On the Payout of Prizes

by Kevin Hyde
The paying of prizes is a means of providing incentive to perform better.
Large prizes tend to attract players from further away who hope to cover their travelling expenses with prize winnings.

I have tried a variety of tournament structures and will continue to offer a variety of tournament structures.
Sometimes, I'll depend on late fees and reentries to cover the costs.  Other times, I offer a percentage of entry fees as prizes.

The expenses that need to be recovered from the entry fees include:
Advertising (TLA's and fliers, typically)
USCF Rating fees for the tournament
USCF Affiliate membership ($40/year)
Pairing software ($80 + $30 upgrade so far)
Computer and printer supplies
Site rental (typically free for most of my tournaments)

What percentage of entry fees get returned to players as prizes?
It varies, but here are a sampling of some:

1999 Orchard Lake Campground Open
$$500 b/50, $12 EF gives 83% payout.

1999 Calloway Preferred (in sections)
$$35 b/6, $7 EF gives 83% payout.

2000 Faux Cu Two
$$300 b/60, $5 EF gives 100% payout.

2000 WNC Knock-Out
80% of entry fees

2000 Vilar Kelly
75% of entry fees

2000 Orchard Lake Campground Grand Prix
$$600 b/60, $15 EF gives 67% payout,  but $300 was guaranteed and the 37 paying players got an 87% payout.

2000 Saturday for Neal
$$400 guaranteed prizes, 32 players at $15 gives 83% payout.

2000 Saturday for Mr Harris King's Defender section
$$100 guaranteed prizes, 27 players at $7 gives 53% payout.

2000 Saturday for Mr Harris Flashlight section
$$55 guaranteed prizes, 10 players at $7 gives 79% payout.

Upcoming Tournaments:

2001 Fax Queue
Overall $$300 b/60, $7 EF gives 71% payout.
Top section pays $120 to top 8 players, a 214% payout if there are 60 players.
Bottom section pays $54 to bottom 8 players, a 96% payout if there are 60 players.
Middle section payout will vary from 41% with 60 players to 82% with 30 players.

2001 U.S. G/60 Championship
$$1500 guaranteed, 50 players at $30 gives 100% payout.  (We're hoping for more to cover expenses!)

2001 Orchard Lake Saturday
$$465 b/36, $15 EF gives 86% payout. (There's an additional $5 fee to the campground)

2001 Orchard Lake U1000 Scholastic
$$110 b/24, $5 EF gives 92% payout. (There's an additional $5 fee to the campground)

Bottom Line:  I'm holding tournaments to encourage chess-playing, not to make money for myself!