View Full Version : Estimating tournament length
06-11-2004, 01:04 PM
Is there a handy dandy formula for determining how long a tournament will take? I know there are various factors involved such as format, number of players, and number of tables. Is there a format that can take that into consideration. I am planning a large tournament in August and am trying to schedule my playing times at the venue. Thanks in advance. Also, is there a "standard" greens fee associated with a particular entry fee? I will probably be charging $50 entry for 8-ball and $50 entry for 9 ball.
06-11-2004, 01:49 PM
I am not a fan of green fees at all. If a pool room doesn't want to put on a tournament, then don't. Just the way I feel.
06-11-2004, 02:13 PM
I know that in Starkville the ring game tournament ran about 10 games an hour.
Greens fees would depend on the magnitude of the tournament. A large tournament involves quite of bit of work and promotion. I believe the promoter is entitled to some form of compensation for the work involved. If your fees are too high you will run people off, if they are too low you might go in the hole after you figure advertising and other expenses. If you are using a hall that is not your own the hall is entitled to something for wear and tear (unless they have found a way of recovering their tables for nothing).
It's extremely difficult to estimate tournament duration without knowing how many tables will be used, the length of the race, single or double elimination, approximate number of entrants, etc. You might want to contact Dave Syrja at firstname.lastname@example.org with your question since he wrote a "Pool Tournament Manager" program.
Then there's paying the Tournament Director. Unless the room owner is willing to pay a TD, or he's an employee (with other obligations aside from being TD), it must be done via green fees. Remember, the owner is already getting zero table time money. I don't think a $45-$50 entry with a $5 green fee is out of line.
Troy...~~~ Might be available if the price is right and the travel isn't too far... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote stockman4180:</font><hr> Is there a handy dandy formula for determining how long a tournament will take? I know there are various factors involved such as format, number of players, and number of tables. Is there a format that can take that into consideration. I am planning a large tournament in August and am trying to schedule my playing times at the venue. Thanks in advance. Also, is there a "standard" greens fee associated with a particular entry fee? I will probably be charging $50 entry for 8-ball and $50 entry for 9 ball. <hr /></blockquote>
06-11-2004, 02:27 PM
We will have 30 tables. We would like to have 128 players in each event. We would like to try and do both events in one weekend with the 8 ball on Saturday and the 9 ball on Sunday. We are looking at double elimination but think it may take to long. Greens fees we thought about $7-10 on a $50 entry each event. We will pay out 100% of entry or about $6400 per event.
06-11-2004, 03:06 PM
Can I ask you the reasoning behind having the tournament in the first place? There seems to be nothing added and you want the players to give you additional money on top of the entry fee for the privilege of playing in your tournament. Tournament are usually run as promotions for the room, no one said the owner has to make a nickel on it in fact a loss is almost always expected. You just write it off to advertising. Even as a player I feel no obligation to pay the salary of the tournament director. I have already paid for my transportation, my entry fee, hotel room and now I have to also guarantee the guy putting on the tournament he won't lose any money? I have been to tournaments that were run just as you describe and watched them raise the price of drinks, charge admission at the door and never add one extra nickel to the prize fund. I even played in tournaments where they were charging us $20. an hour for the after hours gambling action and on top of that, charging spectators $5.00 to watch. That's is when you begin to feel like a real whore. I don't mean to come down on you, you just asked a simple question, but getting screwed in tournaments gets old after a while, changed payouts, changed schedules, changed races and so on. All I can say is at least be completely up front about everything so the players at least know what to expect and can decide whether to play or not. By the way, you are not paying 100% of the entry fees, it is more like 84 to 88% depending what you charge as a green fee. If the player pays it, it is an entry fee , the fact you call it by a different name does not change what it is.
06-11-2004, 03:31 PM
You could consider a modified single elimination to speed up things. Time factor would also depend on what the race was to.
