Great contest performances can occur anyplace, anytime. What I believe to be one of the year’s best came from Tara Cochran in our $7,500 Guaranteed tourney on Sunday.
Yep…seven winners and two places from 12 races for Ms. Cochran. And prices galore. As I mentioned on Twitter, her score sheet almost has the look of a credit card statement with dollar amounts next to (almost) each entry. No disrespect to runner up Matthew Whittaker, who posted a very solid score of $86.60, but Cochran almost doubled his total. That’s something you almost never see.
In my view, such as performance is even more impressive in that in came in a Pick & Pray event. No one can claim that she was strategically steered into any of her winners due to mid-tourney circumstances or scores.
Now $3,750 richer, Cochran may be wondering whether we offer any more challenging tourneys! Of course, the answer is yes — starting with our $5,000 Guaranteed Game on Friday, December 16, our $12,500 event on Saturday, December 17 and our $50,000 Guaranteed headliner on New Year’s Eve. HorseTourneys players better hope Tara loses a few miles per hour off her fastball in those games.
There were some other tourneys of note on Saturday and Sunday.
William Roth played three entries each in our $25,000 Guaranteed game and our Horse Player World Series Full-Package qualifier, both held on Saturday.
Veteran players know that it is not easy to manage multiple entries successfully. Even if you pick a lot of winners, they can have an uncanny knack of spreading themselves out across the tickets, doing little good when the goal is finishing at or near the top of a heap.
This wasn’t a problem for Roth on Saturday.
Rather than just carbon copying his three entries’ picks across the two tourneys, Roth mixed and matched as he saw fit – and it worked! He won the $12,500 top prize in our $25,000 game with a score of $126.20. And he finished second with a total of $111.40 in our HPWS contest – good for a full package along with winner Susan Romeo ($125.00) and third-place finisher Timothy Jacobs ($107.20).
Bottom line: Roth was really seeing the ball well on Saturday. (This is the final baseball reference for today…I think)
Our Sunday $1,500 exacta box tourney was interesting in a couple of different respects.
In poker, they talk about how good players can “change gears” going from aggressive to tight and back again. Our winner, Gary Tarnopol, certainly seemed to do that on Sunday in terms of exacta boxes. He cashed $1 exacta tickets on four races. They paid $5.40, $7.30, $6.10 and…$284.10 (Los Alamitos Race Course Race 3). Tarnopol’s final score of $302.90 more than tripled that of runner up Kenny Peck. But what I also found noteworthy was that Peck finished second by a margin of five cents. I haven’t seen everything, but I don’t recall ever seeing two places in a contest determined by a difference of a nickel. I guess it’s purely the $1 base wager in play that makes that possible. So, on one hand, you can blow your opponents out of the water with just one good race in these exacta box contests, but on the other hand, every penny (or five pennies) counts.
If you will be in Las Vegas for the NHC but haven’t qualified twice (or once), join the growing legions of HorseTourneys players taking part in our Treasure Island NHC Last Chance qualifiers. We ran our first one last Sunday and had enough players to award nine $500 entries. Due to the strong demand, we ran an unscheduled qualifier on Friday and distributed another seven entries. Then on Sunday, enough players signed up that we were able to award another 10! That’s 26 in all so far, and we’re just getting started.
Sunday’s winners were Paul Shurman (twice…he finished first and tenth), Darren Yarwood, Scott Rubinchik, Brendan Fay, Robert Fabbricatore, clocker extraordinaire John Nichols, Curtis Meyer, Sean Nolan, and Mets fan extraordinaire Mitch Schuman (so much for the moratorium on baseball references).
We’ll be sticking with the Friday and Sunday schedule this week…unless you make us add a third day!
Lastly, keep an eye out for our free contests. This week, we’ll definitely be running one on Wednesday and again on Saturday as thank yous to our loyal players.
We’ve also started to offer some nearly-free tourneys ($2 to be precise) for newer players whose accounts are less than a year old. Keep an eye out for these and be sure to tell your friends.
Here’s to a happy and winning week ahead!