Here we go with another Mahjong interview. Today, the stage belongs to Anthony To aka Totoro from the Competitive Riichi Hub!
1. How did you start playing Riichi?
When I first started playing Mahjong it was other variants such as HK and Zung Jung. I found out about Riichi when I stumbled on Tenhou whilst looking for websites to play Mahjong online, as well as some Mondo TV clips on YouTube.
2. What do you like the most about it?
Having a dora indicator adds strategic depth and more diversity in the game compared to other variants. Riichi puts more emphasis on defense more than other variants which is an underrated part of the game.
3. How often do you play?
I play on Tenhou every day (sometimes I might fit in 10 hanchan in a day!). I also host ARMA (Australian Riichi Mahjong Association) club meetings in Sydney once a month.
4. Online or live Mahjong – which one do you prefer and why?
I think I enjoy playing live more than online – there is the social aspect of playing live and I also find that I am able to focus more when playing without distractions on my computer screen.
5. How do you practice/learn strategy & theory?
In the past, due to my lack of Japanese language skills, I was limited to doing self reviews of Tenhou replays and developing my own theories through my own experience. Now I can study through some of the English resources which are available, such as Daina’s Riichi Book 1, as well as participate in discussions on the Competitive Riichi Hub.
6. Favorite Yakuman?
Suuankou (only because it is the only one I seem to be able to win).
7. Any tournament achievements?
My best result so far is 2nd at the LAPOM Championship in 2017. I would love to participate in more tournaments in the future but that involves flying from Australia!
8. Biggest Mahjong related dream?
Winning a Major mahjong title (the next WRC?).
9. Quick tip for Mahjong beginners?
Easiest way to learn is to play with stronger players. You can do so in a live club setting where you are able to ask questions between hands. Alternatively if you only get to play online consider doing a replay review with someone on Discord – It is quite helpful having another player point out mistakes as well as providing a different perspective on how your hands could have been played.
Thank you, Totoro!
May Yakuman be with you!