Same old problem, different country..

Foosball chat / key issues and discussion
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bigjumbo
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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by bigjumbo » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:43 pm

Here is my view on this as a lower ranked player:

Without any significant external funding then the game is essentially self-funded by its player base. The discussion above is then related to how to distribute the cost of this amongst that player base.

I guess Mike would call me a "green-eyed leftie" but with flat-rate entry fees you are effectively asking the players with lower expected returns from events to bear the brunt of the costs. Remember that the expected costs are (Entry Fees - Expected Payout) plus some rank independent overheads. Making the Entry Fees rank independent may look fair but the Expected Payout fundamentally isn't rank independent. This is also true of the suggestion to divert entry fees for ranked events to subsidise open events - even with a deep payout Novice and Amateur players are unlikely to see any return. This seems really undesirable in a game that desperately needs to grow and maintain the player base.

For a self-funding system, to make it *fair* you would need to consider an entry fee scale based on previous winnings or something similar to estimate the Expected Payout - I'm not suggesting that this is workable or even desirable. The ranking system is making an (apparently poor) approximation to this but at least it does mitigate the costs that would be otherwise placed on the lower ranked players. The problem seems to be that the Expected Payout curves drops very steeply as you move down the ranking table.

I think if the Pro Master players are finding that the returns are not worth the stakes then, in an environment where it is difficult to attract people in to the game, expecting the lower ranked players to make up the shortfall is probably not a healthy view for the game. Paying deeper in Opens is clearly a better community solution as it improves the Expected Payout for all but the top few. Attracting external money is clearly another good solution and who would be better placed to attract such funding than the Pro Master players themselves?

Cheers,
Joules.

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davez
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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by davez » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:00 pm

Good post.
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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by Willy » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:02 pm

I'd be in favour of moving prize funds away from ranked events and just playing for trophies like Graeme suggested. It's a good feeling to do well in ranked events and I like having trophies from times I played well, whereas prize money doesn't even cover the cost of food at most tournies. The quality of the trophies does make a difference though (Nuneaton Open and Reading Open both had really nice ones).

When we organised the Warwick Open last year one of the concerns raised was that Pro-Masters wouldn't get enough games if they didn't play the group stages of open events. I think this would be an argument against putting PMs through early rounds, especially in the UK where some top players don't get to play competitive foos that often and prize funds are unspectacular. Why travel to a tournament miles away and pay high entry fees for 6 matches? That seems like the opposite of an incentive.

On the main subject of this thread, I think that the rankings are a great motivation to improve. If no changes were made to the current system it wouldn't stop me trying to get as high up the ranking list as possible. I don't think there are any real financial incentives that can be offered based on the fact that tournament costs are so high, and I think it would be unwise to raise entry fees as many of the people who attend tournaments are students. Realistically speaking nobody goes to a foosball tournament to make money (with the exception of the world's top players).

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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by CannonBallGuy » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:10 pm

Jason and I only ever entered Open events because they were cheap and including in the package deals.
We wouldn't even consider entering if they cost more than £5 to enter when we know we'll be knocked straight out.
If there is a chance of a "lucky streak" and you're a gambling man... maybe you'd pay a bit more.

The discussion is about the undesirability of becoming a Pro-Master - for us, it is undesirable to even hit Amateur when we struggle to get through the Novice groups. :(
Last edited by CannonBallGuy on Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by The Doctor » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:23 am

CannonBallGuy wrote: If there is a chance of a "lucky streak" and you're a gambling man... maybe you'd pay a bit more.
Roll a die at the start of the game with a 6 sending the lower-ranked team through automatically - job done. If this proves too random for the pros, we could use a ten-sided die, though these can be a bit pricey. :(

Tournaments would take 5/6 of the time, so we would all have time to help organisers pack up at the end and get back home for the start of X Factor.

