It doesn't matter what others might say. All that matters is you had a blast. I wonder if the experience you had with the way the tournament treated the players is the same at the other sites. If that is the case, it may not be such a bad idea to go through and spend the money even just for the experience.
USPTA - 4.5 NTRP
Head YouTek IG Speed MP 315 16x19, Mantis PowerPoly17 @ 52 lbs/Forten 17 @ 57 lbs