So, it's been a while since this thread was active, has anyone dusted off their skeletal scryings or survival of the fittest's and played? I saw Nick D. And Rich Shay play a game at the last Mana Drain Open (aka The Waterbury). I'd love to hear if there is any more interest as this era was (for me) the best.
I got an answer. I just got off the phone with an underwriter at collectinsure. They handle scheduled items differently than I'm used to. A scheduled item will be settled out for market value, regardless of the scheduled amount. This means if you schedule, say a black lotus for $6000 but a similar one actually has a market value of $5000 (I didn't get into specifics on how they determine market value) then you get $5000. If it has a market value of $8000 you will get the $8000. The only true cap is the overall policy limit you put on the policy. The scheduled items are more so they have a better idea of exactly what they are insuring.
I've organised dozens of chess tournaments over the past 18 or so years, from local opens to international level events, and when it comes to setting prices, my experience is that there is always the difficulty of balancing entry fees for travellers, for whom the entry fee is a minor part of the cost, and locals, for whom the entry fee is most or all of the cost. It might be a good plan to talk to the locals directly about what they are willing to pay, as they are the ones who will be most sensitive to the entry fee and any increases.
Being open and transparent about the reasons for potential price increases is a good plan as it makes it much more community-inclusive, and really reiterates that this event is basically a not-for-profit event run by the Vintage community for the Vintage community. Sure, Nick might make a couple of bucks out of it if he's lucky, but he's not gouging anyone and organising and running large events is seriously time-consuming.
I also think that while you can guarantee some prizes, there's nothing wrong with setting prize bands so as the player numbers increase, the prize support will increase as laid out beforehand. For example:
80-99 players = Lotus, Recall, Time Walk, Mox, Workshop x 4 for top 8 + lesser prizes further down;
100-119 players = Lotus, Recall, Time Walk, Mox x 5, Workshop x 2 for top 10 + lesser prizes further down;
120-149 players = Lotus, Recall, Time Walk, Mox x 5, Workshop x 4 for top 12 + lesser prizes further down;
150+ players = Lotus, Recall, Time Walk, Mox x 5, Workshop x 4, Bazaar x 4 for top 16 + lesser prizes further down
I haven't actually done a budget for that, so obviously actual details may vary, but it gets the general idea across.
To quote the great Stefan Ellsworth from last night's @Brass-Man stream, "MTGO: the interface you're afraid to interact with." There is a "feature" in which the screen resizes after a game and when you go to draw a card or to proceed to sideboarding, you end up clicking on the "Reveal Hand" button accidentally. It is possible this happened to the opponent @Preordain mentioned. In general, unless a random opponent asks to see my hand, I don't show it to them. Doing so unsolicited makes the opponent wonder, "why is he/she/they doing this" and it's very easy to come to the conclusion that it's meant negatively.
It's been a long time since people have riffle shuffled Vintage decks for spite , certainly in the UK at least. I usually riffle my decks however. I shuffle all decks outside of Old School, because the tool proportion is even lower than the already low element in vintage. Usually pile shuffle a couple of times then side box with a final cut.
Shuffle floor rules have changes a lot over the years, but there was a glorious period pre Paris mulligan where I repeatedly screwed mana weavers in low rel/casual events. I simply 3 piled their stacked decks and clumped the hell out of them. Whenever I've suspected stacking/insufficient randomization outside of casual, I've always called a judge. Sadly these have been upheld much more often than not, as there are cheats out there, though in UK Vintage circles, much less so in my experience (though there was a period where this was a real issue in Italy - I had one opponent playing 5 workshops for example in a tourney with power prizes.)
Re the issue of Minds Desire - unless there is some interaction while each storm copy is resolving, I'm always happy to shortcut and just shuffle once before it starts resolving, though I suspect this is against floor rules at comp rel, but is a big time saver.