Englishman racking up Hakuho-like numbers in online sumo tournament

Simon Siddall, who goes by the shikona (ring-name) Pandaazuma, dominates the world of sumo… online. He has now been crowned Sumo Games World Champion in five of the last six years.

In the almost two decades that the online fantasy-style tournament has been running only two other players have managed to win the title on more than one occasion.

“I was always a big sumo fan but I focused mostly on the top wrestlers. Sumo gaming forces you (in a good way) to take an active interest in not only all the top-division wrestlers but also those from the second and third divisions. It might seem like a chore but it opens up a whole new world and you can learn a lot of stuff about sumo you would never have known otherwise.”

As to the secret of his success, Siddall says he uses a combination of intuition and math.

“I have my own way of assigning strength ratings to wrestlers that is not at all based on stats but my own personal assessment and my selections stem from that basis. In individual games I follow a kind of customized algorithm that enables me to avoid dumb picks. I have to say, sadly, that I still make plenty of dumb ones so it definitely isn’t perfect.”

Siddall doesn’t elaborate on that algorithm, which according to Buder isn’t surprising.

“Like chefs or bartenders, many strong players are highly secretive about their gaming strategies, not sharing their recipes for success.”

“When I once watched sumo together with Simon, I learnt a little bit more about his approach. He barely uses mathematical formulae. Rather, he has an almost uncanny ability to see the action on the dohyō. Where I have seen an average bout, he can better assess things that are hard to grasp mathematically, like determination of a rikishi. He sees weaknesses in victory or strengths in defeat that other players apparently miss.”

It’s likely only a matter of time before Siddall adds the record to his growing collection, especially as his fighting spirit remains undimmed.

“I have no plans to retire from gaming as sumo is a life-long passion and the games make it all the more enjoyable. On top of that, the sumo gaming community is very friendly and there are some great characters involved so I’m happy to keep going indefinitely.”

Source: The Japan Times

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