You should also tag

@Mr Tree, who runs a very successful 30-player league.

In my case, our group is kicking off the 17th season of the local 'primary' league this coming Sunday (there are several), but I've also organized many other poker leagues since 2005 that used various structures besides the one described below. I've also included the structure used for the PCF Quarterly League that is currently in progress on Pokerstars using the Home Games feature.

**Membership Fees**
There are three basic ways to handle membership fees:

- no membership fees, usually combined with a per-event rake
- small up-front membership fee (typically $20 or less), usually combined with a higher per-event rake
- large membership fee (typically $100 or more), usually combined with a smaller or no per-event rake

We charge a small $10 per season league fee to cover incidental expenses such as cards and trophies. Any leftover monies are added to the Championship fund. The number of players in the league is not restricted, but each of the nine events is limited to 16 players (first-come, first-seated). Pre-registration is not required, but highly recommended.

The PCF Quarterly League has a $20 up-front league fee.

__Formulas__
I use a table-based system for points that awards performance over attendance, and awarded points vary based on field size. It is loosely based on a 60%-30%-10% distribution when paying three places, and points are only awarded to the top 33% of the field. Cash payouts are awarded to the top 25% of the field. We do track attendance, knockouts, and re-buys, but those statistics (along with earned points) are only used to calculate the starting stack sizes in the Championship tournament.

Some leagues I've ran use a modified version where all players receive points, but meaningful points are only awarded to the top 50% of the field. Along similar lines, the current PCF Quarterly League points are awarded based on field size and finishing order, using this formula: (6*SQRT(F/P)-8.5)+1, where F = field size and P =player rank for a given event, and results rounded up to one decimal point. Those points are awarded to the top half of the field (F/2-1), with the bottom half of the field is always awarded 0.5 point regardless of finish. It works well for events where attendance ranges from one to three tables.

__Places paid__
Our league pays the top 25% of the field (rounded up), so for our two-table events it works out as follows:

- 6-8 players = pays 2 places (70-30)
- 9-12 entries = pays 3 places (60-30-10)
- 13-16 entries = pays 4 places (50-30-15-5)

For larger leagues, I typically pay out the top 15-20% of the field (up to five tables or 50 players), using a 3-6-10-15-21-28-36-45-55 sequence for five tables or fewer.

For 30 players, I award payouts to 6 players (20% of field), using a (3-6-10-15-21-28)/83 sequence, rounded to the nearest $5 amount. Each payout increase is larger than the previous jump.

- 1= 33.7%
- 2= 25.3%
- 3= 18.1%
- 4= 12.0%
- 5= 7.2%
- 6= 3.6%

Payouts for the PCF online tournaments use the following schedule:

- 5 or fewer players: winner-take-all
- 6-11 players: pays 2, 70%-30%
- 12-17 players: pays 3, 55%-30%-15%
- 18+ players: pays 4, 50%-30%-15%-5%

__Tournament of champions__
Our league rakes $5 per $50 entry/re-buy (10%) from each event for the Championship fund The top eight in season points earn a seat at the Championship event, with starting stack sizes based on total points, event wins, collected bounties, and attended events, less deductions for re-buys. There is no entry fee for the Championship event, although qualifiers with fewer than 50% season participation are charged $10 per 'missing' event, which is added to the Championship prize pool. We tried for several years to have one additional player qualify via a Last Chance tournament, but the interest was never really there.

The PCF Quarterly League collects a $5 event fee (separate $15 entry, so 25%) for each tournament played, which combined with the $20 league fee goes towards the Quarterly Points payouts (70% to Top 3) and the year-end Tournament of Champions (30% to Top 3). The top two finishers from each Quarterly League points standings earn seats at the ToC, along with the winner of the Last Chance tournament (open to all league participants). Both the LC and ToC are equal stack events.

Neither format above allows entry into the final game without having earned a seat based on season-long performance.