9 thoughts on “Aweseome #mahjong league cancelled

  1. Yes. Organizing something like this on a large scale is hard to do, it’s a drain more than anything else.

    We know that something organized over one event, or max two days is easily possible. It’s not impossible to organize over more than that, but there are a few problems that come up. Here’s a short list:

    People dropping out of interest, their current streak, PMS (yes, there were 24 men iirc), or any other reason. From session 1 to 2, we lost 4 out of 24 people. IIRC, one dropped even before finishing the first session.
    The fact that there were two groups of people and you were never sure what they were available for. This leads to two groups mixing more often than the whole.
    Administrative errors leading to people really overplaying each other (puppi x pabli)
    Administrative gaffes basically declaring a player disqualified/out (Hasu) when he wasn’t.
    Shouldering this all on my back. I’ve had the occasional help from various osamuko/PP staff, and I’m grateful for what I got, but doing the rest alone was not ideal. There are things that required better planning and execution.
    Last, but not least: Doing this on a Friday night. I chose this date purely out of narcissistic reasons that I am often gone weekends, that’s when I get to play mahjong IRL with Arkh and the club. If this were done on weekends, you’d get a different batch of people and some dropping out for the same planning reasons. If a one-time event was run on a weekend, you could gather quite an audience, some of the weekend wildlife can hold a block of time free for it, but doing it multiple times over 2 months? It’s doubtful.

    I know Alvin wants to run an East only tournament soon, and if you can participate, you should. I don’t know all the details but what I am about to say here affects tournament planning in general, so this isn’t a diss on anyone.

    The golden rules for internet tournament planning are as such:
    1. Maximize your player base, do it on weekends, and do one big event.
    2. You need to run an eliminator format from Round 1. People may quit that soon, and despite people complaining about “mahjong hooligans” the fact is that many people do that right out of the gate as soon as something goes wrong. Whether they’re new or experienced, bad or good, there is a significant player base that can’t take losing well. Mahjong probably isn’t the game for them given that it’s a loser-making machine (2nd place usually has a 30-40% chance at best to be “over the line”, 3rd place is in the 0.3-0.4% range), essentially, for every winner, there are two losers. Whether you run a pure placement tournament or a cumulative score tournament, you should be willing to cut 1/3 to 1/2 of your players every round. Especially when you don’t know everyone involved, this deals with a lot of the x-factor in managing a tournament. Count backwards from the end to the number of people you have in your tournament. 1 < 4 < 8 < 16 < 24 is the kind of count that would make sense, eliminate the few bad apples and some of the unlucky and give them one chance before the tournament goes into 50% pass mode. With more players, you can modulate the pass/fail rate to a certain extent but sometimes, you have to play with what you got.
    3. You need to make clear how you are going to tabulate score, place or rank in determining who moves forward or not. One thing the tournament suffered was a minor discrepancy by taking the scores from tenhou (the rounded number) in some occasions and the game score in others (the actual number). You have to be certain about your process and how you can make it work. In Tenhou's case, some logs may or may not get corrupted over time, meaning that you can't get the game score for everything until tsuno manages to implement it right. I hope it's soon.
    4. Anything spanning over a day requires two+ co-organizers. — Anything that is same-day would be nice to have two co-organizers.


    In the end, I learned a lot doing this. The logistics of doing a league format over the internet are still possible but the format has to be refined. In the case of weekend stuff, it should be once a month for a league of this style. If people are willing to play in a closed league style played in one sitting, they can at any time, what they would need in order to ensure a certain mixity of results is to follow a block design pattern, in order to have the same number of matches between each other with the closest to the same number of times able to play each opponent.

    I thank everyone who has participated (almost), apologize again to Hasu for being on the wrong end of an error that was my fault, and hopefully, we can make lemonade out of lemons again sometime in the future.

  2. Thanks for writing all of this, and for going to the time and effort to write it out in long-form. Your augments are logical and reasonable, and I can’t imagine anyone of sound mind and judgement considering them unfair.

    One thing that I was thinking might help would he an actual site for the thing, with unchanging rules and a (preferably automated) chart of standings.

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