Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
26 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Do you play in cash prize tournaments? Why or why not? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Steve DeBaun
United States
Ventura
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I'm trying to figure out what gets people interested or not interested in cash prize boardgame tournaments. If you've played in one, what did you like or not like about it? If you haven't played in one, why not?

I'm asking because I'm running another $500 cash prize tournament for my new title, Ars Victor. This is the fourth time we've run this event. In past years, we ran it at Strategicon in Los Angeles. This year, we're trying out Pacificon in northern California.

Each time we've had a great response to the tournament, when it's running. We get tons of walk-up players, and people who "try it out" and then end up playing fanatically all weekend. But we hardly get any attention or interest before the event.

So I'm trying to figure out -- what gets you interested in a big event like that? What kinds of things turn you off?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
'Bernard Wingrave'
United States
Wyoming
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My impressions:

I haven't heard of many cash prize tournaments for modern boardgames. When I hear "cash prize tournament" it makes me wonder if there's an entry fee, as well as whether gambling is involved; I'm very unlikely to participate if there's an entry fee, and I don't gamble. So maybe you could make it extra-clear to potential participants what is expected of them financially.

Another thing working against tournaments in general is that they seem to attract people who are ultracompetitive. I like to win, but I don't consider myself all that competitive. I don't know if I would enjoy a tournament gaming experience very much.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walt
United States
Orange County
California
flag msg tools
Before terraforming Mars, Surviving Mars is required: Paradox Interactive; Steam.
badge
Please contact me about board gaming in Orange County.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have played in some, and I really don't care. If I want to play the game, I play the game. A regular tournament can attract the best players, but the prize doesn't have to be much.

Opinion: You would be better served by 1st $50+game, 2nd $20+game, 3rd game. That gets the game out in the area.

You're also treading close to the spam line. You should contact Chad about advetising on BGG:

Chaddyboy
United States
Olathe
Kansas
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Hello.
badge
Welcome to my secret message.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shane Hockin
United States
Tallahassee
Florida
flag msg tools
Tacos, Tacos, Yum, Yum, Yum. Tacos, Tacos, something that rhymes with dumb.
badge
SHH!!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Test
I have never done it and probably never will. I play games to relax and have some fun. I don't want to turn it into stressful work.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boaty McBoatface
England
County of Essex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
No, Not good enough, they cost money I can spend on actually owning games.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve DeBaun
United States
Ventura
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
@Steve Slater -- that's what I thought too, so we made it a no-entry-fee tournament. You just walk up and start playing.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Goldfinger
Canada
Burnaby
British Columbia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
slatersteven wrote:
No, Not good enough, they cost money I can spend on actually owning games.


espoon82 wrote:
I have never done it and probably never will. I play games to relax and have some fun. I don't want to turn it into stressful work.


My feelings exactly on both comments.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pete
United States
Northbrook
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll play them, but they're not my favorite. I don't mind losing money, but nothing brings out the pricks of the gaming world quite like a cash prize tournament.

Pete (doesn't recommend them to anyone who can't handle massive jackassery)
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Holt
England
Rayleigh
Essex
flag msg tools
This is not the cat you're looking for - some other cat maybe?
badge
tout passe, tout lasse, tout casse
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
plezercruz wrote:
I'll play them, but they're not my favorite. I don't mind losing money, but nothing brings out the pricks of the gaming world quite like a cash prize tournament.


This.

Also, I normally prefer to play a variety of games rather than sticking to one.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve DeBaun
United States
Ventura
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Sorry to sound like a broken record -- but we have a FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR CASH PRIZE TOURNAMENT. With no entry fee. So basically, you play with no cost, and we give you five hundred smackers cash. Is this still toxic?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Vincent
Netherlands
Arnhem
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sdebaun wrote:
FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR CASH PRIZE TOURNAMENT. Is this still toxic?

As was said before, money tournaments bring out the worst in people (or should I say brings out the worst people). Also, shouting it like that doesn't make it better...
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Vic R
Spain
Tomares (Seville)
flag msg tools
badge
Pure mathematics is the world's best game. It is more absorbing than chess, more of a gamble than poker, and lasts longer than Monopoly. It's free. It can be played anywhere - Archimedes did it in a bathtub
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I also will prefer to play with less prize (not higher than 100, for sure) and a bit more spread (top 4 with prizes, for examples). The reason the same that posted before: the bigger the prize the most ultracompetitive behaviour and chances to have a bad experience (from non-nice/sporty attitude or comments to even cheating). I play to have fun not looking for that kind of experience. Even with good opponent behaviour if I end losing, (the most probable outcome) I could feel like I have lost 500$, depending how long I had reached on the tournament, and that is the kind of feeling that spoil an evening, even if it is completely illogical, (you start with nothing and end with nothing so you dont lose anything)here is where a more spread and less higher prize help to remove that bad feeling after a loss.