06-11-2004, 03:31 PM
You raise some good questions. The tournament was originally done three years ago. We had good turnout but only had 9-ball. It is held in a 21000 sq ft exposition that is part of a hotel. It is not advertising anything but just to revive a tournament. I understand your point about greens fees. It matters not to the player. They consider it entry fees. The payouts, by that reasoning, would be about 80+%. In the other tournaments that I have been at there was a greens fee and I knew it wasnot to be paid back. Saying 100% of entry fee is not being deceptive because it would be worded entry fee plus greens fee with 100% payback of entry fee. As far as fees to enter the door we have no plans to do that. We have no plans on raising the drink prices but that is the hotels call. We could charge quarters (I have seen that done also) but feel that would be more expensive to the player. The object of the tournament is not to lose money but to break even while giving the players a viable venue where they can make money and have fun. We will be giving breaks on the hotel room and breaks on the entry fee if you play in both tournaments. I don't want this tournament to come off as raping players but I also don't want to lose money. How would you structure the entry, etc.? Thanks for your input and no, you didn't come down on me...to hard /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
06-11-2004, 03:58 PM
Probably line up some sponsorship for the tournament. By the way, there is nothing wrong with making money. You don't have to break even, make as much as you can. Expecting the players themselves to underwrite the cost of putting on the tournament is not right in my book. If it looks like a bust on paper then don't do it. I think from the few posts you have noble intentions but in the end what is the point. The spectators may get a kick out of it, but from a player stand point, If you have a full 128 player field, more then 100 of them will lose money anyway and most know that from the start, that is just the way it is. Promoters in the long run are not doing anyone any favors. I would prefer to see them run a profitable tournament, (Or try anyway) with added money and try to make it a successful venture. What happens if in the end you have 35 players and have lined up this hotel, venue and so on? Do you call it off leaving the players standing there? Been there also, air fair, rental car, hotel, No tournament. That is a very large tournament by the way, two days 256 possible players. Takes someone who knows what they are doing to run a thing like that. As an answer to some of your question though. I played in a two day tournament with over 200 players. It is a big annual Easter tournament at the Dijkjes in Liden Holland. They played if I remember right, single elimination, fairly short races down to the top 32. Then a complete re draw and then double elimination with longer races. I finished either 4th or 6th don't remember. Got to brag a little, very tough tournament.It ran smooth even with that number of players. I thought it was a good format. You can accommodate enough players to pump up a good prize fund yet it doesn't take forever to play.
06-11-2004, 04:08 PM
Wow!! That's very ambitious!! I wish you the very best for a great tournament!
You have to estimate for 1 1/2 hours for a 9-ball match for men, have no idea how estimate the 8-ball matches. They will run longer than 9-ball, so you may want to shorten the matches on the 1-loss side to one or two games shorter.
I would definitely suggest buying into Mr Ingrate's Pool Tournament Director. It has you establish a database of players, and then you can suggest the start times and match time lengths, as well as the number of tables involved. It will do the draw for you and print the charts - players, start time, table number. It's excellent!! And easy enough for this reticent software user to play with. I hate playing with software. This program is easy to use.
I would suggest early sign up with a deadline, extra $$$ owed for sign-up on the day of the event limited to so many players that can do this. Thirty tables is a lot for tables, but you'll soon find out that it's not enough.
And never, ever underestimate the power of enforcing the "shot clock" during the Player's meeting.
Barbara~~~be afraid... be very afraid of the shot clock....
And what's wrong with $5 or $10 greens fees per player to the owner??!
06-11-2004, 06:54 PM
The PA State 8 Ball tournament is double elimination with a race to 6 on each side. The entry is $75 plus $20 greens fees. This is held at a hotel not a pool room. They average 220 people. Plus they have a women's tournament as well. Play starts Friday night at 8pm and the last match for the night is after midnight. Then starting again 9am Saturday again 'til after midnight, with the final 24 players on Sunday at 11am. This is done with 67 bar boxes. I think they figure 1 1/2 hours for the match. They payout the top 64, and generally have $2000 added.
DG - placed in the money last year
06-11-2004, 06:59 PM
Here is a sample output from the planning module for 128 players and 1 table per match (teams can use more than one):
This is a schedule for 120 players using 32 tables.
06-11-2004, 07:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote stockman4180:</font><hr> Is there a handy dandy formula for determining how long a tournament will take?...<hr /></blockquote>
For nine ball tournaments around here, with a race to six and pretty good players, the average was about 40 minutes per match. The players knew the routine, for the most part, and did not wander off for lunch when it was time for them to play. If you have weak players unused to tournament routine, it will take longer.
While a program will help, you can just draw out the rounds and number of matches and so on. A major problem with double elimination is that there are twice as many rounds as with single elimination. (15 vs 7 for 128 players). Single elimination with the chance to buy back is an alternative.
06-11-2004, 10:09 PM
Where do they come off claiming they add $2000. when they snatch $4400. right off the top of the entry fees to start with. Not only is there no added but they short the prize fund by $2400. Am I the only one who thinks this kind of stuff is a farce? I guess not, pool players have always been a bunch of suckers.
06-11-2004, 11:18 PM
While the site is pretty much inactive, much of the content is still there. You can get a tournament length estimator by downloading the playpoolcalcs.xls file.
06-13-2004, 01:32 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Where do they come off claiming they add $2000. when they snatch $4400. right off the top of the entry fees to start with.<hr /></blockquote>
The problem of course is that they have no major sponsor willing to pay all of the organization and administration costs. I assume that the tables don't require quarters for each game, since there is a greens fee.
