Originally Posted by Mike Johnson
I'm not going to win this, am I?
Interesting discussion. I run quite a few cue-sport tournaments and byes are always an issue, even more so if you seed the tournament.
I haven't listened to the discussion yet, but i'll add (from experience) that late withdrawals are also a big issue too. In a tournament that size with early registration, typically 2-3 players who get a bye in the first round also end up with a second bye in the 2nd round as people decide to go home rather than wait around (probably less of an issue at $10k buyin)
Your premise that "[Players playing the extra round have a] 0.4% chance of winning. Players who didn't have to play the match started with a 0.8% chance of winning." Hence paying half the buy-in is fair. This is correct a) After the draw and before R2 b) If we ignore player ability.
On the flip side all players have the same equity (ignoring ability) when they pay at the cage, with the same odds of drawing a bye.
You could easily take either side of the argument, but the side where players pay more vig, and less administration is required is always going to win.