Prize Money Distribution

Updated by Geoffroy "Vomact" Piot


Giving money sounds cool, but the way you’ll distribute it is a bit more complicated. We give you advices and examples on how you could share the money pool between the participants !


How do you then distribute the money prize? The answers are numerous, and depend on different factors:

  • The pool of money to be distributed between the participants
  • The number of participants
  • The number of participants you want to reward
  • How much you value final rankings
  • The treshold sum at which the participant earned more than he spent on the registration fee
  • The type of participant: single player, or team ?

Depending of your preferences, the distribution can change greatly. Let’s take a few examples, with $1,000 tournament.

  1. Winner takes all
    The title says it all, this type of distribution gives all the money pool to the final winner. Easy to understand, quite exciting, but very polarizing too, as much of the participants who don’t believe they can’t ultimately win won’t find any incentive in entering the tournament. This method is a better fit for a duel between two participants.
  2. The 50% rules
    This method gives 50% of the prize money to the winner, $500. The second will then get 50% of the remaining money pool, $250. The semi finalists win $125 each. This method proved to be very efficient, as it is simple to understand and fairly rewards performances.
  3. The Long Tail
    An alternative from the “50% rules”, the long tail will decrease the percentage difference in earnings, as we get lower into the participants ranking. For example, the top finisher gets 50%, the second gets 25%, the third gets 15%, fourth 10% and so on.
    This method make each additional win more an more lucrative.
  4. Everybody wins!
    The rule here is that all the participants of your tournament will win money, with a minimum of their original participation fee. Of course, this rule works if you get additional money pool, from sponsors, else, everybody would then earn the money they gave you.
    This is a great method to get people into participating, but it hurt the top participants final earnings.
  5. Make your own
    The more you’ll look for examples of money distribution, the more rules and methods you’ll encounter. From the World Series Of Poker to The International, no one follows the same rules. So just act with all the rules and examples we’ve laid out on this post and find your own formula!

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