05/09/2014 1:32PM

Fornatale: Over $2 million to be awarded at the 16th National Handicapping Championship


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced today that the purse for the 16th Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship will be a minimum of $1.8 million. This represents a 13 percent increase over the 2014 NHC purse of $1,590,000. Combined with the $200,000 in purses for the NHC Tour, for the first time the NHC overall will award at least $2 million in prizes. The event will be held Jan. 23-25, 2015, at Treasure Island in Las Vegas.

Current plans have the winner’s share of the purse staying at $750,000 with a plan to increase the compensation for those finishing between fourth and 20th in the overall tournament.

The three-day format will once again be in effect, with the top 50 finishers from Day 1 and Day 2 advancing to a third day of competition. The Final 50 will once again be winnowed down to a final table of 10.

No word as of yet on if the leaderboard issues from previous NHCs will be corrected – allowing instant access to scores for all participants after races have finished. A further announcement is expected on this matter later this year.

Other notable rule changes include:

◗ The top 50 entries – not individuals – as ranked by cumulative bankroll from Day 1 and Day 2 of the NHC, will advance to the Day 3 final 50 contest. Last year, individual players could only advance one entry to the final 50.

◗ The final 50 contest and consolation tournament will consist of 10 optional races (no mandatory races). Last year, there were three mandatory races and seven optional races at that stage of the contest.

◗ The final table contest will consist of seven mandatory races, an increase from last year’s five.

◗ Eligible participants may play as many as two entries in the consolation tournament. Last year, dual qualifiers who didn’t make it to the final 50 could play only one entry in the final 50.

◗ Picks at the final table will not be revealed until the horses have left the gate.

Full rules for the 2015 National Handicapping Challenge are available at www.ntra.com/en/nhc/2015-championship-official-rules.

Starks43 More than 1 year ago
Disappointing that the trend toward favoring multiple entry players continues. After this year going to seriously reconsider my involvement in tour. Disappointing. Like the tracks they have clearly identified whose interests they are serving. I know I have posted abt this topic a lot will refrain from doing so in future, no one wants to hear a broken record. Just frustrating.
Peter Fornatale More than 1 year ago
I won't bore you again with my response to this, Starks. I think we have reached the agree-to-disagree point.Unfortunately, since you don't agree my point about there being nothing unfair about multiple entries in fixed bankroll contests, I'm not sure I can really recommend a contest for you -- other than maybe something like Public Handicapper. Did you sign up for the PH Challenge?
sonofjazzman More than 1 year ago
Not sure having multiple entries is a help or hindrance. In the world series at Orleans last year, I finished in the top 60 with my single entry and saw many players with multiple entries buried in the field. I personally like to concentrate on one entry because it can be distracting figuring out two-almost like hedging your bets.
Starks43 More than 1 year ago
Peter I don't necessarily disagree with you abt the advantage being fair. We agree it is an advantage. Was getting to the point where could accept some of it but they decided with these changes to only further perpetuate. It's clear as day to me why they are doing this and I don't think its for the right reasons. Will stop on this believe me I dont spend all that much time worrying abt this may only seem that way lol. I have a good amt of points accumulated so far for 2014 so will plug away and reconsider next year, there are several good in person contests coming up that I am looking forward to. Cheers.
Edward More than 1 year ago
It sounds like you two guys have discussed this a lot. I will a prospectives opinion. Before I even saw the posts on this board, this is what transpired. I clicked on the article because I have been interested in doing a serious handicapping tournament. I have done PH in the past and wanted a big dollar upgrade. Then I read that you could have unlimited entries and I immediately thought, Oh, I don't want to be a part of that type contest. May I suggest that you expand your tournament to two types, single entry and multiple entry, the same way poker breaks out single entry versus re-buy.
Joel Winicki More than 1 year ago
Peter wrote a piece about multiple entries a couple weeks ago. Check it out. The problem is, this topic seems to fall on deaf ears every single time. My opinion is that the "whales" of tournament play are being catered to. Those who can't afford it can either play without the distinct advantage of having multiple entries, or simply not play. I believe the amount of people choosing to NOT play is much greater than most are willing to admit. If/when single entry tournaments become the norm, tournament play will undoubtedly begin to grow into something much larger than it is today. There's just WAY too many horse players currently avoiding tournament play for the very reason you have mentioned.