One of the biggest weekends on the HorseTourneys calendar is coming up with The BIG One taking place this Saturday and Sunday. A field of no more than 57 will compete for 10 seats to either the NHC, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge or the Pegasus World Cup (player’s choice) plus another five entries are up for grabs for the Horse Player World Series (or $1,500 in cash if the player prefers). There’s also a large chunk of cash on the line.
Normally an onsite event held at Laurel Park, The BIG One unfortunately had to be shifted online this year—but there’s a silver lining attached to that. Since we didn’t have to pay the hotel and amenities costs normally associated with the event, it allowed us to pay $500 in cash to each online qualifier and—even better—add a six-figure cash sum to the prize pool. Right now that prize pool is up to $186,875, and that amount will increase further upon the completion of Friday’s two-seats-guaranteed Last Chance qualifier. So when you add it up, the top 15 finishers in The BIG One will divide up 15 seats to top tournaments along with $186,000+ in cash. And even if we sell out all seven of the available buy-in spots, the field is capped at 57, with each person playing just one entry. All this is why we like to think of The BIG One as the contest world’s “High Expectation Event.”
I mentioned buy-in entries…if you are interested in purchasing one of the seven available spots, the cost is $7,500. To do so, or to request more information, contact McKay Smith at email@example.com. Tell him Eric Wing sent you and pay absolutely full price!
For those who would like to play in The BIG One but who find $7,500 a bit steep, may we suggest Friday’s Last Chance qualifier? It’s one of several featured tourneys on the day.
This Pick & Pray qualifier to The BIG One guarantees two winners, who also receive $500 in HorseTourneys credit (in lieu of the $500 travel stipend that would have been given has the event been held at Laurel). The entry fee is $395 and a maximum of 54 entries will be accepted. Also, regardless of participation, the qualifier’s third- and fourth-place finishers will receive a $395 entry-fee credit/refund.
Thee’s also a Friday Pick & Pray qualifier to the Keeneland Fall NHC/BCBC Online Challenge. You can get win a $3,000 entry to the October 10 competition at Xpressbet for just $175 here. The winning ratio is 1-per-20.
On Friday, you can also pick up a seat to the $150,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff on January 8th and 9th. Participation in Friday’s Pick & Pray will set you back $118, but one of every 15 entries will prosper. Reminder: The Flo-Cal Faceoff serves as the first leg of the brand new 2021 Tourney Triple series consisting of the Flo-Cal Faceoff, the Players Championship and the Spa & Surf Showdown. As a bonus, tournament seats await the top three overall performers, and if you win two of the three events, you earn a $1 million bonus. Win all three and you win an even more delightful $2 million.
Of course, it wouldn’t truly be Friday, if we didn’t offer a $10,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. Entries here are $190 each.
Over at HorsePlayers, there’s one qualifier on Friday for the NHC and one for the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
Friday’s $75 NHC Pick & Pray will award a minimum of two seats, and NHC Tour points will also be up for grabs to those finishing in the top 10 percent. It’s a Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1 in 143.
The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier is a Low Ratio Pick & Pray. At least one $10,000 entry is certain to be won in this $500 event. The winning ratio here: 1-per-23.
Friday contest races will originate from just two tracks. The races are the 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th from the opening day card at Belmont Park; and the 5th through 9th at Woodbine—10 races in all.
There’s a very nice slate of featured events on the Saturday docket led, of course, by The BIG One.
If you get into The BIG One, you may have conquered half the battle since 15 will win a nice prize. The 50-57 participants—each playing just one entry—will be making 12 $2 mythical win-and-place plays each day on one horse per race from among 30 eligible races each day. The contest tracks for The BIG One are Belmont, Laurel, Monmouth and Woodbine and the 30 eligible Saturday races are races 3-12 at Woodbine, races 5-9 from Laurel, races 6-14 at Monmouth and races 5-10 from Belmont. The first contest race, by the clock, will be race 3 at Woodbine, which has a scheduled post time of 2:16 pm ET.
