
Zhao Jian of China Crowned World Series Mahjong Champion
With the exception of a few business owners, even professionals aren't generating more money playing mahjong than they are paying to play it. A professional group charges dues, but only a select few are occasionally requested for events.
One of the most challenging boards is called Circle Mahjong because it combines two mahjong circles into a single game. All of you mahjong gurus out there, pay attention! Mahjong is quite easy to play. To remove tiles from the mahjong board, just match up like tiles.
How about it then? Would you also like to learn how to play like a professional Mahjong player? Consider reading more of our mahjong guides.
You are free to ask any question and share your experience in the comments.