Regarding the pro-master/novice situation, fixed group mini-tournaments populated ratings-wise of c.10 players would provide high enough expected returns for all, as well as competitive matches. The PM rank carrot (status and also now quality-of-match opportunity) could be grown by sending 20% of the lower divisions' prize funds to the top division. Events would not be fully open but if ELO were enabled, strong players playing low could still rank highly (high mobility across tournaments; low mobility within tournaments). Ratings could have built-in obsolescence (eg. the last forty games count; quantity, not time criterion) and satisfactory attendance requirements could apply (two tournaments in each quarter for first round consideration for the national team; time and quantity criteria).

I like the elite wraps idea: demoted PMs might not be allowed to buy any new PM wraps but be still permitted to use their tatty old ones, providing a handy visual metaphor for their declining powers. PMs who gained their status sans snaking could wear a crown. Ex-England players could get free Full English breakfasts, served to them by the long-suffering novices (I declare a personal interest).

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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by davez » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:45 am

Aha. Foos saves! Full English! Hmmmmmmm.....
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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by Mike A » Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:31 pm

bigjumbo wrote:I guess Mike would call me a "green-eyed leftie" but with flat-rate entry fees you are effectively asking the players with lower expected returns from events to bear the brunt of the costs....

I think if the Pro Master players are finding that the returns are not worth the stakes then, in an environment where it is difficult to attract people in to the game, expecting the lower ranked players to make up the shortfall is probably not a healthy view for the game. Cheers,
Joules.
No no no...

My point is that the extra entry fees that pro masters pay are to effectively boost the prize fund that they are competing for without having to raise the fees of the lower ranked players - this is fair.

Yes, if I had said that pro masters should pay less and novices, ams and sps should pay more then your argument would hold, but that is not what I was proposing or indeed actually wrote.

If pro masters decide that they no longer wish to boost the prize fund that they are fighting for, then reducing their entry fees to that of semi pros, without changing the entry fee of anyone else, will not equate to 'asking the players with lower expected returns from events to bear the brunt of the costs'. It simply means the prize fund will be less.

The question for Pro masters is do we want to do this? The alternative I can see is that we have side bets on our own personal performances, at least that way we prevent some lucky/underranked nov/am/sp from swooping in and grabbing a greater chunk of the prize fund than they actually contributed to.

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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by Willy » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:53 am

Mike A wrote:
If pro masters decide that they no longer wish to boost the prize fund that they are fighting for, then reducing their entry fees to that of semi pros, without changing the entry fee of anyone else, will not equate to 'asking the players with lower expected returns from events to bear the brunt of the costs'. It simply means the prize fund will be less.
Doesn't this assume that only PM's get any prize money?

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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by Happyham » Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:36 pm

Yes Tom, I also think it assumes that. Given that open events currently aren't paying that deep then I don't see this as an unfair assumption, nor do I see it as having any relevance to anything?

I could be wrong here, but if you're suggesting that it might be unfair on a semi pro who will get less prize fund because all the PM's will pay less to enter then I would say that the semi pro in question is incorrectly ranked!

I am not against the idea of players exceeding expectations, as of course this happens. However, to get paid in open events that seem to pay quite shallow (I could be wrong), you would be paying at a pro master level. Of course if no pro masters turned up and you placed in the money, then it wouldnt make a difference to the prize money as no one would be paying less money.
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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by Happyham » Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:47 pm

CannonBallGuy wrote:Jason and I only ever entered Open events because they were cheap and including in the package deals.
We wouldn't even consider entering if they cost more than £5 to enter when we know we'll be knocked straight out.
If there is a chance of a "lucky streak" and you're a gambling man... maybe you'd pay a bit more.

The discussion is about the undesirability of becoming a Pro-Master - for us, it is undesirable to even hit Amateur when we struggle to get through the Novice groups. :(
I'm sorry you feel that way.

How about entering the competition to get experience, and play against good players? In every game / sport / whatever you want to call it, there are going to be winners and losers.