That said a prize (even a low one) is always appreciated, and if it is low it probably dont get the worst of people as higher prize can. There is a reason that people like to play poker at maximum 5$ bids at home. Change that to higher bids and you got a potential problem going on.

What Im trying to say is that sometimes less is more.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Proper-Lee
United States
Levittown
NY
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As stated a couple of times above, my main gripe is the jackasses that come out of the woodwork when money is involved. Cheating/bending the rules and gaming the metagame comes out too instead of it being a relaxing gaming session with other players just interested in the game.


I've found tempers run higher, more rules nitpicking comes out, and just a more overall "serious" tone and less fun and socializing happens when real money comes into play. Interest may be high at the events just for the cash prize, but do people play or have interest in the game outside of that tournament? If so, those are the people more likely to be actual fans of the game and will promote it via word of mouth. I suspect a large portion on the tournament players only came to play for a shot at the cash but will likely forget about the game afterwards.

Also, if I'm learning a game for hte first time, that ultracompetitive atmosphere might taint my impression of the game itself, too. I'd be more interested in a game where people were laughing and having obvious fun vs where everyone is serious and only focused on the game in front of them.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
E Panayi
United Kingdom
Harrow
flag msg tools
sdebaun wrote:
Sorry to sound like a broken record -- but we have a FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR CASH PRIZE TOURNAMENT. With no entry fee. So basically, you play with no cost, and we give you five hundred smackers cash. Is this still toxic?


If you want to increase participation, change it from a FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR CASH PRIZE TOURNAMENT to a ONE THOUSAND DOLLAR CASH PRIZE TOURNAMENT.

I still wouldn't participate, however, for all of the reasons people stated above. I like the idea of playing a game a few times to become competitive, but not focusing solely on a game for the purpose of winning a tournament.

Plus, the pricks.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
bort
Australia
Brisbane
Qld
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You only have to read threads about why people play board games to realise that its the social experience that most people like - money is not the reason.

And, as said above, money makes people into jerks.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Ferguson
msg tools
designer
mbmb
I play in money tournaments and just as long as you have enough judges to deal with the tomfoolery and gamesmanship its okay.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
No No No Sheep
Russia
St Petersburg
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sdebaun wrote:
I'm trying to figure out what gets people interested or not interested in cash prize boardgame tournaments. If you've played in one, what did you like or not like about it? If you haven't played in one, why not?

I'm asking because I'm running another $500 cash prize tournament for my new title, Ars Victor. This is the fourth time we've run this event. In past years, we ran it at Strategicon in Los Angeles. This year, we're trying out Pacificon in northern California.

Each time we've had a great response to the tournament, when it's running. We get tons of walk-up players, and people who "try it out" and then end up playing fanatically all weekend. But we hardly get any attention or interest before the event.

So I'm trying to figure out -- what gets you interested in a big event like that? What kinds of things turn you off?


are you promoting your event here ?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Monica Elida Forssell
Norway
Sandnes
flag msg tools
badge
Gone swimming
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In general I don`t really take part in tournaments. I like it more just to play for fun. At the two gatherings I attend, I might enter a few tournaments, just for fun. Then I choose games I really would like to play. The prizes in those tournaments are games.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve DeBaun
United States
Ventura
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Wow, thank you everyone for the feedback! I guess we've been really lucky and haven't had any of the poor behavior you all are describing. But it's good to know what kind of impression everyone gets from the event.

Quote:

are you promoting your event here ?


I'm thinking about it... I think I still have some advertising impressions that I haven't used. But based on this thread, I'm wondering if it's worth it?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Irving
United States
Harrisburg
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As others have pointed out, cash prizes often bring out the worst in some people.

Consider the WBC and Pacificon's West Coast boradgaming tournaments: The prizes are plaques. Other tournaments I have seen have smaller gift certificates or store credit as the prize. About the most expensive prize I have been to regional qualifiers to the Settlers of Catan world championship--which awards entry to GenCon (incl. hotel & airfare)---but it did not seem attract necessarily more or better skilled players than WBC Catan tournament.

