throwing a game
Playing for the enjoyment of the game!!!
Players who have been around the longest and have seen TOP at its best when Melinda ran it know best what it can be like and know that Melinda would not allow someone to keep playing if they ruined things for people. Players of all skill levels were welcome, but if someone consistently caused trouble and wouldn't straighten up, they weren't welcome. If a new player came in and tried causing trouble, she called them out and either they got into line or they left. Everyone who played for the enjoyment of playing and could follow Melinda's house rules really enjoyed the tourney.
I believe that we should focus on that instead of making adjustments to the tourney structure. I have learned perhaps from the adjustments made already to change scoring from 10-7-4-1 to 5-2-2-2 and from 4 semifinal tables to 2 that, as much as that removes the incentive to dump on high, play for 2nd or 3rd, etc., it doesn't create enough of a disincentive to deal with players whose intent is to destroy camaraderie and stir the pot. To that end, the changes I pushed forward failed to have their desired effect. Working to re-establishing Melinda's tourney has more to do with the people following a certain set of expectations and less to do with a structure.
If we can get back to that, I even would suggest undoing the changes we made before so the most number of players can play and can potentially advance. I don't think people really would mind a 3rd place player in a well played, enjoyable game advancing to the semifinals.