After two days of intense competition, Zhao Jian of China was crowned world champion at the fourth World Series of Mahjong (WSOM) held on December 5th and 6th at The Venetian® Macao. He won a total of HKD$406,161 and the coveted 999 pure gold mahjong necklace.
The two day, single elimination format tournament saw the return of Taiwanese celebrities Hsu Nai-Lin, Sabrina Yu and Doris Kuang, along with hundreds of players from around the world Also, competing were former champions, including WSOM 2007 champion Mr. Hui Chung Lai, WSOM 2008 champion Mr. Ho Kwok Hung and WSOM 2010 champion Mr. Chan Tak Kwan.
Before this tournament all past champions of WSOM have been from Hong Kong. Mr. Zhao Jian is now the first champion from China, and stated “I started playing mahjong when I was five. I was not doing well in the first four sessions, so I’m thrilled to have won. I think it was a combination of strategy and luck for me today.”
A highlight of the final game was the broad representation of the four final players. This is the first time that the final four at WSOM comprised one player each from the key mahjong-playing areas of the world – China, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan. Zhao Jian, the champion, is a 36 year-old lawyer from China. In second place was Mr. Suzuki Taro, a 42 year-old professional mahjong star from Ibaraki, Japan. Third place went to Mr. Lai Siu Kui of Hong Kong and in fourth place was Mr. Peng Cheng Lung, a software engineer from Taiwan and also the winner of the Taiwan Online Qualifying Tournament.