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Author Topic: Tournament entry fee and prize support  (Read 1908 times)
Khahan
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« on: October 11, 2015, 10:50:42 am »

So basic questions here considering P9 are individually $800-$1200 these days for mox/walks:

1. How far would you travel for a tournament that offered a P9 as a prize?

2. How much would you pay in an entry fee?
$25
$30
$50?

3a. Would you be ok with a $ cap (for example $900) and ordering the p9 of your choice from ebay on the spot upon winning or would you prefer to have a specific P9 card already in store?
3b. How do you feel about P9 "dependent on turn out"?

4. What about prize support for 2-4?  What are the expectations for these spots?
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brianpk80
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2015, 05:01:36 pm »

1. We go to marquis events in Connecticut, New York, Maryland, upstate New York, Philly, and Jersey so I'd say 3 hours max.  Western PA has been on the table for consideration but never materialized, likely due to the abundance of closer events. 

2. $80.  $100 for NYSE's.  The thing is once you commit to that kind of drive, you're already spending well over $50 in gas, tolls, and then probably another $25 for food.  So the increase in entry fee ends up being a much smaller % increase in total expenditures for the day.  Imagine spending $75 to travel and have a $10 entry fee for a poor prize.  It is much more sensible to pay $55 for a larger prize (cause the comparison point then is $85 to $130 rather than simply $10 and $55).  

3. Specific P9 helps raise confidence in guaranteed prizes.  If it has a buy back or can be traded for a different condition piece, that helps also.

3b.  Definitely not.  While prizes aren't why I play Magic (they're cool bonuses at the end of an already great day), I've heard too many horror stories of people committing a lot of resources to win a distant event and have the prize reduced based on attendance.  Is best to try the inverse actually, to say $500 store credit for first "but if we reach 75 players, the prize is Mox Jet."

 
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Chubby Rain
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2015, 05:52:39 pm »

Most Vintage players I know (including me) will pay more and drive further for top notch prizes. $50 to have a shot at a Lotus, $100 to have a shot at top 8 power 9. The big things though are guaranteeing the prize and taking time to promote the event to maximize attendance. Prizes can also be top heavy, in my opinion.
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Khahan
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2015, 06:46:59 pm »

<i>3. Specific P9 helps raise confidence in guaranteed prizes.  If it has a buy back or can be traded for a different condition piece, that helps also.</i>

This is the big one I was most interested in.  If you remember the old Blue Bell/CCG games tournaments I was very active with assisting to organize those. Some of the same people are discussing starting up again and I'm trying to get ideas on where to start to make these worthwhile for guys to come down from NY, NJ, Western Pa etc.

My thinking was this:

1st place is guaranteed a P9 with a value up to say $800.  At the end of the tournament, can log into Ebay and use a buy it now to get the P9 of winners choice. 
Reason being is that P9's used to be $300-$500. Somewhat reasonable for a TO to put out for one have a decent entrance fee and stand a reasonable chance of breaking even. But now from the prices I'm seeing the TO is looking at shelling out $800-$900 for the 1st place prize alone and risks drawing 20 people at $25 a shot. That's a big loss for a store to take.

So would something like this interest people enough to drive a few hours:

1st: mana drain (if we get 50 players, we'll bump to a mox pearl which will be ordered from ebay at end of tournament and delivered to winning players address with gauranteed shipping/insurance paid)
2nd: mana crypt (if we get 50 2nd place may choose between drain and crypt)
3: something comparable
4: something comparable
5-8th: store credit

I'm not the TO so its not really my money I'm spending. But that player threshold and bump up would do 2 things in my eyes: a) incentive to show and reach that threshold   b) insulate the TO against a major loss

Those numbers could be tweaked, too. Instead of $25 entry fee and a bump up at 50 players it could easily be a $30 entry fee and a bump up at 35 players. Or even a $40 entry fee and a prize bump at 25 players.  more interested in what people in the northeast think of the concept.  While Mistertrek (the old CCG's organizer) is not doing this anymore, its a lot of the same people assisting him and its a store he helped get off the ground. The confidence in reliability of the TO should be there.

