The Disqualification of Horiuchi

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The Disqualification of Horiuchi

Post by Ignatius » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:28 pm

I was reading this in osamuko.com and I was shocked:
http://osamuko.com/the-disqualification-of-horiuchi/

I was wondering: If what Osamu said is true thats a hit in the face for the 日本プロ麻雀連盟 (nihon puro maajan renmei or JPML)´s reputation, isn´t it?

The same opinion that xkime has, after reading the posts.
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Re: The Disqualification of Horiuchi

Post by Ozball » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:24 am

Yeah it is a bit of a hit in the face. It's as if the JMPL sees red whenever Horiyuchi is involved and throws all sensibility out the window. xkime's are useful as well to give a bit of a backdrop to the JMPL. Though not sure if I agree with him/her about the A rules. The removal of the luck based Han does seem to help with match fixing, but also it does remove more luck/randomness from the result. It's frustrating to watch someone who had Reach, Tanyao suddenly get Haneman because they drew their winner and got three ura-dora. Also if a couple kans are declared then it just becomes a race to see who can Reach first since you'll get three ura-dora indicators making it much more likely you'll hit something. Then again maybe I'm just bitter because everyone I pay against on Fight Club lately is opening their hands by calling a tile for a quad, sometimes even after the dealer has reached. And they then end up in no-ten at the end of the hand. -.-

Back on topic, the penalty is harsh for Horiyuchi (too harsh). And the JPML is shooting themselves in the foot over all this. If you can read Japanese the tournament write up is here:http://www.ma-jan.or.jp/title-fight/10d ... 10693.html
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Re: The Disqualification of Horiuchi

Post by Fat*Dragon » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:12 am

Is there a video on youtube with Horiuchi playing? I would like to see his style of play 'cause so many people seem to hate him for that.

It's sad to see something like that happening in Mahjong but hey, this is a gambling game and there's money to be made from TV shows, merchandise and other stuff. We shouldn't forget, Mahjong is an industry. So why share the profits with a guy which you almost can't beat? This also leads to the question: what is good mahjong? I like the quotation xKime wrote in the comments section of the above mentioned post: “If everyone played a good mahjong I might have been able to win.” by Moriyama.

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Re: The Disqualification of Horiuchi

Post by Ignatius » Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:57 am

Fat*Dragon wrote:Is there a video on youtube with Horiuchi playing? I would like to see his style of play 'cause so many people seem to hate him for that.

It's sad to see something like that happening in Mahjong but hey, this is a gambling game and there's money to be made from TV shows, merchandise and other stuff. We shouldn't forget, Mahjong is an industry. So why share the profits with a guy which you almost can't beat? This also leads to the question: what is good mahjong? I like the quotation xKime wrote in the comments section of the above mentioned post: “If everyone played a good mahjong I might have been able to win.” by Moriyama.


I know what you mean, but I think if you find someone you can't beat, just accept it and improve... Those who complain about Horiuchi are bad losers.

For me mahjong is just a game. I have no interest in gambling or bets. I see it as a mental sport. But I'm from a minority...

I know is an industry but... In sports as soccer there are some teams which, as they're very good, they win most of the time.

I will not complain about that, but in soccer there's no limit to the money the teams can spend in players. And that's a point I don't like. It's kinda unfair.

Who is good is good, thats it. And that person will have high chances to win. This doesn't mean he/she'll always win.

The JPML can make profit from Horiuchi but they don't want to, to do so they need to assume he's very good playing digital style...

Wich means some of the top players are not better than him.

But that's not bad. On the contrary, this means people is always improving.

Some day someone better than Horiuchi will appear. What the JPML going to do?
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Re: The Disqualification of Horiuchi

Post by Shirluban » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:22 pm

Jenn and Garthe give some precisions on the last Jong-cast.
There is also an explanation video from the JPML, but in Japanese (jump at 2:10 to see the actual play... even if the problem is not visible).

To summarize:
- East player was tenpai and had discarded a 1-bam and a 3-bam . West player also had a 1-bam in his discards.
- Horiuchi (North) had 2-bam 3-bam :south :south 1-dot 2-dot 3-dot 7-dot 8-dot 9-dot (chii: 3-crak 1-crak 2-crak ), and draws 3-bam .
Then he discards the 3-bam from his hand (not the one drawn), sigh and slam the tile (donno in which order, sigh&slam are not visible in the video).
- South player had 6-dot 7-dot 8-dot 1-bam 1-bam 2-bam 3-bam 5-bam 6-bam :east 8-bam 8-bam 8-bam , and draws 4-bam .
He discards 1-bam , making him tenpai.
- Horiuchi ron it.
- The hand was scored and the game continues normally.
- On the tournament's last day, Horiuchi (who was the top player) was disqualified for "shamisen" ("lying about your hand to deceive your opponents" (dixit Jenn)).

From what Jenn and Garth said in the jong-cast, the problem seems to be that Horiuchi sigh and slamed the tile, giving the false impression his hand was going bad.
For that he is disqualified for the entire tournament, lose all seating privileges, banned from appearing in public events, and banned from playing any public tournaments as a pro for the next year.

_________________________

Personally, I think that's not the real reason. And even if it was, the punishment would be waaay tooo harsh.
Also, South player would probably have discarded 1s anyway.
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Re: The Disqualification of Horiuchi

Post by Iapetus » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:59 pm

I don't quite get the hatred against Horiuchi's digital playstyle. What does digital mean in their context? Is Horiuchi singled out because
1. He's the only digital player in the league
2. He's the best player in the league by a margin
3. His style is unique in a "bad" way (too defensive)
4. Old arbitrary grudges?

