We have 26 featured tourneys on the docket this coming weekend. That’s an unofficial record here at HorseTourneys/HorsePlayers. Included in the robust slate are first-chance qualifiers to the NHC Last Chance Tournament at Bally’s, the Tampa Bay Downs Handicapping Contest in January, this month’s Santa Anita Opening Day Challenge, next month’s NTRA/Santa Anita NHC Super Qualifier and the January 26 Sam Houston NHC Qualifier.
Along with all the newcomers, we have 20 familiar faces comprising this weekend’s roster of featured tourneys. The first five of those take place on Friday.
The new kid on the Friday block is a $59 entry-only qualifier to the NHC Last Chance Tournament to be held on NHC eve, February 6 at Bally’s Las Vegas, where the NHC returns for the first time since 2007. One of every 10 entries will earn a $500 entry. Please note…should you win an entry to this tournament and later earn an actual 2020 NHC seat prior to February 6, you have the option of keeping the entry, trading it in for $500 in HorseTourneys credit or transferring the entry to another player. Please note that the deadline for making such a decision is February 1. No swaps thereafter!
Of course, there is also an up-to-$15,000 Pick & Pray on Friday. It carries an entry fee of $190 and has a guaranteed purse of at least $7,500. No more than 90 may play. Last Friday’s renewal of this game closed with a pot of $14,292.
Another hot item these days are our Pegasus World Cup Betting Challenge qualifiers. We have one on Friday that offers a $6,000 entry plus another $500 for travel. The entry fee for this high-end Pick & Pray is $384. One per 20 will win.
There’s also a Friday qualifier to the Horse Player World Series. This entry-only Pick & Pray costs $89 to play, and the winning ratio is 1 per 20. Winners receive a $1,500 entry for use next March at The Orleans in Las Vegas.
The feature at HorsePlayers is another Friday staple.
It’s a $75 NHC Pick & Pray with two spots guaranteed. These low-entry-fee events tend to attract a lot of players (should we reach 429 entries, we’ll toss in a third seat), and that means that in additional to the seats, there should be a lot of 2019 NHC Tour Points up for grabs.
Contest races for Friday are the 6th through 10th at Gulfstream, the 8th through 10th from the Big A; and the 8th and 9th at the seemingly-always-sunny Tampa Bay Downs—10 races in all.
One of the busiest Saturdays in recent memory takes place this weekend. There are eight featured tourneys, including two more newbies.
Joining the team this week are qualifiers for the Tampa Bay Downs High Rollers Handicapping Contest and the Santa Anita Opening Day Challenge.
The Santa Anita event takes place on the track’s traditional, December 26 opening day. Winners of our one-per-15 play-in earn a $1,500 entry to Arcadia on the day after Christmas.
Entries at Tampa cost $1,000 a pop on January 11…but you could win one here for $80. Once you join the ranks of Tampa High Rollers, you’ll be competing for two spots…at your choice of the 2020 or the 2021 NHC.
Speaking of the NHC, we also have a direct qualifier to the big dance at Bally’s. It’s a two-seats-guaranteed Pick & Pray for $165.
The richest event of the weekend is our Saturday’s up-to-$30,000 game with $15,000 Guaranteed. The barrier to entry is $260, and no more than 140 may scale the walls.
Saturday has become an even more anticipated day of late thanks to our full-package Horse Player World Series qualifiers. We have another one this Saturday, of course, and winners earn not just a $1,500 entry but a four-night hotel stay and a $500 travel credit as well. The entry fee is $118, and the winning ratio will be 1-per-25.
Qualifiers for the December 28 contest at Monmouth remain on the Saturday slate this week. One of every 10 entries in this $71 play-in will receive two entries (worth a total of $600) for the Jersey Shore (far less crowded at this time of year!) on December 28.
There’s double-barreled featured tourney action at HorsePlayers on Saturday. It’s two more NHC qualifiers (the second and third of the day).
One is a $165 live-format game restricted to those who have yet to win a seat to the 2020 NHC. This “Maiden Special” guarantees one spot. Given that, and the fact that the field is restricted, no NHC Tour Points will be on the table in this one.
The other is a live-format, Low Ratio qualifier with an entry fee of $500 and a winning ratio of 1 per 21.