I honestly think you have a very defeatist attitude towards playing, and question whether you really enjoy playing at all?

If you do, but only for fun then thats fine. Just realise that if you go to a competition you are going to get beaten unless you want to put in the effort to improve. *MOST* of the pro masters, and even most of the pro rated players in the UK today have had a time in their life where foosball was a big part of their lives. Where they practiced a lot, and strived towards getting better by learning from the beatings they took at the lower levels etc..

I am just like everyone else in that I want new players to come through, and I'm not saying anything new by saying that I believe it comes from new venues / player bases that have local competitions, then when those players get more serious about the game they can go into national tournaments.. Tournaments should cater to *SOME* extent for new players (rookie events, novice events etc) but should reward those that put the most time and effort into getting better at something they love.

If a short term fix was to ditch pro master fees to try and bring back some pro masters then i for one would be all for it.. I just question whether or not the fallen pro masters of the past would use this as a reason to venture back out into the tourny scene :(
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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by Happyham » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:18 pm

Just a thought (again I'm pretty sure this is not new ground!).

I think that in the UK (although perhaps not relevant to the US) there should be a lot more 1 day tournies.

These tournies should have basic events: OS, OD, OM, RS, RD.

Give trophies to winners of rookie events, and then pay deeper in OS / OD / OM (maybe not OM! :wink: )

When I used to play table tennis, I would play tournaments that would last one day then be home by night time. I remember winning an under 18 bristol (and surrounding areas), yet I don't remember winning any money for that. I don't remember caring either as I was just happy to win the title. This might have been different had I have paid for accomodation costs.

Having few events over one day will eliminate a lot of accomodation costs - which is a huge factor it seems at the moment.

I'm about to attend the rocky mountain open this weekend, and this will be the first tourny in a long time where I only have open events to play in yet I'm not a major contender for the titles. I am definitely excited to play, but would be much more excited if there was deeper pay in open (which there isn't), and if it was one day (which its hard to do over here).
I just feel having only open events strengthens the hunger to improve as well as give everyone the same goal. At the moment, far too many people seem perfectly happy dominating lower events then not playing again untill they are underranked again. I don't blame them, as they are trying to find a way to cover their costs!

If you take out the accomodation costs then I think you would get more of the older players turn up. Its less of a commitment, which makes it an easier decision to play!

Its not like the players from the past don't enjoy the game anymore!
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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by Happyham » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:30 pm

Willy wrote:
When we organised the Warwick Open last year one of the concerns raised was that Pro-Masters wouldn't get enough games if they didn't play the group stages of open events. I think this would be an argument against putting PMs through early rounds, especially in the UK where some top players don't get to play competitive foos that often and prize funds are unspectacular. Why travel to a tournament miles away and pay high entry fees for 6 matches? That seems like the opposite of an incentive.
I can understand that being the case with a lot of pro masters in the UK given the current tournament scene. For almost any other major foosball scene I think this would be a plus though. Given a free pass through the first 2 rounds of an intermediate / major compeition is a great benefit.
I LOVED not having to play loads of events and loads of matches at a tournament. As much as I am there to have fun and play foos, I also want to win - and this helped my stamina levels.

In the long run, when / if tournaments get bigger / tougher I personally would see this as a benefit.
Willy wrote: On the main subject of this thread, I think that the rankings are a great motivation to improve. If no changes were made to the current system it wouldn't stop me trying to get as high up the ranking list as possible. I don't think there are any real financial incentives that can be offered based on the fact that tournament costs are so high, and I think it would be unwise to raise entry fees as many of the people who attend tournaments are students. Realistically speaking nobody goes to a foosball tournament to make money (with the exception of the world's top players).
When I was rated rookie I used to love the idea of getting to be a pro master, and be in the top 10 rankings of the whole united kingdom! Once you get there, the shine wears off and reality sets in that you are having to pay more for less events just because you are seen as better than other players? What kind of reward is that?

