Month-End Blowout With $50,000 Guaranteed Brings December—and 2022—to a Lucrative Close

Is it a Month-End Blowout? Is it a Year-End Blowout? Who cares as long as $50,000 is guaranteed to be in the pot?

That is the situation on Saturday when the day’s featured cash tourney (and the year’s final HT Tour event) comes your way. It is but one highlight of a holiday weekend chock-a-block with 26 marquee events. The first six of those 26 will take place on Friday.

Friday’s HT Tour competition, the next-to-last such battle of 2022, is our $15,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Pick & Pray. The entry fee is $190.

There will be a qualifier on each day of the weekend for the $250,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff (first leg of the 2023 Tourney Triple) here on January 14-15, the January 28th Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship, the following day’s NHC on-track qualifier at Hialeah and the February 10-11 Tampa Bay Downs High Rollers Contest (also an on-track-only tournament).

The Flo-Cal Faceoff qualifiers are all $118, 1-per-15 affairs, with Friday’s being a Pick & Pray. Winners will secure a $1,500 entry for January 14-15.

Winners of this weekend’s $384, 1-per-20 Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship qualifiers get not only a $6,000 Pegasus entry, but an additional $500 for travel to Florida (just in case they decide to play on-track at Gulfstream rather than at Xpressbet). Friday’s Pegasus play-in is a Pick & Pray.

The on-track NHC qualifier at Hialeah will have a “game-day” buy-in of $500 on January 29th, but here at HorseTourneys, you can snatch a seat for $59 in our 1-per-10 play-ins. On Friday, the format will be Pick & Pray.

The Tampa Bay High Rollers Contest will be contests over two days in 2023. The dates are Friday and Saturday, February 10 and 11. Those who prosper in Friday’s $80, 1-per-15 Pick & Pray on Friday will bag a $1,000 entry to play on-track in Oldsmar, Fla.

The lone Friday feature at HorsePlayers is an always-popular $75 NHC qualifier.

Two seats are guaranteed in this Pick & Pray, which has a winning ratio of 1-per-143 and also offers plentiful NHC Tour points as an added attraction. Entries are limited to three per person. Remember—you must be a 2022 NHC Tour member, prior to the start of the contest, in order to be eligible for an NHC package in this or any other NHC qualifier. If you’re not a member, you can become one quickly and easily at NTRA.com for a $50 membership fee.

Contest races for the Friday featured tourneys at both HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers are the 6th through 8th from Aqueduct; the 9th and 10th (both stakes) at Laurel; and the 3rd through 7th from Santa Anita—10 races in all.

On Saturday, it’s your last chance to make 2022 a year to remember, and the Month-End Blowout is an excellent vehicle for doing just that. 

Despite the oversized guaranteed purse of $50,000, our Month-End Blowout entry fee will be the same $350 charged for typical Saturday cash-game features. The format will be Pick & Pray.

Saturday’s other important cash game, our Big Bucks tourney, always goes as a Pick & Pray, and it runs with a $10,000 purse guarantee. It’s an “up-to-$20,000” get together. Entries—at $1,150 each—are limited to 20, and payouts go just to the top three finishers. The winner collects 70 percent of the net pool, the runner up gets 20 percent, and the third-place finisher picks up the remaining 10 percent.

For the second straight day, we’ll have qualifiers to the Flo-Cal Faceoff, the Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship, the Hialeah NHC tournament and the Tampa Bay High Rollers Contest. All of these will be Live-format games on Saturday.

Also on tap Saturday is a play-in to the NHC qualifier on January 28 at Sam Houston Race Park. One of every 15 entries—at $79 per entry—will take home a $1,000 seat for the on-track-only contest in the nation’s fourth-largest city.

There will be two NHC qualifiers on Saturday. The one here at HorseTourneys is a “regular,” $165 showdown with two seats guaranteed. It’s a Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-per-65.

The day’s other NHC qualifier is at HorsePlayers, where it shares the stage with a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge play-in. 

The HorsePlayers NHC tilt is restricted to those who have yet to win a 2023 seat and, as such, no NHC Tour points will be on offer. One seat is guaranteed in this Pick & Pray, and the winning ratio is 1-per-65.

The BCBC qualifier is also a 1-per-65 Pick & Pray guaranteeing one seat. The cost to play is $179.

Twelve contest races will determine the outcome of the Saturday features. They are the 6th and 8th from Tampa Bay Downs; the 7th through 11th (the first four of which are graded stakes) at Gulfstream; the 7th through 9th from Aqueduct; and the 7th and 9th at Laurel. Closing time is scheduled to be 3:03 pm ET (though Tampa often runs behind schedule, so it’s possible that the 7th at Gulfstream winds up going off before the 6th at Tampa). As always, it is incumbent upon players (and just a good idea, in general) to keep tabs on race-day timing to avoid any mistakes.

If you don’t do well in our Saturday tourneys, you can always hope for better luck next year—and you’ll only have one day to wait for that.

The New Year brings with it a new HT Tour year. The first HT Tour game of 2023 is Sunday’s $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Pick & Pray. You can play for $250.

The other featured cash game on New Year’s Day is the Sunday Big Bucks tourney—an up-to-$20,000 battle with a purse guaranteed at $7,000. Total entries in this Live-format event are limited to 20 (at $1,150 per entry), and payouts go strictly to the top three scorers.

We’ll also present our third consecutive day of qualifiers for the $250,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff, the Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship, the Hialeah NHC qualifier and the two-day Tampa Bay Downs High Rollers Contest. All four of these Sunday qualifiers will be Pick & Prays.

There will also be another Sam Houston qualifier. It’s again a Pick & Pray with an entry fee of $79. One of every 15 entrants will earn a $1,000 spot in the January 28th on-track contest.

It’s going to be a busy New Year’s Day at HorsePlayers with three features, including a pair of NHC qualifiers.

One of the NHC play-ins is a $100 qualifier with three seats guaranteed rather than the usual two. It’s a Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-per-100.

The other Sunday “Vegas feeder” is a $500 Low Ratio game. It will be run in Live format and at least 10 entries must be attracted for the tourney to “go.” (Also, per NHC Tour rules, at least two entries must be awarded in order for NHC Tour points to be awarded in this one.)

The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge is also part of the New Year’s mix. Sunday offers a Low Ratio Pick & Pray with one seat guaranteed, a $500 entry fee and a winning ratio of 1-per-23.

Happy New Year…and Happy Handicapping!

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