It’s quite a good day of racing on Saturday with it being Cigar Mile Day at Aqueduct, Claiming Crown Day at Gulfstream and some nice stakes at Laurel too. Contest races for Saturday will be the 8th through 10th (all stakes) at Aqueduct; the 7th and 8th (both stakes) from Laurel; the 8th through 11th (all stakes) at Gulfstream; and the 8th through 10th (none of them stakes!) from Woodbine. That’s a dozen races in total.
We may need an air traffic controller in the home office on Sunday because there are 13 featured tourneys on the schedule.
Again, the day’s featured cash tourney will occupy one of our All-Optional Live spots—our $10,000 Guaranteed cash game. Entries for this $195 buy-in event are capped at 118, and the pot could reach $20,000 depending on how many sign up.
Two more new tourneys are slated for Sunday action. One is an $80 Pick & Pray qualifier to the January 26 Sam Houston NHC Qualifier. One in 15 will garner a $1,000 to the contest held in America’s 4th largest city.
A $1,500 entry (or two) will be up for grabs in Sunday’s play-in to the new NTRA/Santa Anita NHC Super Qualifier. This, too, is a Pick & Pray with a 1-per-15 winning ratio.
It’s not technically new, since it will have made its debut on Friday, but there’s also a Pick & Pray qualifier to the NHC Last Chance competition on February 6th at Bally’s. One of every 10 entries, at $59 each, will get a $500 entry for NHC eve.
This is also one of those Sundays when we have not one but two $10,000 Guaranteed Pick & Prays. One is our “Big Bucks” tourney, which has an $1,150 entry fee and allows no more than 20 entrants. Payoffs go solely to the top three finishers on a 70/20/10 basis, and if we attract a full field, the pot will exceed $20,000.
The other is a more standard cash tourney…with a more standard entry fee of $195. Entries are capped at 118, and again the purse could conceivably swell to as much as $20,000.
Likely to be popular at the “entry box” is our Sunday Pick & Pray qualifier to the Pegasus World Cup Betting Challenge One of every 20 entries in this $384 game will earn a $6,000 entry plus $500 for travel to the January 25-26 event.
Also on tap is an entry-only Horse Player World Series qualifier. It’s $89 to play this Pick & Pray, and one in 20 will move on the The Orleans next March in Las Vegas.
A Pick & Pray will also decide the winner(s) of Sunday’s qualifier to the two-day, February 29-March 1, Flo-Cal Faceoff. The Faceoff is an online tourney offering a Guaranteed purse of $100,000, though it’s a “No Limit” tourney, so the final pot could well exceed $100,000. It’s modeled after last summer’s popular Spa & Surf Showdown. On Sunday, you can pick up a $1,500 entry to the Faceoff, which will feature full-card racing from Gulfstream and Santa Anita during Fountain of Youth weekend. Sunday’s qualifier will carry an $86 entry fee. The winning ratio is 1 in 20.
Time’s running short to qualify for the NTRA/Fair Grounds Super Qualifier. Consider this your next-to-last chance! This play-in offers a $1,500 entry plus $500 for travel to N’Awlins on December 21. The entry fee is $118. One in 20 will win.
Completing the Sunday featured schedule at HorseTourneys are two more cash games: our up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with $1,000 Guaranteed. Players in this one will select a mythical three-horse-exacta box play in each of the 12 contest races. The format here, as always, is live.
The other is our $8 Pick 6 Jackpot tourney. Seventy percent of the net pool gets paid out to players via the normal, $2 win/place scoring method, while the other 30% goes to the Jackpot pool. Pick the winners of all six races and you win (or share, if multiple players do so) the Jackpot, which is now up to $3,617. This game is also always run in live format.
There are two Pick & Prays on the menu at HorsePlayers this Sunday—one to the NHC and one to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
The NHC game s a “regular,” $165 qualifier with two spots guaranteed.
The BCBC qualifier is a Low-Ratio affair with an entry fee of $500 and one $10,000 seat guaranteed. The winning ratio here is 1-per-21.
By now you should have finished your Thanksgiving leftovers…turkey only stays good for so long. We have plenty of fresh options this weekend for your contest-playing pleasure, though. May one of them lead you to the winner’s circle.