I also don't think most tournament boardgame players would be motivated by larger prizes. They more motivated by playing the games they enjoy against highly skilled opponents.

A classic example, a few years ago I played an El Grande touranment heat at WBC. I had no plans to advance, even if I had won. But what I got was an intense exciting battle with 4 other experienced, tough players--one of the most entertaining games I had ever played. That's the attraction of tournament gaming for me.

If this is mainly to promote your game: I can think of a lot better ways to spend the $500:
- Sponsor an event at the WBC. (I think I saw your game there last year.) This will get your game exposed to a good number of dedicated gamers.
- Give copies of the game/expansion/etc. as prizes--not just in tournaments but in raffles, etc.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve DeBaun
United States
Ventura
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I guess we've been really lucky -- at all three of these past events we've had nothing but fun, well-mannered people playing.

I think at this point I'm in too deep to reconsider the size of the prize, so I'm trying to figure out what would help overcome some of these perceptions. I have a bunch of video from the last tournament, I think it might be time to edit that down and show all the nice people that play.

In the past, we've been unable to give copies of the game as prizes because we were still in development. But this year, we'll be able to! We're also going to be running a bunch of smaller demos in FLGS all up and down the California coast.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walt
United States
Orange County
California
flag msg tools
Before terraforming Mars, Surviving Mars is required: Paradox Interactive; Steam.
badge
Please contact me about board gaming in Orange County.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sdebaun wrote:
I have a bunch of video from the last tournament, I think it might be time to edit that down and show all the nice people that play.

If you haven't cautioned players that you're recording for publicity, I would not do that with the video you've taken for playtesting. Remember, California is an "all parties consent" state. Besides, intending to release it, you'll take more care about background, lighting, etc.

sdebaun wrote:
In the past, we've been unable to give copies of the game as prizes because we were still in development. But this year, we'll be able to! We're also going to be running a bunch of smaller demos in FLGS all up and down the California coast.

Don't forget gaming groups. Land prices being what they are, many stores can't afford gaming space while community rooms, where gaming groups meet free, often prohibit commercial activity.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Hyland

Waterville
Maine
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't play any game enough to be competitive in a cash prize tourney nor would I want to.

I've played in some competitive heats in games at Total Con. Those are okay. There were prizes for the people who got the most points overall.

This meant, however, that there was a handful of (use choice explicative) going around the con acting like babies when they lost a game because they came there just to go for the grand prize trip to Gencon. The main strategy they use is to whine the whole game in hopes you won't attack them or get in their way of winning. Then you get to hear the excuses flow when they lose. There is always something someone else did that prevented them from winning. I've only seen that behavior at the competitive games, never at any of the pick up games.

Totalcon is a great con, the competitive games are really just a side show and I think they are fine. You know what you are getting into I guess in advance.

The only advantage to those competitive games is that they are all scheduled so you know when they are, and usually people know the rules so you are playing against other players who know the game which is nice because sometimes hard to find a game of experienced players at a con.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve DeBaun
United States
Ventura
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
It's definitely been an eye-opener hearing about other peoples' tourney experiences. I can understand the aversion.

I don't know if we just lucked out (3 times in a row?), or something about the structure of the tournament prevents these problems.

* We have active, full-time refs monitoring all tables during open play, and one ref per game in the finals. This helps new players learn the game, and cuts down on intentional or accidental cheating.

* It's set up to be newb-friendly. Because we weren't in stores yet, we set up the event to make it easy for new players. We always have a video tutorial running that people can watch, we start new players out with pre-made armies, and again, the refs help. Last time we had a new player beat out two previous champions for the win.

* We haven't had any rules-lawyering. This might be because of the active full-time refs, or a testimony to how solid the rules are.

* No whining. That might be more of a factor in a multiplayer game; in a two-player game, you *ought* to be blaming someone else for your loss.

* No entry fee means less sense of loss. It's not like you paid anything to get into the tournament, so there's less bitterness about lost games.

* Open play rules don't penalize losers. The way the open play is structured, you qualify for the finals based on games won, then ties are broken by games lost. That means a lost game doesn't hurt your chances; it actually improves your ranking against players with the same number of wins but fewer total games.

I think those are the things I need to focus on when I promote the tournament, and try to counteract the bad rep that competitive play has.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pas L
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
flag msg tools
Nothing will come of nothing.
badge
Speak again.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Now it feels like advertising.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.