Given that I am unlikely to prize any event, I'd greatly prefer that an event be affordable over having a good prize pool. Hell, I'd easily pay up to $20 for a good event with no payout at all.
That said, based on previous events, I'm unlikely to ever make an NYSE just because of how difficult it is to physically get there
I've skipped the NYSE the last couple of years because I no longer want to travel for just one tournament. Even if the prizes aren't great, a weekend of events is way more appealing. That way if I do bad in the main event there are plenty of fun things to play in.
I'm at the age now where waking up at the butt crack of dawn and driving home through the night for a one day event is not appealing. I'd rather just make it a long vacation weekend and enjoy my time with other players.
And multi-day events are awesome! Even if SCG puts on another Vintage event without the prizes they had before, just the privilege of playing 13 rounds over 2 days was awesome. It felt good to make Day 2 Swiss rounds, and it felt better to have a day of Swiss that was clearly the best players in the event.
I'd love it if the NYSE was more of an experience than a long day for one tournament.
In the defense of high end prizes, they definitely matter to people without power. Like I don't have dual lands and I'm missing Ancestral, so those things get my attention.
But at the end of the day I know this is still a game of chance. I view one particular tournament as gambling, but I look at a weekend of activities as plenty of ways to have fun.
Nick, you could give out gift cards to Boston Market for first and I would show up to your event. That said, you want to maintain prestige and give prize support that brings the wide swath of players to our small corner of Long island, you need a middle ground. 100-120 per head with a cash prize should accomplish that with the NYSE brand behind it.
If Lotus is $70 per head, then removing Lotus from the prize pool makes a great deal of sense. Perhaps you could still find a way to award power nine to all or most of the top 8 if it was among the least expensive range of the power nine. That would be my preference.
Cash is too variable for people to encode it as a meaningful prize.
@desolutionist - I hadn't considered it. Given the cost of cards, I understand the pressure, but there's a quality of event experience that is certainly diminished with excessive proxies. I'd want to really think about it before I committed to something like that.
@Smmenen - Last year, the Lotus was about 25% of the cost of the prize support (which doesn't include the venue, judges, security, etc.). The venue and the judges are pretty much fixed costs; I've searched for venues that were affordable enough without sacrificing too much on the quality of the experience, and the Four Point Sheraton really is just the best venue available for this event. As far as the judges go, there's an appropriate ratio of players to judges, and given that the attendance is never going to be set in stone with enough time to ensure that the ratio is exactly correct, without going over with judges (incurring the costs), and without going under (ensuring that the event has delays/problems), I choose to potentially go over each year. I'd rather have one or two extra judges in the room than have one or two judges less than I really needed that day. I think we can all agree that security is not somewhere any of us want cuts to be made. These costs are significant, and necessary.
This just circles us back to the original problem of the cost of the prize support. Even a diminished prize support is still astronomical. Giving out P8, sans Lotus, would already eat up the full prize support budget and put us about $1,200 over, with nothing going to 9th-16th. It's untenable. I very much want to run the event that I've run for that five year period, but unless we had 130-140 people willing to pay about $250 to play, it's just not going to happen. Handing out Underground Seas to 5th-8th would feel wrong to me.
Cash is also scalable. It's protection against getting blown out on the day. I could drop the entry fee to $100. The trophy, which I still believe is the best trophy in Magic, would go out. The altered Karns would go out, one to the winner, one to the sportsperson of my choice, etc. I'd be able to do a significant amount in giveaways, which I really, really like, as it's an opportunity to spread the love, and to support artists that the Magic community as a whole has benefited from, and maybe taken for granted, for the last 25 years.
I don't want to give out cash. If you remember, Steve, you interviewed me at GenCon back in 2011, and I discussed how I thought cash was the inferior prize. I genuinely don't like it, but I think, at this point, that it's likely a necessity. I don't want to look back at prize support that I gave out and think that it was weak. Underground Sea, Volcanic Island, et al, don't have the mystique that power, Shops and Bazaars do. Revised duals suck. Giving those out to people who flew in would feel wrong. The shop I went to from the time I was 18 till I was in my early 30's once had a thousand count box with duals in it. They were $5 per. To hand a dual to someone who paid $100 to play would feel wrong, even if it's technically not.
Nothing is certain. This is still a big commitment, there are a lot of things that could go wrong and kill this before it happens. That said, I hope to run the event. I'd need to have a rough idea how many players I'd be looking at beforehand, so when Brass Man is back from vacation, I'll follow up with a poll.
I just want more large Vintage events. Due to life circumstances, I cannot make all of the events so the more events that there are, the better for everyone in my opinion.
The prize support is never a consideration for me. My considerations are will my wife freak out if I go. So, I could not make it to Waterbury since it was on Mother's day weekend.
I think doing cash gives us another great event for Vintage and if my family life allows me to attend based on the when the event is, then I will be there.
@doomfinite For whatever it's worth, past NYSE's have had the Vintage FNM the night before, and a Sunday event the day after. We messed around with Vintage events on Sunday, then tried a Classic event, but have settled on Old School. The turnout for last year's Old School event on Sunday was strong (I could be wrong, but I feel like it was north of 30 players).
If you were able to make the event in 2019, I can promise that it would be a full weekend of Magic.
@Prospero I would make it out to your events, and even bring 1 or 2 people with me. To help make it successful, I'd even open up my home to allow 1-2 non locals a spot on my couches to make it easier for [ut of towners to attend the tournament if necessary.
This tournament is one of the largest in the country, and has a strong brand and a solid following. But, like with all things, change is inevitable. I completely understand the nostalgia aspect of things, but an inflates secondary market is a real thing. I know we have had a weekend of events every year, but I would suggest a smaller side event or two for those who scrubbed out of the main one (to start round 3 or round 4) which would provide more competitive playtime for those who come in from far, or even to help recoup costs. Side event could also be Vintage, or could be Legacy, Old School or a "Pre-Modern" event (I forgot the name, but basically was old border legal with a ban list) and could possibly be scheduled to draw non-Vintage players to the event at a time where main event players would start thinning out.
Regardless, NYSE has been a success for the community and I would like it to remain so and still be worth your time, effort and expense.
I don't have a solution to the non-P9 prize support issue, except to say more of everything else. Maybe you get a couple more cool cards commissioned to give out alongside the Karns for first and fellowship. Maybe you work with artists to come up with some cool print ideas, or some kind of sketches. If you can leverage cool Old School / Vintagey things that aren't P9 but can't be found anywhere else, people will still enjoy themselves.
Just my $0.002, but prize support is pretty much irrelevant to me. I care only to the extent that the NYSE would be (is) a "big event" that I'd like to attend. The price of power has become totally insane so I'm certainly not going to blame you if you go partially or entirely to cash prizes.
I'm in no position to predict the future, but I would want to play in the NYSE next year if you can make it go. The sooner you can let us all know about venue and dates, the better the chances that any of us can arrange to keep the date free and figure out how to get there.