Well, nobody should be excluded from entering a competition, whether you are a professional or not. There are some excellent painters who are not professionals, and who are sometimes equal or better than some pro's. You should not be discriminated against if you've chosen to make this hobby we all love your job.
The reason you choose to join however, I think is more important. If you're a pro and join the competition with the intention of gaining some quick and easy rep, to show off how much better you are than some amateurs, and to keep others from winning, I don't think that's within the spirit of these competitions. If you are so much better than all other participants, there's no sport in flaunting that each month. As far as I've seen, that's not what has happened.
I think joining the competition as a pro can be a way of saying 'Hey guys, you're awesome. I feel challenged by your skills.'
However, for amateurs that don't have a high skill level such as myself, it raises the bar significantly and might dissuade some people from entering. So while I don't think anyone should be forbidden from entering, none should feel discouraged either. I think the winners should have the courtesy to take a step back sometimes, and see what the lesser painters come up with. But as I've said, I don't see any of these problems happening here.
Last edited by Tha Tall One; 10-03-14 at 06:31 PM.