#1: The payout scheme? Is it winner-take-all (which I personally hate), or graduated, like winner gets half the take, 2nd place gets half what 1st got, 3rd gets half what 2nd got, etc. down to the 6th place person (which is how almost all tournaments do it).
At present, the payout scheme will be in three increments of 50% for first, 30% for second, and 20% for third place. Matthew has suggested that all players at the final table at least get their buy-in back, but that will depend on how many players we get overall. I will take suggestions from players because I want this to be as much fun for everyone, however, I will be making the final decision as we're counting up all the entries.
#2: Tables: How many people per table?
alcamar, zordac, and I spent the last couple weeks making custom poker tables that seat six. At the final table, there will also be six players which will be chosen through time elimination, i.e. it doesn't matter how many people are left at your initial table, just as long as you're one of the last people still playing.
If the entries don't divide up well by six, then we might have a table or two that starts out with five. Table assignments and seating arrangements will be decided randomly based on pulling a table letter and seat number from out of a hat when you buy-in.
#3: Will there be an ante? What will the blinds start at, and how much will they go up every hour?
There will be both antes and blinds (the way the World Poker Tour does it). Both will start small but still guarantee action on every hand. Right now, I intend to double both the blinds and the ante every hour, however, I might adjust the time limit for the doubling based on our attendance. Obviously I want to set fair levels based on the chip ratio that we're starting out with: 50 white at $1, 25 red at $5, and 25 blue at $10.
#4: Do we have dealers, or are we doing players deal? For the final table we should have a dealer (we can get someone who has been eliminated already).
At the start of the game, the players will deal for themselves. I don't mind having a dealer for the final table. Even though our tables only have six sides, it should still be roomy enough that we can seat a seventh person for dealer. I'm sure there will be at least one avid eliminated player who would still like to participate by dealing. If I'm not playing, I'll do it myself.
I've got strict rules on dealing that coordinate with the Hoyle rulebook, which will also decide any rules questions as the game progresses, except where otherwise indicated. These will all be stated in writing (I'll have several copies printed so each person can have one) when you arrive.
More info I've added now:
If I get rules and dealing refresher outline written up with enough time for you guys to read before the day of the tourney, I'll post it here.
I'm buying a couple cases of basic sodas that'll meet most tastes (coke, diet coke, dr. pepper and mountain dew). zordac and I will also buy a few snacks and foods. However, I'm afraid I might have to ask for a few contributions (some of you have already offered to throw some money together to pay for your own sodas and food) or just leave a pitch-in cup so we're not taking a gigantic hit on food and sodas. You are welcome to bring your own supply of food and drinks and not worry about the group food, but if you partake of the group effort, it'd be cool if you helped a bit. That might sound very un-host-like, but I was reminded today of how much I had spent on making the tables and buying chips and cards and food, etc.
For dinner, zordac and I might cook burgers on the grill or you can bring whatever you want to be cooked and someone local who has been eliminated will fire up the grill to cook it. Or we can all pitch in for some sort of delivery. Maybe call-in a few carry-out orders to Pizza Den (::giant grin::).
Please post any more questions you might have.