The title tells it. This weekend is your first chance to qualify for the 2017 The BIG One, scheduled for Sept. 23-24 at Laurel Park. Last year’s event awarded prizes worth some $376,000 (including 28 seats to major tourneys) to a field that numbered just 51. The big (excuse the pun) first qualifier is on Sunday, January 8. But this event (a Pick & Pray as are most of this weekend’s featured contests) is just one of many important – and new – tourneys taking place this weekend.
The excitement gets rolling in earnest on Friday with our popular $5,000 Guaranteed game that pays $2,500 to the winner and offers prizes down to fourth. Entry is $185. Contest races will be the 7th through 10th at Gulfstream; the 6th through 9th at Tampa and the 2nd and 3rd at Santa Anita – 10 races in all. Do note that this tourney has been a pretty rapid sellout of late, so plan accordingly.
Also scheduled for Friday, using the same contest races, is our Treasure Island NHC Last Chance qualifier (we’ll also host one of these on Sunday). The entry fee holds at $58 and one in 10 wins a $500 entry to the NHC eve (Jan. 26) contest in Las Vegas. And if you wind up qualifying for the NHC subsequent to this qualifier but before the Last Chance event, you can receive $500 site credit in place of the entry, as long as you let us know by January 21. That’s our deadline for giving Treasure Island our final roster of participants.
We’ll also have a direct, entry-only Horse Player World Series qualifier on Friday with one in 20 (at $87 each) winning a $1,500 entry to the 2017 HPWS. In fact, in a new twist. we’ll be offering a Horse Player World Series qualifier each day this weekend. Right now, there is no better place to qualify for the HPWS than right here at HorseTourneys.
On Saturday, our featured cash game purse has been elevated to $15,000 Guaranteed. It will pay full prizes down to 7th place, including $7,000 to the winner, no matter how many take part. Entry is $495 and it’s a robust 12-race Pick & Pray. Contest races for this and our other featured Saturday events are the 7th through 10th at Gulfstream; the 6th through 9th at Tampa; and the 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th at Santa Anita. Closing time is 3:01 pm ET.
Our Saturday co-feature is our first qualifier for the 2017 Wynn Handicapping Challenge, which will take place in Las Vegas on August 4-5. This is one of the real glamour brick-and-mortar tourneys on the calendar – one in which handicappers feast on a steady diet of Saratoga and Del Mar. Our qualifier is an Entry-Only Pick & Pray costing just $116 with one entry in 20 winning a $2,000 seat to the Wynn tourney, where you are sure to be treated like a VIP by race book director John Avello.
Saturday will also bring us another Horse Player World Series tourney—this one offering a full package of a $1,500 entry to the HPWS plus a four-night stay at The Orleans and another $500 for your transportation expenses. Entry is $116 with one per each 25 entries winning a prize.
A new wrinkle this Saturday is our late cash game, offering a guaranteed prize pool of $2,000. This one is capped at 32 players with the entry fee set at $69. Contest races for this one are still to be determined, but do note that this tourney (unlike most of the others) will operate with a Live format.
On Sunday, it’s our aforementioned first qualifier for the 2017 edition of The BIG One! One all-inclusive package (entry, travel, hotel & more) is guaranteed to be awarded, and entries ($390 each) are capped at 35, with up to five $300 consolation prizes also available.
Sunday also brings with it yet another first — our first qualifier for the 2017 Del Mar Handicapping Challenge, slated for July 29-30. Win one of our qualifiers and you’ll receive the $7,000 entry plus an extra $500 for your travel there. Entries to Sunday’s Pick & Pray are $350 with one in 25 advancing to the house that Bing built.
As mentioned earlier, we will host another NHC Last Chance tournament for $58 with one in 10 winning. And there will also be a direct, entry-only Horse Player World Series qualifier with one in 20 (at $87 each) winning a $1,500 entry to the 2017 HPWS.
For cash game fans, there’s our $7,500 Guaranteed game on Sunday with $3,750 to the winner and cash prizes to 5th. Entry is $190 if you haven’t qualified via feeder before then. And, of course, we’ll be hosting our Sunday staple, the $1,500 Guaranteed Exacta Box tournament for $54 ($600 up top). Last week’s game was extremely tight and was decided by a $1 exacta that paid just $4.80.
Lastly we want to send out a special congratulations to Cheryl McIntyre for her 2016 NHC Tour victory. The “official sign” was just posted on that today! We’re delighted (and perhaps unjustly proud) that one of her key springboards to victory was our Nov. 27 NHC tournament.
For her tour win, Cheryl earns $75,000 and she is now officially the first qualifier to the 2018 NHC. Perhaps most exciting, though, is that if Cheryl wins the NHC later this month, she will earn a $2 million bonus.
We won’t have $2 million on the line, but the excitement and adrenaline rushes associated with our games this weekend will still be plenty intense. Good luck to all of you!