For those not in The BIG One, but interested in keeping tabs on things, we’ll be offering periodic updates on our Twitter feed on Saturday and Sunday. And, as per usual, the complete standings will be updated in real time on the Leaderboards page of our website.
Elsewhere in Saturday action, there’s a Live-format $25,000 Guaranteed cash tourney. An entry fee of $260 gets you into this one.
Well-heeled Pick & Pray fans may prefer Saturday’s $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks tourney. The entry fee is $1,150, and the field is limited to 20, barring any late entries due to last-minute feeders. If the game is sold out, the purse will rise to over $20,000. As per usual in these Big Bucks games, payoffs go only to the top three finishers—on a 70%/20%/10% basis.
Even if you have holes in your shoes, you can still probably afford our $8 Pick 6 Jackpot tourney. Saturday’s game has a carryover of $22,379. That is what will be won or shared if anyone can go 6-for-6. Seventy percent of net entry fees get paid out via traditional win/place scoring totals while 30% gets directed to the Jackpot. The Pick 6 Jackpot races on Saturday are the 3rd, 5th and 6th at Belmont and the 4th, 5th and 7th from Laurel. There are just 35 betting interests—before scratches—across the six races. That’s an average of fewer than six per race. Note that the start time is a little earlier than usual—2:04 pm ET.
It’s a busier-than-usual Saturday at HorsePlayers, where three featured tourneys are scheduled, including two Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) qualifiers.
Saturday’s “regular” BCBC play-in has one grand prize guaranteed and carries an entry fee of $179. It’s a live-format tourney with a winning ratio of 1-per-65.
The winning ratio is just 1-per-11 in Saturday’s Super Low Ratio BCBC Pick & Pray. It also guarantees at least one winner even if fewer than 11 take part. The entry fee here is $1,000.
There’s also an NHC qualifier on the schedule. It’s a live-format, $165 play-in with two “Bally’s Berths” guaranteed. The winning ratio is 1-per-65.
The 12 contest races for the HorsePlayers events and the $25,000 and Big Bucks games at HorseTourneys are the 8th through 12th at Monmouth; the 7th through 10th from Woodbine (where it’s Ricoh Woodbine Mile Day) and the 8th through 10th at Belmont.
On Sunday, we’ll crown a The BIG One champion…and crown champions in seven other featured tourneys as well.
Sunday brings with it the weekend’s second qualifier (See Friday) to both the Keeneland Fall NHC/BCBC Online Challenge ($175 entry fee) and the Flo-Cal Faceoff ($118). Both are live-format tourneys.
Also to be run in live format is Sunday’s $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit tourney. The entry fee is $195, and the more that play, the more we’ll pay…but we won’t pay less than $15,000.
The Sunday Big Bucks tourney guarantees $7,500, though the pot for this Live-format event could exceed $20,000 depending on how many play. It won’t be worth less than $7,500, though. The entry fee is $1,150, and payoffs go only to the top three finishers.
Our up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with $1,000 Guaranteed is also always operated in Live format. This 12-race competition requires players to choose a three-horse exacta box in each race. Winners receive scores based on a $1 mythical play. The entry fee is $125, and no payoff caps are in effect.
The second of the weekend’s two $8 Pick 6 Jackpot tourneys is slated for Sunday. Check out our Twitter feed on Saturday night or our home page on Sunday for an update on what the Jackpot will be. It will be based on how many people take a shot at the Saturday Jackpot (which starts out at $22,379)…and whether anyone pulls it in. Like the Exacta tourneys, the Pick 6 Jackpot competition is always a live-format game.
There’s just one lonely featured event at HorsePlayers on Sunday.
It’s a $500, live-format, “Low Ratio” Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier with a winning ratio of 1-per-23. At least one $10,000 entry to the world’s most hallowed live-bankroll handicapping tournament is certain to be awarded.
Good luck to all of you this weekend, and especially to our contestants in The BIG One as well as those who took part in qualifiers for it during the year. It’s disappointing to not be able to get together with 50 or so of our terrific players as we have in recent Septembers, but we’re grateful that racing has been able to press on and that technology allows events like The BIG One to still take place, even if virtually.