The United States Professional Mahjong League is holding another free play event this Sunday, May 16. If you’ve only played mahjong online and live in the New York City area, this is your chance to play against live opponents in Japanese-style mahjong aka “riichi” mahjong. Saki was right when the show said that playing on the internet and playing live are subtly different due to the external factors, and it’s an experience I recommend anyone try out. And it’s free!
Sadly I can’t make it this time around either, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying yourself.
Now if you’re really not sure whether you should be hanging with the “big boys,” no one is particularly amazing at mahjong to the extent that you’ll feel helpless. This is indeed one of the strengths of mahjong. You might see me talking about the game pretty often now, but realize that I’m not good at the game. It would be a stretch to call me “intermediate.” But I still win some sweet hands and have lots of fun. If you have experience playing at all, even if it’s just a little, you’ll likely do fine, and no one will admonish you for forgetting some rules.
But if you’re really worried about not knowing enough to play, or you know so little that you’d prefer to read “Baby’s First Riichi Mahjong,” then take heart in the fact that they’re also holding a tutorial event for absolute beginners on Sunday, May 23. The rules can seem quite overwhelming, but actually mahjong is a game you can ease yourself into with just a bit of patience.
The location for both events is:
134 W. 29th Street (b/t 6th and 7th)
New York, NY 10001
Don’t forget to RSVP on the forums, particularly with the tutorial session, as space is limited.