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Tournament Added Money - Effective Use of Funds?

Posted By: Max Levenstein
Date: Wednesday, 20 May 2015, at 5:01 p.m.

To start, I have not done any polling of players attending this weekend's Chicago Open. So if you have, and it contradicts my opinion, please scream at me.

It seems that the "Added Money" from the USBGF ($100 in the Novice, $400 in the Intermediate) is a good gesture. I am not complaining that my prize pool has just increased. But in the spirit of trying to attract more players to game and tournaments, how effective is this added money? How many people who would not have attended are now going to because of this extra money? My guess is low.

Is there perhaps a better way use this money? There is a lot of research in behavioral economics around the idea of free. Humans, and I would assume particularly humans who love to play games for money, are irrationally more attracted to free things than those just marginally more expensive (http://danariely.com/2009/08/10/the-nuances-of-the-free-experiment/).

TD's could use this to their advantage. Perhaps instead of $100 and $400 in added money for lower level tournaments (and $500 for the 1 pt. Quickies), we just create a $1000 free roll for first time/newer BG tournament players. Advertising this on channels outside of BGO and USBGF would be mandatory (2+2 perhaps) where people with a love for games and winning money frequent often. If I were a truly inexperienced player (living around Chicago) on a poker forum and saw $1000 up for grabs for free, I would at least consider it or tell a friend who I know.

I know there are free rolls at some of the tournaments (Michigan comes to mind), but unless they are advertised, marketed, and significant enough in cash value, the effectiveness is just not there.

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