Don't get me wrong, I am VERY proud of my UK ranking and I too intend to get as far up the rankings as possible in the states. Its just thats the only answer people can come up with when answering the 'where is the honour in being a pro master?' question. Once you get to be a pro master, you then see how the system is messed up, lol.

Here's a perfecet example:

At the US open a rookie went and won rookie singles/doubles, and placed in the money in both expert (semi pro) events, and pro events (I think). That person walked away with more money than Tony Spredeman did (Who I believe won OS and placed 2nd in OD).

On the one side, you have someone who is arguably the best player in the world and puts all his effort and time (15 years+) into this game.

On the other hand you have a relatively new player who swept out a bunch of lower level players and didnt even have to face top competition.

How is that fair? I can't look at that and say 'Yeah but at least Tony is rated number 1 in the world and that kid is rated nowhere'.
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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by bigjumbo » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:56 pm

Mike A wrote: My point is that the extra entry fees that pro masters pay are to effectively boost the prize fund that they are competing for without having to raise the fees of the lower ranked players - this is fair.

Yes, if I had said that pro masters should pay less and novices, ams and sps should pay more then your argument would hold, but that is not what I was proposing or indeed actually wrote.
I agree with the first statement above. In referring to your post I was only referring to the final sentence in your earlier post that says "Flat entry fees are fair, but the green eyed lefties don't like them" which was actually somewhat at odds with the rest of your post. I was trying to point out that flat entry fees are really not fair.
Mike A wrote: If pro masters decide that they no longer wish to boost the prize fund that they are fighting for, then reducing their entry fees to that of semi pros, without changing the entry fee of anyone else, will not equate to 'asking the players with lower expected returns from events to bear the brunt of the costs'. It simply means the prize fund will be less.
You are right to a degree but I was referring to flat rate fees across the board but follow your logic through. A lower prize fund doesn't simply mean that - it means that the *proportion* of that prize fund paid for by a lower ranked player has actually increased. However, the probability that that same player will take home that money has not and therefore, with a lower prize fund, the Expected Return is lower. This means the expected costs for SemiPros and lower, whose Entry Fee doesn't change, do actually increase: ( Same Fee - Expected Return) has just got higher. In practical terms the cost for SemiPro and lower doesn't seem like it has changed because the Expected Return in both cases is close to zero.

In calculating whether the costs are fair it is unimportant what that actual prize pot total is - it is the ratio, for any given individual, between the proportion of the total fees paid against the expected proportion of the prize fund that is key. If a player with a 1/100 chance of winning pays more than 1/100th of the fees that make up the prize pot then it is unfair.

I am not suggesting that entry fees should be completely fair - this is a game after all and there are non-financial benefits for the lower-ranked players to be had by playing. I did want to point out that the flatter the entry fees are then the less fair they are likely to be. While we are trying to encourage people in to the game, fairness is probably a good thing to aim for.

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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by ybbun » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:04 pm

bigjumbo wrote:If a player with a 1/100 chance of winning pays more than 1/100th of the fees that make up the prize pot then it is unfair.
Seriously?!

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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by bigjumbo » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:27 pm

ybbun wrote:
bigjumbo wrote:If a player with a 1/100 chance of winning pays more than 1/100th of the fees that make up the prize pot then it is unfair.
Seriously?!
Err. Yes. In a two person tournament between you and I, I don't think I would enter if we paid the same fees
as you are highly likely to beat me. If my entry fee was much lower than yours then I would have a go
- partly for fun and experience and partly because I have a six-sided die.

Please don't think that I am suggesting that entry fees *should* be completely fair. I'm not that much of a leftie. I do think that they should be geared so as to not put off people with no chance of winning at all.

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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by Mike A » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:47 pm

Lets be absolutely clear about this, we are talking about competition, there will be winners and losers. The losers will collectively end up paying more than the eventual winner/s. This is the nature of competition. We need this to be the case to motivate players to get better.

