Hi Brandon. Last year's tournament was well run and well received by the dedicated competitive tournament players in Colorado and from chatting with other high level players at the Texas Pinball Festival and now at OKC's Silverball Showdown, there are quite a few people traveling in for the RMPS tournament this year. So with that in mind, I would strongly recommend that you keep the format Ryan implemented last year and absolutely payout 100% of entries.
I would also recommend coming to our local IFPA sanctioned tournaments 1st Sundays 1up LoDo, 3rd Sundays 1up Colfax, 1st Wednesdays Press Play Boulder (meet Ryan!) and Lyons Spring Classic May 26-28 (a former long running PAPA Circuit event). It would be highly beneficial for you to meet the players that will be in the RMPS because you will need our help. Just as Ryan did. As we all know Ryan well, it was easy for him to acquire reliable tournament games, backup games for the inevitable catastrophic malfunction, an army of score keepers, technicians and seasoned TDs to lean on for rulings and procedures. This help was not sought on Pinside but within the community, at the arcades where we regularly meet to play.
We are a close knit group and any resistance or apprehension you may be experiencing is because we don't know you. With only 42 days remaining, now is the time to make friends. We are opinionated and competitive but I got involved not all that long ago and CO players welcomed me into the fold, showed me the ropes and have become good friends. We're a warm bunch of people. I think you'll like us once you get to know us.