# Can players in single-elimination rounds agree to split prizes unevenly?

Paragraph five of section 5.2 of the Tournament Rules states the following:

Players in the single-elimination rounds of a tournament offering only cash and/or unopened product as prizes may, with the permission of the Tournament Organizer, agree to split the prizes evenly.

Ana Lucia and Nikki are paired in the finals of a single-elimination tournament. The winner receives four booster packs, and the loser receives one. Five booster packs cannot (objectively) be split evenly. Are Ana and Nikki forced to play out the round, or can they agree to split the prize unevenly?

Assume that the judge is willing to allow Ana and Nikki to split if and only if the split is legal. If the answer differs between RELs, please describe how the situation would be handled differently at each REL.

• A more interesting scenario may be where the winner gets 3 packs and the loser gets none. Then you can't just have one of the players concede on the first turn. Mar 18, 2015 at 16:44
• @bwarner The total prize pool is 3 packs in either case, and it can't be split evenly in either case. How does the predetermined distribution of packs affect the final outcome? Mar 18, 2015 at 16:45
• @Rainbolt I think bwarner's idea is that 2-and-1 is the most even possible split anyway, and you can achieve it by conceding, so there's no need to worry about making a deal to split prizes. Mar 18, 2015 at 16:48
• @Jefromi If conceding in order to obtain a 2-1 prize split is legal here, then by all means make that your answer. Mar 18, 2015 at 16:53
• For the sake of preventing more comments, I just changed it to 4 and 1 (if they played it out). Now the most even split (3-2) and the original split (4-1) are different. Mar 18, 2015 at 16:58

You are referencing the wrong part of the MTR for you question the relevant part is a few paragraphs above that.

Players are allowed to share prizes they have not yet received in the current tournament as they wish and may agree as such before or during their match, as long as any such sharing does not occur in exchange for any game or match result or the dropping of a player from the tournament. As an exception, players in the announced last round of the single-elimination portion of a tournament may agree to divide tournament prizes as they wish. In that case, one of the players at each table must agree to drop from the tournament. Players are then awarded prizes according to their resulting ranking. [MTR 5.2]

So what they are allowed to do is combine their prizes (4 + 1 in this case) and split them anyway they choose to, from 5-0 to 0-5 or anything in between. Then one of the 2 players drops from the tournament and they get their prizes and split them up as previously agreed.

The portion you quote is intended more for when you are in single elimination brackets, but you haven't gotten to the final 2 yet. For example at an FNM after 4 rounds of Swiss and a cut to Top 8, it is 1am and everyone wants to go home to sleep, as long as all the players and the TO agree they can stop the tournament there and split all of the prizes that would go to the Top 8 spots evenly between all of them. The rules do not state what happens if the prize payout in this case is not evenly divisible by the number of players.

• This is the way I thought it was. I'm really curious to know where what Rainbolt is quoting is located. Mar 18, 2015 at 17:59
• @Waterseas Rainbolt's quote is in the same section (MTR 5.2) but a few paragraphs later Mar 18, 2015 at 18:02
• Don't they directly conflict with each other though? Mar 18, 2015 at 18:13
• The rule diego quoted is an exception that only applies to the "last round of the single-elimination portion of the tournament." The rule Rainbolt quoted applies to "the single-elimination rounds of a tournament offering only cash and/or unopened product as prizes." Mar 18, 2015 at 18:17
• @Waterseas Like murgatroid99 said they have different scopes, Rainbolt's quote is for when you are in the Top 4, or Top 8, etc. For the Top 2 however there is a more specific rule which would be the one I quoted, so that would be the one in effect. Mar 18, 2015 at 18:19

They would use this alternate way of ending the tournament (section 5.2 of the tournament rules):

Players in the announced last round of the single-elimination portion of a tournament may agree to divide tournament prizes as they wish. In that case, one of the players at each table must agree to drop from the tournament.

• Is this quote also from the tournament rules that the question was referencing? If so, can you give a more specific citation with the section number? Mar 18, 2015 at 17:14
• Yes, same section as the OP's: 5.2 Collusion and Bribery Mar 18, 2015 at 17:20
• I didn't ask the question. It would just be helpful to have that information in the answer. Mar 18, 2015 at 17:22