But if the greens fee is announced up front, I see no problem with the wording.
I think that two kinds of people go to pool tournaments expecting to actually make money: fools and champions. It's better just to expect good competition at reasonable cost. I don't mind finishing out of the money (any prize almost never covers my costs), but I do get irritated if the tournament is run badly.
06-13-2004, 02:51 PM
I just think it is the wrong way to do it. Like you say get some sponsor money from somewhere, and do a little work at making it financially successful. Having the players pay for the expense of the tournament is nuts. And to pretend they add money is almost insulting. Just say the entry fee is $95.00 with a 85% pay back or what ever, be honest about it.
"It's better just to expect good competition at reasonable cost."
Most players I see at tournaments when they are out, just leave. I don't think they are there for the camaraderie or great competition, they don't even watch the tournament, I am not sure why they come. That may have been the case years ago, tournaments were an more an excuse to get together and match up, ( a lot of players in the same place at the same time ), you didn't care that much what the prize money was, that is not why you came.
06-13-2004, 03:38 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr>
Most players I see at tournaments when they are out, just leave. I don't think they are there for the camaraderie or great competition, they don't even watch the tournament, I am not sure why they come. <hr /></blockquote>
Uh, I can't be positive but I think they came to win money. /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
06-13-2004, 05:08 PM
"Uh, I can't be positive but I think they came to win money."
I doubt that, they don't match up or gamble, not even a bet on the side. And in a 64 player field maybe 6 or 8 will show any profit at all. These guys come, lose, get pissed, and leave. Like I said I don't know why they come at all. They obviously do care much for pool. My response was to Mr. Jewett's image of fun, camaraderie, and a good time had by all. Not even the people putting on he tournaments seem to enjoy it, they usually act like they hate the tournament as well as the players and can't wait till it is over. I was at one of the known tours and during the final instead of trying to put on a nice show for the spectators, lights down in the room, focus on the final, give it a little drama. They were busy getting all their junk together, making all kinds of noise and never even announced the final. Most people did not even know the final had started yet. Plus you have to listen to them bitch about the tournament and how they have a long drive home now and have to get up early. My only answer is, if you don't want to put on a tournament, then don't, you are not doing anybody any favors.
06-13-2004, 07:35 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I doubt that, they don't match up or gamble, not even on the side. And in a 64 player field maybe 6 or 8 will show any profit at all....<hr /></blockquote>
I think it is usually a smaller percentage of the field than even that. If it's a local tournament, you're lucky if 5th pays $200. For me to play in Reno, it would cost about $700 total (travel, room, food, entry) and I'd have to finish in the top 12 of 200 to get $800 back (based on 2003). Finishing under 12th last year were Max Eberle, Danny Medina, Kid Delicious, Dick Lane, Rafael Martinez, Scott Frost, Corey Deuel, and maybe other top players who didn't even make it into the money.
I think it's a mistake to think of tournament pool as anything other than an expensive hobby unless you finish
in the top 4 most of the time.
And in Reno you have reasonable money odds, since the hotel more or less doubles the entry fees ($23000 added with a $100 entry fee). Of course, they make it up with the room rent and the "voluntary entertainment tax" they charge in the casino.
06-13-2004, 08:09 PM
You hit it right on the head. See it for what it is, a hobby with a certain amount of expense involved. Go to a tournament not to make money but to play and compete. If you get knocked out stay and support the tournament. Enjoy the matches spend a little money in the room support the sponsors and so on. I go to tournaments and during the final there is not hardly a player that played still around. While I am on the subject, the promoter should put on a jam up final. I don't care how small the tournament is, put on a good final. Lights low, introductions, recognize the players that played in the tournament, tell who the finalists are and who they beat to get there, make it a happening event. This final is the reason you had the tournament, give the players the respect they deserve. I used to play in some tournaments put on by a guy named Bill Steagall (SP?) I am telling you he could make a small room tournament seem like a world championship. They were some of the best produced tournaments I have ever seen. It cost nothing extra to do it right. He had this speech he would do at the end of every tournament before the final, "Ladies and gentleman we started with 45 players on Wednesday and we are now down to two", and so on, when he was done and the lights were out except for the main table with Bill there in his blue suit ready to referee, you were on the edge of your seat ready to see a show. Most of the people putting on tournaments don't even try. I need to add Steagall's tournaments drew everybody. Hall, Sigal, Rempy all the players of the 70's and non stop action.
06-13-2004, 09:53 PM
Popcorn, what you describe sounds like the tournaments R. H. Gilmer has at Southern Billiards in Starkville, MS. If you are ever in that area during his spring or fall tournaments give 'em a looksee. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
06-14-2004, 12:52 AM
Glad to hear it.
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