03/27/2014 3:37PM

DRF Bets holding first live-bankroll contest

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A lot of the contest world will be focused on the Horse Player World Series in Las Vegas this weekend – but the best opportunity of all this weekend might be found online at DRFBets.com. So, whether you couldn’t make it to Vegas or are traveling home from The Orleans on Sunday, you’re going to want to take a look DRFBets’s first live-bankroll contest.

The contest costs $800 to play, but in value terms, you have a great chance to get all of that back and then some: $300 goes to the contest prize pool, and the other $500 functions as your live betting bank. You must make a minimum of 10 $50 wagers across three tracks – Aqueduct, Gulfstream, and Santa Anita. There is no limit to the number of wagers you can make, but you must make the minimum. Win/place/show/exacta/trifecta pools are all available to contestants. The field is limited to 75 players, with a limit of one entry per person, so a competitive field is ensured.

The best news about the contest is that all of the entry fees will get paid back in the form of seats. The top two finishers win entry into the National Handicapping Championship, and the third and fourth finishers win transferable half-packages (worth $4,999) to this year’s Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge. Why two half-packages instead of one full package? It’s a regulatory matter. In addition to the seats, there also is $5,000 in total prize money allocated from fifth place down to ninth – check out the rules for full details. Should the field not happen to fill – a possibility as of this writing – the contest will be a positive-expectation proposition, making it even more appealing.

:: Click here to purchase a copy of “The Winning Contest Player” by Peter Thomas Fornatale

For players in the contest, it will be a long day of betting, but I see this as a positive. There’s a lot of action for your money, and you’ll have the three most interesting race cards from three different regions of the country to bet on. This ensures that almost all players will be able to find events worth swinging in, no matter what circuit they normally follow.

Live-bankroll contests differ from fixed-bankroll contests in that you are not limited to betting a certain amount per race. You can bet any amount above the minimum at any time. As contest director Josh Tepper said, “We wanted to create an online contest that mimicked an actual day at the track, like the BCBC, where contestants could weigh their opinions according to their strengths, even giving them the option of going all in on a horse they love or for various strategic reasons.”

Another advantage of live-bankroll events is that you have more of the wagering menu open to you. A lot of players, of course, focus their play more on exotic wagering than the win pool. These folks are at a bit of a disadvantage when the format is win-place only. However, in a live-bankroll contest, they are free to bet within the vertical pools as they would normally.

As always on DRFBets.com, if you bet $25 or more, you’re eligible for free classic past performances.

To reserve your seat, check out www.drf.com/store/DRF-Bets-Bankroll-Challenge.

Daily Racing Form also is launching a tournament education e-mail series this week. You can sign up at www.drf.com/tournament-education and receive an e-mail each day. The material in the e-mails is written by me and largely derived from “The Winning Contest Player” but framed in what I hope is a new and interesting way. Sign up today.

◗ There also is an NHCQualify contest happening Saturday. Given that it’s pretty much the best day of racing all year at Gulfstream and Fair Grounds, why not sign up and take a shot? Visit www.NHCQualify.com for details. Here are the races on offer (all times Eastern):

3:53  Gulfstream  9
4:10  Fair Grounds  6
4:26  Gulfsteam  10
5:00  Gulfstream  11
5:35  Gulfstream  12
5:50  Fair Grounds  9
6:00  Santa Anita  6
6:11  Gulfstream  13
6:25  Fair Grounds  10
6:48  Gulfstream  14
7:00  Santa Anita  8
7:10  Fair Grounds  11