Trying to link your 'deserved'(!?) level of entry fees with your (guessed) probability of doing well is wrong, and there should be no place for it in open (professional) competition. Amateur events should be for those who do not wish to risk money beyond a small admin fee, open competition should be for those who are prepared to pay (lets face it, a very small amount (£10?)) for the opportunity to play the best, maybe win some money, or perhaps if they are open minded enough, even learn something about their game.

People who pay less than pro masters should not be entitled to win the full prize fund if they make the money places!

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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by Mike A » Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:09 pm

As a compromise concept (preferably not for open competition):

An interesting concept to explore further might be that competitors decide their own entry fee up to a maximum level of e.g. £20. If you pay £20 you are entitled to 100% of your prize money if you finish in a money paying position. If you pay £1, then you will only be entitled to 5% of whatever prize money you end up winning. This can then influence how deep prize money goes, allow all players to win a proportionate prize fund and allow those people who expect to do well to pay more and others to pay less.

This would need some complex and arbitrary rules to deal with redistributing any remaining fund, but this could be worked out.

Not seriously proposing, but an interesting concept.
Last edited by Mike A on Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:09 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by Bren » Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:16 pm

Discussed this with Alina we both agree the 'Open' events are 'Open' and you know what to expect if you are semi-pro/am and enter these. The entry fee for just these events should be flat. However Alina suggests that Novices should still get a discounted rate just to encourage them to take part. However from Am upwards the fee should be flat.

I'd also suggest to liven things up for the Ps & PMs why not introduce a relatively Higher stakes DYP for the top 16 ranked players willing to enter, with it paying something to the top half of finishers...just a suggestion. Obviously this probably wouldn't work as some people wouldn't know if they could enter until the day etc etc.

The DYP element is, obviously, to stop the best players teaming up putting off the lower ranked players

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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by Phil Williams » Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:24 am

Mike A wrote:
People who pay less than pro masters should not be entitled to win the full prize fund if they make the money places!
This is a fantastic idea. But why just stop with the open events. If a complete novice goes to a tournament and enters Open, Pro, Semi etc they should pay the upper limit of those events. Theres nothing special about Open that this should only happen on.
Now lets out this in perspective.
If a novice entered the Fireball open based on the above, they would have to pay the following single event prices (not sure how package deals would work)
OD-15
OS-20
SPD-10
SPS-5
AD-5
AS-5
I am not going through them all but you get the point, what they will have to pay will increase and stop them turning upto events.

So lets look at what would happen at the worlds in the USA.

Entry fees for OS and OD this year was $250 for each event. If an amateur (which most of our PM over here are) went over, they would have to pay $500 just for 2 events and if the proposal above also happened then they are looking at entry fees close to $1000. Is that the way to promote the game?

So what would happen if just the open events at the worlds had this rule where flat fees were $250 regardless of rank.
We all know the yanks complain at the price hike so..
Pros would have to pay $100 extra for both events, Semi $200, Amateur $250. So all this means is that the Open events would probably just have the PM's entering and a few Pros which is not good based on what i have read about attendance at events already being reduced.

My opinion, if a novice enters open events (and pay less), gets in the money stages then well done to them. They have obviously practised hard and put a lot of effort and commitment into it. If an amateur gets into the money stages above PM's or even Pros, you may have to look at the PM's & Pros they are above and look to see if they deserve the ranking they are given!
Whilst they are paying less at the tournaments, they are probably paying more money outside of the tournament playing games to get better and keeping the game alive.

Info taken from here
http://www.vifa.com/points2010/Trad.%20 ... eeding.PDF
http://vifa.com/pdf/2010/2010%20Worlds% ... update.pdf

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Re: Same old problem, different country..

Post by Christopher Lyall » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:03 am

PMs will gain from the game growing more than any other rank. If they want to improve their own situation then ultimately this is the best way for them to do so.

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