New Year’s Day is not known as a particularly religious holiday (even if January 1 actually is a “holy day of obligation” in the Catholic Church). Be that as it may, you can be assured that there will be a whole lot of praying going on this weekend—a lot of picking and praying, to be more precise. That’s because HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers will host a combined 18 featured tourneys during the Friday-Monday, four-day New Year’s holiday weekend, and 15 of those will be of the Pick & Pray variety.
Four of those 18 come Friday—technically the last business day of 2017…at least for those who have spent all of their vacation days. In case you’re one of those people, and in case your boss happens to be in that day too, we have made all four of them Pick & Prays so that you can actually get some work done if you so choose.
The Friday cash game this week is back to the usual, up-to-$10,000 tourney with $10,000 Guaranteed. The entry fee is $190, and entries are capped at 60. Contest races are the first five from Santa Anita; races 8, 9 and 10 at Gulfstream; and the 8th and 10th from Tampa—10 races in all. (We are probably going to have to steer clear from the Big A for a while until things warm up a bit in the Northeast.)
Those races will also serve as the test for that day’s Horse Player World Series entry-only qualifier. This one is just $87 to play and one in 20 earn a $1,500 entry.
For the second consecutive Friday, we’ll also be hosting a Treasure Island NHC Last Chance qualifier. The entry fee is $58, and one in 10 earns a $500 entry to the February 8 NHC Eve event. A reminder: The top three finishers among those February 8 players already double-qualified for the 2018 NHC will win a seat to the 2019 NHC. Contact Michele Ravencraft of the NTRA if you have any additional questions about this February 8 Last Chance tournament at Treasure Island.
It will come as no surprise to HorsePlayers regulars that the Friday feature (Pick & Pray, of course) is an NHC qualifier for just $75.
Two seats are guaranteed in this affair. And if you like this game, you will love one of our New Year’s Day games. But more on that later. On, first, to Saturday.
Our Saturday up-to-$30,000 cash game is, yes, a Pick & Pray this week and guaranteed at $20,000 no matter how many play. (Though entries are limited to 133 at $260 each.)
There’s also a Saturday full-package qualifier to the Horse Player World Series at The Orleans. It’s $117 to play and winners (one per 25 entries) will earn a $1,500 entry to the three-event plus four nights’ hotel and another $500 for transportation.
Over at HorsePlayers on Saturday, there is a pair of featured tourneys and—surprise!—one is actually a live-format event.
The live-format competition is a “regular” NHC qualifier for $165 with two seats guaranteed and one in 65 winning. With nine NHC seats up for grabs this weekend, we wanted to give those who prefer live-format games a crack at the big Vegas dance under their preferred format…and this is it!
The other HorsePlayers feature on Saturday is another Treasure Island NHC Last Chance qualifier for $58 with one in 10 earning a $500 entry.
There are a half-dozen featured tournaments at HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers on Sunday (New Year’s Eve).
Guess what? There’s another Treasure Island Last Chance game. And also another Horse Player World Series qualifier (entry only). So if you don’t connect on Friday or Saturday (or even if you do), you can get in on these Sunday games.
There’s also another opportunity to qualify for the NHC via a “regular,” $165 qualifier on Sunday.
On the cash side of the ledger, we’ll be hosting an up-to-$20,000 game with $12,000 guaranteed. This one costs $195 with a maximum of 118 entries allowed in.
All of the above Sunday games are Pick & Prays—which could be a good thing if you want to get an early start on your New Year’s Eve imbibing. Or if you are a New York Giants or New York Jets fan. (Their games essentially require significant imbibing in order to make them watchable.) But we do have one live-format tourney on Sunday: Our up-to-$5,000 Exacta contest with $2,000 guaranteed. This one costs $72 to play (about the price on StubHub of six tickets to the final Giants home game of the year).
HorsePlayers will play host on Sunday to one of our popular NHC Super Qualifiers.
If you want to close out 2017 with a real bang, this is your chance. One in 21 entries will “get qualified” to Vegas. Perhaps the last (in 2017) shall be first on February 11, 2018.
On Monday, many of us will be rejoicing. For some, it will be because 2017 is over and a promising new year beckons with a clean slate. For others it will be because the New York Giants season is finally, mercifully over. And for others still, it will be because there are four more featured tourneys to play before the long weekend is over.
Starting Monday, everyone is back to even for the year, and you can get yourself into the black in a big way by winning our up-to-$20,000 tourney with $10,000 guaranteed. This one will be run in live format, which should be good for those whose hangovers are taking a while to shake.
And what’s a weekend day at this time of year without an entry-only Horse Player World Series or Treasure Island Last Chance direct qualifier? We’ll have one of each on the year’s first day.
For all of the great action discussed up to now, we may have saved our most compelling tournament of the entire weekend for last. It’s over at HorsePlayers.
The first HorsePlayers featured tourney of 2018 will be your last chance to directly qualify for the upcoming NHC for the rock-bottom price of just $50. Two seats are guaranteed and players may purchase up to three entries each. The competition will be fierce, but when it’s your day, it’s your day.
We hope Friday, Saturday or Sunday is “their day” for Dan Kovalesky, Matthew Rentze, Michelle Hartzell, John Gaspar, Mark McGuire, Sean O’Malley, Steven Stange and Christopher Dewey. They’ll all be representing HorseTourneys as qualifiers to this weekend’s Surfside tournaments.
And the same goes for Matthew Ransdell, John Ukleja, Ken Kieras, Vincent Farina, John Nichols (two entries) and Mike Martin. Those six will be competing this weekend at the Hawthorne Holiday Extravaganza. Good luck—and remember to dress in layers!
You might need a light jacket, but not too many layers, should you be skillful enough to qualify for the 2018 edition of The BIG One at Laurel next September.
Note that the very first qualifier for the 2018 The BIG One is now scheduled for Sunday, January 14, and two all-inclusive packages to the small-but-friendly-but-lucrative showdown are guaranteed on this date. Feeders will be posted soon, as will a blog on some of the exciting new things we have planned for the 2018 competition.
May you both close out 2017 and ring in 2018 in style. You supply the booze and the noisemakers; we’ll provide the party games. Good luck. And Happy New Year.