I may be a bit out of touch being in a major pinball city, but I have an argument for and a concern of the system.
The $1 seems to be a non-issue, given that the tournament is a fun, positive atmosphere for everyone. As I mentioned before, the Kickback Weekly (Wednesday at 7:30 for the folks coming to town) is a $5 knockout tournament that pays out the top 3 and refunds the last place finisher. The attendance is constantly between 16 to 24 players depending on schedules, and about 75% of the players are above 1,000 in IFPA rank and 50%+ are above 2,500.
The place is BYOB, so generally a snack and alcohol potluck goes on. People are open to each other, and the good players don't mind helping the newer folks out or answer their questions. Other than a few personal "you dummy" moments, nobody's frustrated at the games.
Now for the standings. Recently, Cryss has been showing up and has won 4 of the 5 weeks he has been in. I've finished in the money in all but 1 week I've played. Otherwise, the rest of the spots are generally open for grabs, especially with a few "equalizer" games that can hand strikes to good players (Elektra, MMR, WMS Indiana Jones, BoPB). Even with the common trend of CDS and S P and someone else getting paid, nobody has had any issues that I know of and everyone is happy to see each other and have a good time.
I don't think the $1 will be too impactful to the player end, especially if the explanation is worded correctly. $6 Kickback or $5 Kickback weeklies with 20% less pot won't scare anyone away since the weekly community is quite accepting and positive. Besides, if you don't win you can always partake in the free craft beer/PBR and whiskey.
From the TD end, I hope that @pinwizj and @Vengeance create a system that makes the process as pain-free as possible. You've got until January, I believe in you!
From the other end, my concern is that the $1 system will incentivize the out-of-state PAPA and Pinburgh greats to take a swing at the PA Super Duper Mega Jackpot for SCS. Between the Replay Foundation, PPL events, and other PA leagues, there's a hell of a lot of potential cash that probably won't be going away anytime soon to play for. I just hope that PA SCS doesn't become the Eastern IFPA Major instead of a tournament mostly for Pennsylvanians and the foolish few who dare enter the den of wolves.
Oh well, that's a "play better" argument that I hope to set straight this week in Classics.