Monday 15 October 2007

Tournament Payouts

Tournament Payouts
By Mick McCloskey

I understand that there has been some discussion lately about tournament payout structures so I may as well add my two pence worth to the debate.
There are basically two schools of thought. Those who think that the present top heavy structures are fine and those who think that a flatter payout would do away with most of the deal making that currently takes place in tournament poker. It is not unusual to see five or six way deals being done at many of the major festival events in Europe these days.
I would be included in the second school of thought but perhaps would go even further down the road of flatter payouts. I know many top European pros who have done well in tournaments and have accumulated plenty of prize money and ranking points but could end up making no money at the end of the year because of tournament entries and travelling and accommodation expenses. I would say that there are very few players, if any, who make a living from tournament poker alone. While one major outright win a year would probably solve this problem, achieving this outcome in reality is an enormous task. Sometimes, even getting to play in a major event is an accomplishment for many, non sponsored pros.
I would suggest that poker players could do worse than look at the way things are done on the pro golf tours. At each tournament the top 40%-50% of the field qualify for the last two rounds and all qualifiers are paid. This should ensure that even those at the bottom of payout structure will cover their expenses for that particular event. I am not suggesting that the same percentages should be used in poker but I would suggest that, in two day events, anyone who has to return for the second day should be paid. After all, any player involved will have additional travel or accommodation expenses, at the very least. A structure like this would help to keep the more consistent players on the tournament trail active and help to ensure that there is always a nucleus of travelling players who can support the many festivals now scheduled every year.
Whether this model can ever be achieved, I don’t know. What I do know is that it would first need the formation of a union or association to represent the players in Europe and that would be the subject of a whole different debate.

No comments:

Post a Comment