View Full Version : Tournament Payouts

06-13-2003, 12:34 PM
First off, let me state that I am considered an elite player and have won well over 250 tournaments. That said, one of my pet peeves is the way many tourneys pay 50% of the pot to first, and do not pay "deep", that is to say they divvy the winnings between say 3-4 players out of 32, instead of right to 7/8th, or 9/12th. And in 64 man events, often the payout ends at 9/12th, rather than going deeper. Given, in a 64 man, this may entail "playoffs" between tied brackets, but I believe the main value of tournaments is to instill the competitive spirit of the game, and to cultivate the desire to play better, with tourneys as a guage to success.

By giving lions shares to winners, the result is that lesser players simply will not play, because they have no chance of satisfaction or reward. i have seen hundreds of weekly tournaments fall by the wayside simply because the same players win and place each week. Even in the bigger events, participation drops off, because top out of region players sign up to grab the cash. In any market, for any bar or room, the goalis to generate return business. So why not reward the return players? In the long run, even the elite players benefit from this because eventually tournament play would be so rampant that a player could not possibly attend them all. If the tournaments paid deeper, they would guarantee themselves more participation and more immediate payback to the venue.

Too many owners, in my opinion, are fixated on attracting the top 3 or 4 players in the region, not realizing or understanding that this is the worst thing for them. Part of the problem lies in the tourney directors, who make payout decisions for the tourneys. Generallly, which is unbelievable, the top players run tourneys, and are simply interested in providing themselves opportunities to collect. Plus often these players are PAID to do the tourney. Now they have guaranteed dollars, plus chance at winning. Tourneys simply have to be setup to discourage top players, and encourage regular customers. Paying deep is one easy method. Another is to lower entry fees, resulting in lower payouts in general. Another is to substitute high value prizes as opposed to cash. Most top players have a good cue, and case, and accessories, while the up and comer would be overjoyed to win some of these goods. Result, more up and comers, less top shots. The owner makes more this way also, for $200 cash costs $200, while a $200 prize may cost just $100, and to the winner, holds the same value. Top echelon events are not included in this critique, but 95% of the tourneys out there are not top level. The rewards would come to the top players very quickly however, because as more and more "average" players got hooked, more and more tournaments would be available, and there would be more players graduating to the top echelon, resulting in better sponsorship deals. I also believe tourneys are run poorly at the "average" level. One guy sitting with a draw sheet and a pencil, yelling out matches portrays a hokey image. A large visible draw sheet, match sheets, and a simple microphone plugged into the sound system transforms even a basic tourney into an EVENT. Up and comers want more than anything to be considered a "player". Give them this. Even on a small tourney, create an image of a large event. The results are astounding. Also, take a excerpt from the marketing texts, create demand. Too many tourneys will be 32 man, but allow 5,or 6, or 7 more players, even after the draw is done. Or a 16 man event that becomes a 21 man. Not only does this create byes, but it creates no demand, and invariably pushes start times back and back, for players know they can get in. The best way to make your weekly tourney successful is to turn people away. They will enter earlier next week, be assured.

Nintendo did this about 10-11 years ago. They stopped shipping all units in about October of the year, and frantic retailers ordered from everywhere and anywhere, and ordered huge quantities for Xmas. Nintendo did not ship till after Xmas. This meant that all the customers went to every store requesting the units, and stores got a false sense of how many were needed, for each customer went to say 10 stores. All stores ordered for the demand they perceived, so all stores overordered. Nintendo shipped after Xmas, and inundated the market at a very high wholesale, and took over the industry. It was not until they made a major mistake in the competition with Sony that they were dethroned.

06-13-2003, 04:40 PM
Very well said. I find it very frustrating to play well, come in 4th, and they are only paying first three. At our local bar I convinced the owner to cut down the top prize money and to pay the first 6. Even if they only give $5.00 or a beer/soda to 5/6. Afterall, most of the players are just there for a fun night out. And whatever they win just goes back to the bar. Another bar gives 2 hour free table time on Mon & Tue during the daytime for anyone playing in the tournament. Jake

06-16-2003, 05:17 AM
Interesting points, but not all tournaments are run like that. Lucasi cues has been sponsoring the Florida amateur 9-ball tour for a couple of years now, and has recently agreed to start the same thing in the Carolina's. Payouts are made to approximately 25% of the field. Most interestingly, top regional, road, and professional players are excluded from competition. Response from room owners is fantastic. The tours are designed for the high level league players that will enter, but rarely finish in the money on the large regional open tours. Now these players have a tour that lets them have a fair chance at winning, and the room owners have well run tournaments that support the players that are in their rooms on a regular basis. A couple of notes here, entries are not accepted after the start time. Portable PA systems give them that "event" feel you spoke about. They also offer a points system where the top players receive an additional award at the end of the session.

I agree with you. My pet peeve is entering a tournament that "starts" at 1 PM and at 2:30 they are just starting the draw. A little professionalism goes a long way in making things more enjoyable, and therefore keeping the players coming back again and again.