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CSI Special Private Side Pool

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Wednesday, 11 March 2015, at 3:45 p.m.

In Response To: CSI Special Private Side Pool (Stick)

Stick, if you had 30 percent to win a single match and the entry fee was $20,000, how many of these events would you make, Stick? BG tournaments don't cost $20,000, but it's all relative to your income, your family needs, and your priorities.

It's all relative. I can certainly see where Jason is coming from, and he had the guts to say out loud what many of my students and friends have said privately.....they can't see laying out all that money and so much of their time to come to a lot of tournaments where their expected return is terrible. Even people who have the money and can easily afford it don't like being the fish tournament after tournament.

How often do you think the lower-open player cashes? How about a middle-open player? If he plays in 6 tournaments a year, how much is it likely to cost him including all costs, compared to the average Giant?

Your response is typical of most Giants, because it's been so long since you went to a tournament as a huge underdog, you can't really empathize and know how that feels. Here is someone who came right out and said that the more Giants the less likely he is to come. Whether you think that is a reasonable decision or not does not alter the fact that he thinks that way, and so do many others. And for many, it's not even how many Giants, but how many really good players there are they believe are far better than they are. So they only go to tournaments in their home area and maybe one or two others, and far too many low open players just don't go at all and take up other games.

I want tournaments to flourish. I want a lot more people to come, and have fun and keep coming. That's why I want to see more places paid. That's why I want to have some action on the side where players of reasonably-equal skill have a chance to win. And unlike some, I do want to see Mochy and the greats make enough money off the rest of us to be able to afford to travel around the world. The game needs its heroes, its superstars, to flourish. We don't want to keep losing every great player to poker or other pursuits because there is no money in backgammon. So leveling the money a little is one way to help the lower open players without hurting the Giants...again, in the long run if we keep more people coming to the tournaments, it will help them.

That's why we have an intermediate division and Advanced Jackpots and don't allow open players to compete...so that people at that level have a reasonable chance to win. Well, in the Open we are paying a lot more money and there is a much greater diversity of skill level and a much lower potential for cashing from the lower 2/3 of the bracket.

I would love to see the real numbers, but I would bet that the Giants constitute something like 10 percent of the open players and they have probably taken home something like 60 percent of the prize money. And if you could identify the lower 1/3 of the Open players, I would bet they have walked away with less than 10 percent of the prize money. We need to even this out a little, and side pools and events for non-giants tend to do just that. By the way, we aren't talking about a lot of money here...but we are talking about having a good feeling of competing on a level playing field and maybe walking away with a few bucks that we had a more reasonable chance of winning. It's about feeling and perception and enjoyment of the event as much as the real dollars that are moving.

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