Pro Podium Prize Money Winnings

Authored by: Waggish

If is the “offseason” for pro pickleball so for the end of the year I have taken some time to put together pro pickleball winnings and medal counts for the guys here at NML as some readers have been asking for them.

With the data I had collected, I was only able to calculate winnings for podium medals: gold, silver, bronze. The players may have had other earnings in the tournament depending on type of tournament. The information in the charts I put together only refer to publicly available information. It does not include any appearance fees that signed PPA players received or stipends that APP players received.

As you can see from the chart to highlight this post, PPA players earned the most by making the podium, but JW is in the top 5. However, when you account for MLP prize money, the top earners at the #4 to #6 slots change.

So how did the different tours award wins? Women’s doubles and singles had the same payouts as the men across all tournaments and brackets. Mixed doubles had the same payouts as MD/WD across all tournaments and brackets.

You can find the PPA Payout structure here.

It’s clear that the PPA favors its golden teams. They pay out based on number of teams and rounds won. Thus, if you get all the way to gold, you will be getting more than just the money for gold. For example, when Anna Leigh Waters wins gold, she doesn’t only get the gold money but also prize money for each round win in semis, quarters, round of 16, and round of 32, if the draws are that deep.

PPA payout amounts are categorized by the points earned at each event: Majors (1500), 1000, 500, 250. The only data I had was the table on the PPA website so that is the basis for all the podium dollar amounts used in the calculations. They have a separate category for Senior Pro. PPA Senior Pro draws are small brackets so their total payout available will likewise be small, almost inconsequential for many of the tournaments from my brief glance at some of them. PPA considers 3rd place (Bronze) to be a bonus because normally they only pay out in the winner’s bracket. The amounts I calculated for PPA gold medal prize money includes the semi-final amount.

You can find the APP payouts here.

APP took a different approach from the PPA this year as they paid out deeper, all the way to sixth place when the bracket is big enough. This meant that their payouts go from first place all the way to sixth for some tournaments. Though the APP uses a tier system, it’s not the same payout for each tier. There could be a significant difference in payout for the same tier! It was rather confusing but I assume it must be based on number of entries for the tournament. I used the amounts from the APP Tour website, which seem to be actual, after the fact, payouts. They did not disclose some tournaments. For those, I averaged the payout based on tier level. The amount is probably close, but not 100% accurate as it is an estimate.

Let’s not forget other tournaments.

MLP had substantial prize winnings. Each championship team member received $25,000. BLQK won the Austin and Columbus events so Irina Tereschenko, Parris Todd, Zane Navratil and Rafa Hewett each earned $50,000 in MLP prize money.

The Ranchers won Newport Beach, which gave Anna Bright, DJ Young, Jackie Kawamoto and James Ignatowich a cool $25K each.

Here is a 2021 to 2022 US Open prize money comparison: The money went from $6000 to $10,000 for all gold winners in the doubles brackets. It then went from $2500 to $3500 for all gold winners in single brackets. A Triple Crown bonus of $1,000 went to Ben Johns.

USAP Nationals: I was impressed with how much USAP Nationals paid out in 2022. In the doubles categories, they paid $14000, $7000, and $3500 for first, second, third respectively. I couldn’t find Nationals 2021 for comparison.

Special and hearty thanks to the website for being so detailed in their pickleball schedule listings and links. I need to buy a case of Jigsaw now.

**Assumptions/Estimates due to missing data:

– The PPA Peachtree Classic was not classified. PPA Tour did not answer my question to them about its classification so I used my own judgment. When it was known as the Atlanta Open, it was classified as a Major (1500). But based on the number of participants (656 players), I used the 1000 point payouts.

– APP Tour did not answer my question to them about the missing data on its website. So I estimated. I analyzed tournaments in the same tier with close to the same number of participants.

– APP Boca Raton Tier 1, $75K (1000) I averaged the payouts for Hilton Head and Atlanta Metro.
January APP Mesa Open Tier 1, $75K (495). Tough one because attendance for a Tier 1 is much lower than others. I used the payouts for Chicago Open (same as New Jersey).

– May APP Cincinnati Tier 2, $35K (429) I averaged the payouts for Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
Beer City, Grand Rapids, Tier 1, $75K # players unknown. Used the same estimate that I used for Boca Raton.

Comparisons: Hilton Head Tier 1 $65K 4400/2450 (771 players). Atlanta Metro Open Tier 1 $65K 4500/2250 (739 players). Chicago Open Tier 1 $50K 3000/1600

Exclusions: PPA Frisco Round-Up, Selkirk Labs Showdown, APP Indianapolis, Sacramento, and Alabama Open

If you have any specific medal winner that you’d like data on, post in the comments below and I’ll do my best to get a response to you!

10 thoughts on “Pro Podium Prize Money Winnings

  • December 28, 2022 at 8:27 am

    My only comment is that BenJ shoujd have been listed as Collin’s brother. 🤣

    • December 28, 2022 at 1:12 pm

      Great work, Waggish!

      Couple of questions. Shouldn’t Irina and Hewitt be included in your MLP table? And, do you know what all drafted players got for each MLP event? I assume you’d consider that an appearance fee versus winnings, right?

      • December 28, 2022 at 7:13 pm

        I’m not even sure MLP published what they gave each player specifically. I didn’t track it. In the text, I say who else got the MLP championship prize money. But to be complete, here is the list. I excluded those already in the Top 20 chart.

        Rafa: $1335 for 1 medal plus $50K for MLP.
        Tereschenko: $8763 for 7 medals plus $50K for MLP.
        DJ Young: $10,625 for 11 medals plus $25K for MLP.
        Ignatowich: $5,263 for 6 medals plus $25K for MLP.
        Jackie Kawamoto: $5175 for 5 medals plus $25K for MLP. By the way, Jade Kawamoto earned $10,000 for 7 medals but no MLP prize money.

  • December 28, 2022 at 4:06 pm

    *Top 20 players for prize money was split 10-10 based on players that predominantly played one tour over the other.

    • December 28, 2022 at 5:18 pm

      Were Waggish’s assumption correct regarding APP events?

  • December 29, 2022 at 9:20 am

    Very interesting… does anyone know what the standard is these days for sponsorship of top 20 players (mostly paddles, although that’s expanding). Like should we assume that this group is getting tournament travel and hotel covered by the responsors, or are those coming out of their winnings?

  • December 29, 2022 at 9:48 am

    Looks like #9 and #10 (Koop and Wright) are the last 2 with full time jobs outside of pickleball?
    Amazing the Matt can still play at this level considering his age combined with a full-time career as a lawyer.

    Love ur newsletter!!!

  • December 29, 2022 at 3:04 pm

    and the 2022 Pro Pickleball MVP goes to…..
    Tyson’s Agent.

  • Pingback: How Much Do Pro Pickleball Players Make?

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