Questions about large Vintage tournaments

@moorebrother1 Eh, the community is so hypersensitive to theft that I'm more worried at larger events than 1-off 150 person vintage events. Hell, I was more worried at SCG Con than at NYSE, Waterbury or eternal extrvaganza combined.

There's a will there's a way, and theirs 20g's in cardboard...I'm sorry to say, the long term survival of competitive vintage involves proxies, and it has for 15 years. Most American based old school allows CE/IE. No sanctioned vintage event does, and that represents a substantial difference in cost to enter the format.

@p3temangus Maybe Vintage should allow CE/IE cards. Those cards have already spiked. I do not mind proxies at my local card shop, I just do not like them for events across the country. I know that it makes the event bigger, and you even get more innovation but you also get more net decks and people who just dabble.

@stuart said in Questions about large Vintage tournaments:

Hey guys! The Romancing The Stones crew has been throwing around ideas for hosting a larger Vintage tournament, and I wanted some feedback on a few questions:

  • If you were to fly to a large event, how far in advance would you want/need to know about the event?
  • How good of a prize pool would you want to justify flying to an event? (This is obviously a little bit dependent on entry fees, obviously.)
  • How many big Vintage events would you likely attend in one year? Vintage Champs, NYSE, The Waterbury, and The Power 9 Series already exist; is there any demand for another?
  • Is Austin, TX an appealing destination? (I will judge the shit out of you if you say no.)
  1. A few months. Need to schedule a day off work, even for a weekend event as I'd need to fly down the day before. Need to clear calendar with wife which means a day in the hospital.

  2. If I'm flying, it should be power involved for top 8 with solid prizes for top 16. Door prizes etc. For the cost of a ticket and hotel stay, I could buy a piece of power. But then I dont get to play.

  3. big events: 1-2 at the most.

  4. Austin is perfectly fine. In-laws live there so the wife and kids could go visit her family while I play Magic.

Cheers everyone - this has all been really helpful.

We met last night and decided we're gonna take this in the Old School direction. The prize demands for Vintage are so high that we're not really comfortable taking on that risk/commitment.

As someone who prefers Vintage to Old School, I'm of course a little bummed that we won't be throwing a big Vintage event. That said, I do think we have something special in the works for Old School, and as I'm sure some number of you play that format, I'll post the details here soon!

@moorebrother1 said in Questions about large Vintage tournaments:

@p3temangus I think we all agree that using real cards is better and proxies increase the turnout, but I will not travel for a proxy event even with a large prize. The audience tends to be very different and I get very concerned about theft.

I appreciate that not everyone has 20K - 40K in cards but playing old school has shown me that if you want to be in the format you find a way.

That's just my opinion.

Me as well, I'm not traveling for vintage to see Scalding Tarn scrawled on a forest. It's just off putting. I said proxies suck in the sense that most
peoples proxies actually do suck. IE/CE or drawn proxies suck much less. Allowing power shop bazaar to be proxied is a decent compromise.

OK, this is a topic I'd like to return to. Obviously a January 2019 event isn't happening, but if I start planning now, I could shoot for a Jan/Feb 2020 event that's announced months in advance, so out-of-starters can plan for it.

First step for me is considering potential structures, specifically in terms of prize pool and player headcount. In reading over people's responses, there was a mix between "prizes don't matter to me" and "the prize pool needs to have multiple pieces of Power." Obviously, that's a pretty big discrepancy. I'm curious what people would think of a structure like this:

  • Prize Pool: $1000 cash
  • $25 entry, capped at 40 entrants
  • Non-proxy

If you're someone who would consider flying to play Vintage, is this event big enough (both in terms of prizes and player count)? I'm aware that a 1K is normally not the type of event people travel for. However, non-proxy paper Vintage on that scale doesn't seem to exist anywhere in the US, outside of the aforementioned annual events (NYSE, Waterbury, etc). Is that special enough? Or would it need to be bigger?

(Basically, what I'm struggling with is the Vintage player psychographic. On the one hand, there are lots of spiky players in the community, who also expect big payouts. On the other hand, our decks are all so expensive that you can never really make your money back. Likewise, most of us have money to travel, but maybe not time. And unless you come in literal 1st place, you're probably not making back the cost of a hotel, flight, food, etc. And on top of all that, we have high expectations for paper events, but aren't exactly flush with paper Vintage options. What do we as Vintage players really want?!?!)

@stuart said in Questions about large Vintage tournaments:

I'm curious what people would think of a structure like this:

  • Prize Pool: $1000 cash
  • $25 entry, capped at 40 entrants

Seems fine but with a 0% profit margin, how are you paying for your venue, judges, etc?

What purpose does capping at 40 serve?

Cheers guys.

@thecravenone That's a very valid question for any given TO. In my case I believe I have a way to manage that for free / cheap, so I'm not worried about it.

@Khahan I guess it's unnecessary. My thought is that with 40 players at $25 entry, I'd take in exactly $1000. If it goes larger than 40, there'd probably be an expectation for a bigger payout, which is fine, but it might just be easier to commit to an exact number and not have to worry about scaling payout. (Obviously if 40 didn't show up I'd be out of pocket some amount of money, but that's a different issue.)


Gotcha. You could always advertise it (and probably should since most expect scaling these days) as a Guaranteed $1000 pay out. Maybe add something like, 'Additional prizes to be determined for attendance over 40.'
That way people know at the very least what they are in for.

But my honest opinion as a TO myself - unless you are putting up big prizes do not expect people to travel far for your event.

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