Actually I'd like it better if at least amateur prizes were trophy only. I used to compete in cycling, and all we got were medals and trophies, and that was fine. Paying for the experience, fine. Paying to the club, fine. But that someone else leaves the tournament with money or gift card that came partially from my pocket, that makes the tournaments feel like poker tournament, betting, or playing pool for money. And that's when things like return of investment, expected value, etc. start to creep in my head. You wouldn't play pool against the local shark for $20 a game if you know you can't win him.
I play some tournaments, but it bugs me that it feels like gambling with negative ROI (because I'm not good enough to be on the receiving end of the payouts). If the only people that got my money were the organizers, it would feel more like paying for the experience.