The store owner brought up the idea of starting up the vintage tournaments again. I'm trying to work with him to give him the best vintage scene we can get in the region.   My thinking is a bit outside of the box and I'm just not sure  how it would be received.
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Smmenen
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2015, 03:02:23 am »

So basic questions here considering P9 are individually $800-$1200 these days for mox/walks:

1. How far would you travel for a tournament that offered a P9 as a prize?


90 minutes each way. 

Quote

2. How much would you pay in an entry fee?
$25
$30
$50?


$30.

Quote
3a. Would you be ok with a $ cap (for example $900) and ordering the p9 of your choice from ebay on the spot upon winning or would you prefer to have a specific P9 card already in store?

Card already in store.

Quote
3b. How do you feel about P9 "dependent on turn out"?

less likely to go.

Quote
4. What about prize support for 2-4?  What are the expectations for these spots?

I think dual lands make excellent 2nd place prizes.
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saspook
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2015, 12:37:59 pm »

Too many fake or questionable cards on ebay to make it interesting, as well as variable condition.  If I win, why should I have to deal with the logistics of ordering and shipping of cards and what happens if the there is an issue?
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Prospero
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2015, 11:38:39 am »

This is all assuming that I am actively playing.

So basic questions here considering P9 are individually $800-$1200 these days for Moxen/blue power:

1. How far would you travel for a tournament that offered a P9 as a prize?

2.5 hours.  This is usually what it takes to get to Top Deck Games from Long Island.

2. How much would you pay in an entry fee?
$25
$30
$50?

If I'm going to play in a tournament, it's not so much about the entry fee.  I've purchased the VIP package at Eternal Weekend every year and if I wasn't the organizer for the NYSE Open, I'd pay $100 for entry.

3a. Would you be ok with a $ cap (for example $900) and ordering the p9 of your choice from ebay on the spot upon winning or would you prefer to have a specific P9 card already in store?
3b. How do you feel about P9 "dependent on turn out"?

No.  I want the cards on hand.  I don't think that fakes are as prevalent as we may have once feared they'd be, but there is something to be said for playing in an event, knowing what you're playing for beforehand, and walking out with the card that day.  I think it's important to have the support on hand.  You don't want to be following up with guys weeks after their win.

4. What about prize support for 2-4?  What are the expectations for these spots?

When you're running an event at a shop, typically the store will take 10-20% for their cut.  If the store doesn't provide you with a judge, you need to account for having a judge on hand (usually another $75).  Finally, the tournament organizer should make something for the event because:

1.  Organizing events is not a charity.
2.  Guaranteed prizes means an assumption of risk. 

I gave out a Beta Jet at a 13 man tournament.  I gave out an Unlimited Time Walk and an Unlimited Ancestral Recall at a 29 man event.  Losses happen, and they're not fun.  The organizer should be able to make a modest profit when the events they run are successful. 

Realistically, somewhere between 60-70% of your entry fees will go towards the support, 10-20% will go towards the venue, and the remainder will be split between you and a judge. 

The steady rise in value of power is terrible, terrible news for tournament organizers.  The basic economics of a Lotus tournament make it prohibitively expensive. 

Consider this hypothetical:

You're a tournament organizer, and you announce a Lotus tournament.  You acquire an Unlimited Black Lotus at a good deal, $2,500.  You find a venue that will charge you 10% of paid entries.  You find a judge who knows the format and will work for $75 for the day. 

In order to pay for the Lotus, judge, and venue, you need 58 players, who all paid the $50 entry fee.  There is no second place prize.  And, remember, 58 players entering your event leaves you with a $35 prize for second place, unless you intended on paying yourself.

The sad reality is that Lotus tournaments are now virtually impossible.  I run one per year.  Calvin runs one per year.  Coss runs one event a year where the prize is worth more than a Lotus.  For the U.S., that's it.  It's a huge commitment, both for the organizers and the players.  If you're going to run a Lotus tournament, you need to commit to making it really, really big, because you can't just give away that Lotus.  The only way to pay for that Lotus is to either charge a higher entry fee ($100 at the NYSE Open) or create a model where you're going to draw many, many more players to chip in towards that Lotus.  Something has to give. 

I didn't intend for this to be an exploration on the dearth of Lotus tournaments, but here we are.

Regardless, good luck organizing events.
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