B / Novice Division Thresholds, Sizes and Prizes

It’s the “Never Hit the Big Time Not-So-Open” where you can only enter if you’ve never made the final four at a major or won a Circuit event.

Or the “Next Step Down” event for those who’ve never even made a Circuit final four.

Crabtowne does this for their semi annual. Entryfee is based on your ifpa rank. But its really aimed at making it low risk for new players. Top players (<1000) pay $21… and goes as low as $1 for new unranked players

Two low ranked players made it into the finals

Assuming that at some point, unequal fees makes an event “not truly open in a meaningful way,” there are two ways to deal with it. The simple one is outlaw it entirely. The complex one is to put parameters on how different the fees can be. This could be “can’t differ by more than $X” or “can’t differ by a ratio of more than Y” and perhaps simultaneously, “can’t single out less than Z% of the people attending” (i.e. if you scale it, you can’t just hit the top 10%, it must be more broadly based, e.g. the top third).

The other issue, which I poke at a bit in my pseudo-events, is what kind of cut-off? Rankings? Past success at specific events or levels of events? Event success doesn’t change when the IFPA updates the rankings (top 250 when you signed up or top 250 when the signup cutoff is or top 250 when the event begins or …), but it’s also harder to come up with which events to use as the basis.

Just wondering if all of Europe is laughing at this and other prize money threads…


What are people’s thoughts on the tiered entry fees based on ranking? I kind of like it and think it might appeal to some newer folks as I’m trying to grow our scene out here… typically we usually have a very low fee though to make it easy for folks to enter

1 Like

If it’s not a huge difference then that’s not a major turn off for me. Something like $60 for people 2000 or better and $40 for everyone else is fine. But if it goes to something like $100 for top 500, $75 for top 2000 and $10 for everyone else it falls into the “why bother” category again unless you are the Keith, Colin, Josh, Bowen, etc’s of the world. I would see it as just another way to alienate the middle of the pack players.

1 Like

As someone who regularly flies to tournaments and who has no expectation of winning, the cost of the tournament is such a small fraction of my cost it really doesn’t play into my decision making.

I am over-ranked for my skill level, but I would be fine with paying more. I do think rating, MP rating or power 100 might be more fair measure since they are closer to “probability of getting payed”


The BPSO was a great event. So this is not a complaint, just stating facts. I qualified 17th overall. I finished 18th and won $46. A good friend of mine qualified 54th overall. Based on his IFPA ranking he finished 3rd in B div.(no finals) and won $100. I’m pretty sure the top qualifier in B won $250. I also believe the payouts in C were the same as B.


I’m thinking that with the right numbers, a tournament can implement the higher fee for elite players, but still on a purely voluntary basis. Set higher entrance fee for A, allow players to choose their division with no restrictions, but adjust payout so most money is in A. To further discourage sandbagging, spread B’s money more evenly across finishing, so sandbaggers aren’t tempted by decent size 1st place B prize. No changing divisions either direction once tourney starts.

With a 80/20 split A/B, would this work? What about 70/30 or 90/10? Are there elite players who would still do B in those circumstances just for the hell of it?

If the players can choose division, would this make all divisions eligible for WPPRs? Finishing scored just like Pinburgh.

My problem is that when the tiered entry fee’s are brought up it always works against players who have worked long and hard on their skills and rewards Johnny come latelys.

Lets flip the roles and see how the community responds. I’m hosting a tournament next weekend and I only want to play with serious competitors at my level. So the entry fee is as follows:
Under 500: free
500-750: 1$
751-1000: 20$
1000+: 30$

Payouts only go to top 4

I’m just playing devils advocate, but you can see how unbalanced entry fees and payouts can be used to customize who attends your event.

This example is obviously exclusionary, so it’s strange to me that the community doesn’t view all tiered entries that way.

I know I’m in the minority on this, but I don’t like the idea that someone can win a full prize on a subsidized entry. That doesn’t seem fair to me.

It still rewards those who win… not anyone for anything but that.

Your hypothetical is kind of wacky because it doesn’t actually appeal to anyone. Why would a low rank player with concerns over performance want to pay more… and making entry free to an elite player isn’t any incentive of merit as its such a tiny percentage of their costs.

This is just throwing things out that aren’t representative of what would naturally happen

I simply see the idea as having higher entry fees for higher payouts. The low cost entries are like marketing… they generally represent low disruption to the top players… yet pad the event, attract new players, and are basically just subsidized entries in the effort of marketing.

Ultimately the gauging of players should be set using a model that keeps a player from abusing it in an unnatural way. (Has convergence)

i would consider a lower entry fee a reward for anyone who is its recipient. YMMV

It appeals to me, thats why i created it. They may not jump out of the woodwork just yet, but i suspect plenty of people want to play with people who are at their level. Entire novice leagues exist because people want to play with others at their skill level, why should it be any different for advanced or elite players?

They wouldnt, hence why my tournament would be labeled exclusionary.

It could happen, saying it wouldnt is just wishful thinking.

18 posts were split to a new topic: Costs of competing and related issues

18 posts were split to a new topic: Volunteer hours & player decisions @ BPSO 2018

I’d suggest you look in detail at the Pinburgh payouts if you have a problem with BPSO’s.

This thread used to be a good discussion before it flew off topic and got all cluttered up.


Hey I was really enjoying the talk about payouts. Not to be a buzzkill, but if you’d like to discuss the ins and outs of open qualiflying or the ethics of volunteer hour, please start another thread for that discussion, or take it to PM please.

Hello! I have moved the off-topic discussions to two new topics as marked. Please try to keep discussion on topic!

Note that you can also “reply as new topic” at any time if you want to discuss a new topic that is inspired by a post in an existing topic.


Sticking just to the original point.

Quite clearly it is wrong to void a card after it has already been submitted and entered into the scoring system. There simply isn’t an argument for it.

The problem isn’t just with the player, or the TD; it’s with the format of the competition and the prize payouts that encourage such behaviour.

I can see 3 simply implemented solutions to stop it happening in unlimited entry formats…

1: remove all divisions, and everyone competes on the same playing field.

2: remove prize money from B, C, D divisions. Trophies only for B, C & D.

  1. players must nominate which division they are going to enter right at the start, and effectively run 4 competitions at once (A, B, C & D), with no chopping and changing between divisions. There can be the same restrictions put in place stopping A players competing in lower divisions just to cash, BUT lower players can play in more than 1 division if they choose, but their results will effectively be handled as separate competitions. If they qualify for finals in 2 divisions they MUST compete in the higher one.