MJS Exclusive Interview with RMU Mahjong pro,
RMU Yuri Masuda Pro
7th year as a professional Mahjong player
Born in New Zealand
How I became a pro:
What influenced me the most was the opportunity to compete in Mahjong tournaments with my mother. She won the Women's Open tournament last year, which is a testament to how good she is. In fact, everybody in my family member can play mahjong.
My relationship with RMU actually dates back to my middle school days.
The most memorable moment was when I was able to meet Ooi Pro at a tournament of the group that he belonged at that time.
Duties as a Mahjong Pro:
Some people may think that the pros’ main jobs are appearing at mahjong related events as guests, working in Jyanso-Parlor, or playing in broadcasted games, but tournament management and commentary on tournament games are also important jobs. There are in fact, a plethora of duties, but the most vital task for professionals is to regularly compete in the league matches and build up their annual results.
Some people have their primary jobs on weekdays and are professional Mahjong players only on the weekends. RMU pros are said to have a large number of office workers since RMU sets its league schedule to be on the weekends. RMU is also suitable for people who want to be a professional while working a fulltime job, because the annual fee for registration is low in comparison to other organizations.
Thoughts on Mahjong Overseas:
This time I came to Los Angeles on a business trip for my primary occupation. I’ve come to Los Angeles twice in the past year, and for both times, I visited LAPOM. When I speak about foreign players, I only know American players who play at LAPOM, but I was surprised that the level of play was higher than when I first came. At this level, I think that you can compete quite well in a mixed amateur-professional tournament in Japan.
Another improvement was manners. At first, their manners were so bad that I wasn't sure of where I should start fixing, but this time, excluding small details, most of the American players were very mannered. They also took my advice and immediately corrected themselves.
Please consider participating in Japanese tournaments to show the mahjong polished by the Americans and become super heroes.
Favorite RMU Pros:
- Matsugase Pro
He’s a very good player with an aura around him. He loves to Riichi!
- Yamada Pro
He’s a magnificent instructor and he looks after his juniors well.
Lastly please tell us a secret about RMU representative Ooi Pro:
Everybody who’s played with Ooi Pro will say that he is strong. This is because he spends his time studying Mahjong more than anybody else.
However, because of that he seems to not fare well in relationships. His fashion on a day to day basis… may need a little work.