No, not wasting your time. Good to hear someone is running them again. I ran a few over the years. I also bought the Tops kit for Whitestar games. It came with installation instructions, but the only decent documentation on running them is found in manuals. The digital Spiderman and TSPP manuals both have good Tops sections. TSPP manual is on IPDB, not sure where I found the Spidey manual. It’s out there.
I always ran high score with 5 winners, never bump and win. I ran them for about a month. I let players win more than one place, but no more than two. If you had the fifth high score and any other high score, you could keep playing because you would bump yourself with another high score. Two scores in the top four and you were done. Each Tops game was 2 credits (75 cents each) with 75 cents going into the pot. I never sweetened the pot. Always started at $0. Always ended on a weekend, so I could be there and pay folks when it ended, although it usually it took a while to pay everyone.
The city I ran them in had no rules at all for coin op, so I showed the pot value (in dollars). If your not sure in your area, you can hide the dollar amount. Will still show the leaders in attract mode, but won’t show dollar amounts.
When I ran them, I politely asked the local good players not to wait until the last day to put up big scores and they cooperated. They knew people wouldn’t keep playing if that happened, so it was good for everyone. Eventually, if kind of faded. Biggest pot was WOF for $402. Neil Shatz took first and $201.
You have to get a core group of players playing friendly. If players come in late and take money, that will discourage folks from trying again. Five running at the same time in one location may be a bit much. If the pots don’t get big, try less machines.
When a players gets a high score, they have to enter a 4 digit PIN number. At the end of the tournament, you go to the tourney menu and select data to verify winners. Whomever claims the high score should know thier PIN number (or they don’t get paid). To clear Tops info in attract mode, (quick) start and stop a tournament ten times. Good luck to you and your players.