09/26/2014 11:57AM

Fornatale: Tournaments 101 - BC Betting Challenge offers great value


This article is the third in a series that will focus on the basics of tournament play. The series, which also includes videos, will cover topics including how to get started, tools and strategies for success, and details on the top tournaments. This series is targeted at newcomers, but hopefully veteran contest players can learn something as well.

The Breeders’ Cup is synonymous with great racing, and for horseplayers, it’s also synonymous with great wagering opportunities: big, full fields; super-talented runners; and monstrous payouts. For the last several years, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge has given horseplayers another major opportunity to make a big score: by potentially parlaying a qualifying fee of as little as $110 on BCQualify.com into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge is the country’s most prominent live-bankroll handicapping contest. Having a live bankroll means you can reinvest up to all of your bankroll at any time during the contest until you zero out. It also means that you get to keep any of your bankroll you happen to have left over at the end of the contest. In live-bank events, no longer are players tied to mythical win-place bets. At the BCBC, you have almost all of the vertical pools available to you: you can bet win, place, show, exactas, and even trifectas. In this sense, live bankroll contests allow players to play more like they do on a typical day at the track than the average handicapping contest does.

Unlike the National Handicapping Championship, the contest world’s other premier event, you can buy in directly to the BCBC should you choose to. It costs $10,000 -- $7,500 of which acts as a live bank, the other $2,500 goes into the prize pool. In addition to cash, the pool also consists of an impressive 15 seats to the NHC, where players will have a chance to win their share of over $2 million. In 2013, BCBC winner Peter Behr took home $324,115 all told with the second- and third-place finishers also collecting more than six figures when you include their bankrolls.

Players have raved over the years about the first-class accommodations they receive at the tournament – a fun atmosphere, good food, and a ringside seat to two days of incredible racing. Perhaps the best thing about the BCBC is that it has more than 100 percent payback. This, of course, is a very rare thing in racing: More money comes back out of the pool than the players put into it. The BCBC isn’t just a great handicapping contest, it’s a great investment.

To many horseplayers, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge is the single most important contest of the year because of its tie-in to racing’s richest days, with great atmosphere, terrific prize money, and overall stellar value. If you’re interested in learning more, definitely spend some time at BCQualify.com, where you’ll find many opportunities to win a ticket to the big dance.

As of 2014, for the first-time players are also able to play in the BCBC via simulcast betting sites located at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Ky., and Aqueduct in Queens, N.Y. For more information on playing in the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, either live or at Keeneland or Aqueduct, contact Tim Schram at (859) 422-2658.

For more information in general, check out https://www.breederscup.com/bcbc