This month, Mahjong Time is spotlighting Tony Rizzuto (username: 1TileTony), who has been a Mahjong Time player for over two years. Mahjong Time’s CEO Slava Novozhenya had the opportunity to meet Tony at the Mahjong Madness tournament in Las Vegas this month, where Tony was a contestant. Mahjong Time got the chance to ask Tony a some questions:
Q: How did you originally discover multiplayer Mahjong?
[TR: ] I belong to a Meetup.com group titled Portland Mahjong Society. The organizer, Rodney Varney, informed me about Mahjongtime.com. He is a black belt player of Riichi.
Q: How often do you play online?
[TR: ] I play Hong Kong Mah Jongg every weekday at different times. (I am retired.) I became a VIP player two months ago to gain more chips so that I could play more often. As a free player I was very limited in how often I could play depending on how often I won. I lose many hands by one tile - thus my title "1TileTony". My friends and family members accuse me of being a fanatic player.
Q: How long have you played at Mahjong Time?
[TR: ] I started in February 2010, I believe, as a Free Player and recently became a VIP Player.
Q: What do you like the most about Mahjong Time?
[TR: ] I enjoy the knowledge that I am playing with real players from all around the world.
Q: Tell us more about yourself! What would other Mahjong Time players be surprised to know about you?
[TR: ] My wife and I learned American Mah Jongg in a community college class in September 2009. We play with a group of 4 to 8 players on Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday nights. We just returned from our Second American Mah Jongg Tournament with Mah Jongg Madness in Las Vegas, NV. Not sure about any surprises as I only know 3 Time players personally. I enjoy photography and I am a woodcarver of Santa Clauses. I would like to become an instructor of American Mah Jongg and get in some cruise tournaments in the future.
Q: Which style of Mahjong do you like best? Why is this your favorite?
[TR: ] I play Chinese Traditional and Hong Kong with Portland Mahjong Society. The players like to play Reach but I have not caught onto it yet. I enjoy Hong Kong best on Mahjong Time and American with local players. American Mah Jongg on Mahjong Time is too fast for me. I can't think that quick. I have only played it once and someone kept texting me to pass. I did not know what that meant at that time. Maybe later I will try again. I have also learned to avoid 8 minimum point games and Baku as I'm still too new to know what I am doing.
Q: What is better: playing live or playing online?
[TR: ]Playing American live is best for me and playing Hong Kong online is great.
Q: On the subject of online play, what kind of advice would you give to the online player?
[TR: ] My advice is to play as often as one can. The learning curve for a computer game is tricky at times but eventually one will catch on. The training films on You Tube are very good. Just need to take the time to watch them. As Tom Sloper says "May the Tiles Be With You."