This month, we are spotlighting Paula Pereira Gomes (username: Derai), long-time Mahjong Time player from Portugal. Paula has been playing at Mahjong Time since 2006, and in that time, has triumphed in many games and tournaments, earning her one black stripe on a brown belt in MCR and two black stripes on a brown belt in RCR. She also ranked 4th in the OEMC 2009 hosted right here at Mahjong Time. Her live tournament play is also extensive; she ranked 6th in Valentine Tournament 2011, Netherlands; 1st Tournament of the Rhine, France; and German Mahjong Open 2010, Germany. Mahjong Time got the chance to ask Paula a few questions:
Q: How did you originally discover multiplayer Mahjong?
While playing real live tournaments, players were talking about it. We are an active community, so word spreads fast.
Q: How often do you play online?
Whenever I have some spare time - sometimes just one round or a couple of rounds throughout a day, sometimes days go by without logging on. However, on average, I think I'm playing 4-5 times/days a week.
Q: How long have you played at Mahjong Time?
My profile says since May 2006 :-)
Q: What do you like the most about Mahjong Time?
Being able to play at any time, without leaving the house. I also like the improvements that have been made over time - not always a success at first, but at least game play evolves and that's good!
Q: Tell us more about yourself! What would other Mahjong Time players be surprised to know about you?
Having been present at so many real live tournaments, not much I guess. Many of the players I have met there, are also present on MJT. And because of the chat possibility, even my 'online only' friends know most there is to know about me or I care to share about myself :-)
Q: Which style of Mahjong do you like best? Why is this your favorite?
I play most rule sets, except American. I like all of them for different reasons, but I guess MCR and Riichi are my (most often played) favorites.
Q: What is better: playing live or playing online?
Live - the experience of actually meeting people at the tables and during breaks, simply cannot be matched online. However, for those of us not being lucky enough to have a choice of life tournaments, online playing is the next best thing.
Q: On the subject of online play, what kind of advice would you give to the online player?
Play as much as you can, with as many (different) players as you can. Contrary to what many believe, I guess online play is overall pretty much like live play. You get lucky, you get extremely unlucky, you win, you lose... You should probably quit while you're ahead though :-)