How do his haters play? Occult is hardly something that can be applied during play. Do they play bad, then justify mistakes with occult? Do they have irrational habits?

How do his haters stay relevant in the league? Match fixing and plain cheating? By scaring away strong players like Horiuchi? By letting strong players join better leagues?



EDIT: I listened to the podcast and even Garthe seems to dislike his style. But Garthe's comments suggests his style is very aggressive, while this article suggests he is very defensive. I'm confused.

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Re: The Disqualification of Horiuchi

Post by jenn » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:50 pm

This is understandably a lively topic, but there have been a number of translation errors and I think that has created some misunderstandings.

RM will prepare an article about this since our podcast is meant to be more fun and wasn't very clear.

First of all, Horiuchi was never Hououi. He won the 10-Tier (10-dan) tournament and he has also won Champion's League and the Special League. You have to be in A1 to win Hououi, but he's never been further than the B league. Since he has also been disqualified from League for the time being as well, he won't have that chance for quite a while.

Also, on Horiuchi's twitter he specifically denies "sighing" and states that his breathing changed with the difficult hand and that he put too much strength into his tsumo-hand. He denies ever using any shamisen tactics and that his thoughts and movements were pure.

As far as I can tell, the "slamming" of the tile refers to when he draws the 3s, not the one he discarded. As you can see in the video he actually discards lightly as if he dropped the tile and has to push it correctly into the discard.

His official penalty will be determined at the board meeting in January.

I would like to stress that this is completely unprecedented and far worse infractions have gone unmentioned. It is difficult to come to any conclusion other than that this was a strike against the player and not the play in question.
At the very least, this is the conclusion that the vocal crowd on Twitter and NicoNico has come to. There have also been a number of videos posted of those announcing the punishment doing far worse than the claim in this situation.

I'll try to be as honest as I can about everything, but please understand that whatever my opinion is, nothing will change, so I will be as objective as possible in any reports.

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Re: The Disqualification of Horiuchi

Post by jenn » Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:58 am

Sorry

"He denies ever using any shamisen tactics and that his thoughts and movements were pure."

Was meant to be

"He denies ever using any shamisen tactics and claims that his thoughts and movements were pure."

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Re: The Disqualification of Horiuchi

Post by Tom Sloper » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:50 pm

The story on Osamuko was an interesting read, but I couldn't tell from context what the term "digital" means. At first I thought it meant "playing on computer instead of at a physical table," but then in one of the comments it seemed to mean "playing with a poker face" or "playing with no signs of emotion."

Oh, and now that I look again, there's also the term "occult," which also seems to have a meaning of which I'd previously been unaware.

What do "digital" and "occult" mean as used in that discussion?
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Re: The Disqualification of Horiuchi

Post by Shirluban » Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:21 pm

Tom Sloper wrote:What do "digital" and "occult" mean as used in that discussion?
If I understand right, "digital" refers to relying on statistics, in opposition to "occult" which refers to relying on the "flow" aka "wave of luck" aka "nagare".

I think you'ld better ask directly on Osamuko what exactly the article's author means.
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Re: The Disqualification of Horiuchi

Post by Gnom » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:25 am

I don't know exactly what meaning is intended, but the way I understand it, "digital" refers to a play style that not only relies on statistic as Shirluban said but also ignores other parameters such as other players' actions, e.g. whatever the other players' discards one would always react the same. Of course this is a tendency and not a policy, and most "digital" players would for example fold if another player were strongly hinting at a yakuman, but you get the idea. The problem that some see in this is that this style has a lot more room for the luck in drawing, if every player played solely relied on statistics (and evaluated them correctly) the game would become pure luck. That's what supposedly makes it less interesting.

As far as I'm concerned, I don't like to play against that kind of players, makes me feel like I playing bingo, but mahjong is a game and as long as one follows the rules I don't see what can be held against them, except frustration. I may decide quit the table earlier, though. It seems to me than mahjong (as any game) is more than just winning or losing but also about the fun --which on a side note is also why I'd really like to find a no-rate free jansou in Nagoya, wink wink nudge nudge.

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Re: The Disqualification of Horiuchi

Post by Iapetus » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:11 pm

Gnom wrote:I don't know exactly what meaning is intended, but the way I understand it, "digital" refers to a play style that not only relies on statistic as Shirluban said but also ignores other parameters such as other players' actions, e.g. whatever the other players' discards one would always react the same.
That's 500% incorrect.

Digital as opposed to "plain" or "theory" means really focusing on statistical research and deep number crunching. xKime explained it here. It's a sort of specialization and isn't really all that visible.

It's a confusing issue because the new Western mahjong players don't have a concept of occult in the same way that old Japanese players do. I really don't either. It's hard to understand, because it's irrational.

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Re: The Disqualification of Horiuchi

Post by Shirluban » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:45 pm

Iapetus wrote:It's hard to understand, because it's irrational.
You mean (occult)² = -1 ?
:lol:
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Re: The Disqualification of Horiuchi

Post by Referee » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:40 am

No. That would be "imaginary".

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Re: The Disqualification of Horiuchi

Post by Kyuu » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:23 pm

Like I said in the comments, this is Mahjong Politics happening; and in this case, it's rather sad to see actually, when video shows a minor incident receiving a harsh punishment.
jenn wrote:His official penalty will be determined at the board meeting in January.
So, since this is going to be happening, then there might be some hope for JPML to save some kind of face.

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