Forum Archive : Tournaments

Factors that affect attendance

From:   Stick
Date:   4 October 2009
Subject:   Factors for Tournament Attendance (2)
Forum: Forums

Here's a sort of comprehensive list of things that may influence my or
other's reasoning for attending or not attending any event. Always welcome
additions. In no specific order:

* Location, location, location. This refers to the proximity of an event to
one's own home thus facilitating the travel and also cutting down on
expenses and also to the city/environment itself. As testified to recently
by Bill R. the Colorado ABT event is magnificent to attend especially if
you have time beforehand or post tourney you can spend in or around the
city. There's the mountains, college town, beautiful paysage, etc... There
are other touristy cities like Vegas, Chicago, New York, etc..that have
their own draw. It also helps when you have a whore in said city, like my
Chicago whores or my main Cali pimp that makes it worth going.

* Added money. This is the ripe definition of 'foreign concept' for most
Americans. It's too bad that we can't scrap together something in the US to
help support the tournaments and make them +EV (or at least not as -EV) for
everyone. It's quite a feeling to attend European tournaments and I have to
check 'where is the added money allocated?'

* The TD/staff. There are TDs that I like more than others, I mean that
both socially and how the tournament is run. Ideally, they have both
qualities, but worst case scenario they only run a solid tournament. I can
excuse ppl for not getting along with me like they should, hard to believe
since I'm such a charmer, but the bottom line is the tournament should be
well run.

* The tournament format. For me personally it's not a big deal, I show up
and try to win, but I will admit there are some formats (Swiss eg) that I
prefer to others. Some lay more of an importance on this, things like
double elimination may matter.

* Clocked. This will be a larger factor in my personal choices to attend
future events while some think this is a non issue or won't lose any sleep
over it one way or another. As stated before I believe if we get everything
clocked, the mechanics running smoother, more things finished by a certain
time, there will be time for side events, speed events, more entertaining

* Entry fees/rake. To each his own. Some prefer higher entry fees while
others prefer lower possibly allowing more entrants. I think nearly all
players prefer as little rake as possible :) Ideally I think middle to high
entry fees would be preferred by all if and only if it was possible to run
satellites or qualifiers before the tournament.

* Side events. To date I have only paid attention to one thing I'd consider
a true 'side event'. While technically some may consider doubles or masters
events as side events, when I think side event I think quickies, smaller
jackpots, variations of standard backgammon. The event I made sure to
attend had Nackgammon as a side event, 5 point matches. Very interesting to
say the least, I made the finals and would make an effort to attend other
events where Nackgammon was an event preferably other than dmp play.

* The standings race. For most reading these forums that means the ABT race
but in Europe there are other lists that keep track of who is doing well.
At the end of any given year though you'll see a couple virgin faces
showing up in Vegas or Cali because they have a shot at being king for a

* Seasonal conditions. I have to admit escaping to Vegas and then to
California in November/December is appealing to me as someone who lives in
Ohio. The more shitty Ohio weather I can cut out on the better. Even though
Pittsburgh is heavily attended and I love the tournament itself, it blows
total ass that it takes place at the worst possible time of the year for
Pittsburgh. I don't know how many ppl this may keep from attending.

* Conflicts with other tournaments. This doesn't even mean the same weekend
or the weekend before or after. Sometimes it's too much backgammon no
matter how you slice it and you have to draw the line somewhere or burn
yourself out. For most also having a job, family, etc... will keep them
from tossing from tourney after tourney if they are crammed too close

* The expected attendance. If I expect the numbers will be brutally low
(under 24 though under 32 is still rough) then I'm unlikely to attend. This
affects my personal EV among other things. It's one reason I have yet to
attend 1000 Islands even though I'm told by those who do attend that it's a
gorgeous venue and a good time.

* The venue itself. For example in Vegas I loathe the Riviera. It's a shit
hole and at the crap end of the strip. I wish it was in a nicer hotel and
I'd expect the rates to be comparable. That being said, the playing room
itself is perfect at the top of the Riv and it's close to the Peppermill
which is in itself a huge plus. I don't care for tournaments where the
tourney space is small, cramped to begin with, it dampens the atmosphere.

* More location. I'd have included this in the first location, location,
location, but I had rambled enough. The proximity of the event venue (hotel
or casino) to local restaurants. I'm sure other things being accessible
weighs in on some people's decisions, like those tennis players who try to
escape a morning or two are happy to find that courts are just around the

* The price of the hotel. Even though it's not a major inconvenience price
wise it's still tough to swallow the highest rate per night on the entire
tour. This more or less forces me to stay with a roommate whereas I like
having the option of staying by myself. If it's like $90/night it's doable,
if it's along the lines of $140/night I can't justify it.

* Free wifi? This and many other oddities could be listed under the
*amenities* section (breakfast included?) but it's one thing in particular
I check for because if it's not free that's another $10-$13 a day tagged on
to the overall price.

A lot of things considering can be put under the umbrella of one of these
main sections. Other examples are amount of travel needed to reach the
tournament destination from the airport. I think it was the NY tourney
where I had to travel easily 45 minutes on annoying public transport to get
where I was going. Attendance is a factor not only because of the raw
number of participants, but the more ppl that attend the more bg addicts I
get to see. Etc...etc...etc... I'll happily add more major factors used in
the decision making process if anyone has additions.

Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     



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