A cometishian is an event that is open to anyone. It has no buyins, and no cash prizes.
It is a technique applied by tournament directors to make a tournament take a direction which involves less gambling, a more skill based tournament if you will.
Advocates of cometishian style tournaments say that the game becomes a sport, with no cash prize but the winner takes the glory and perhaps some token jewellery.
Jamie Gold wanted to enter the WSOP but he was broke, luckily at the last minute the TD (tournament director) decided that he wanted his cash tournament to be more skill based with no buyins and no cash prizes, just glory. At the cage, Jamie Gold was told he could enter because the tournament had now taken the cometishian style format.
A structure of tournament which has more skill and less luck. No buyins, no cash prizes. More a game of skill, a real cometishian, a sport.
Neil Channing was excited by the big cash buyin, big cash prize, skill-less luckfest, lazy non sport poker tournament that was running at his local casino.
Neil Channing was later disappointed when he heard the tournament had taken a 'Cometishian' style format where there were no buyins or cash prizes, a greater degree of skill was required and the event became more of a sport, a Cometishian.