06/05/2015 12:21PM

Fornatale: Two-day Prairie Meadows event a unique opportunity


There is a great opportunity to qualify for the National Handicapping Championship next weekend at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa. There aren’t many chances to qualify for the NHC in a money-added tournament with no entry fee, but this is one of them.

The track is hosting a two-day, $500 live-bankroll event that will award two seats to the NHC, plus cash prizes. Up to two entries per player are allowed. Naturally, players must be members of the NHC Tour to be eligible for the seats.

Live-bankroll formats have become popular for a number of reasons. They allow players many of the same benefits of typical cash wagers – the ability to bet in multiple pools and to leverage their strongest opinions by betting more in some races than in others. Live-bankroll tournaments also allow players to go all in – to bet their entire bankroll at once – if they wish.

Another benefit of a live-bankroll tournament is that you don’t need to finish in the money to have a good day. Players can keep whatever money is left at the end of the contest. You could turn your $500 into $1,500 and miss the prize pool, but you still would have made $1,000 on the weekend.

The rules for Prairie Meadows’s contest are unique. Each player must place 15 wagers on each day of the tournament. Players must wager at least $20 per race on each live race from the host track. Permitted wagers are win, place, show, exacta, quinella, trifecta, and superfecta, but players are not allowed to make more than one wager per live race.

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Additionally, players may wager on any of the simulcast races available at Prairie Meadows on the contest dates. On those races, a minimum of $10 must be wagered, and the bets allowed are limited to win, place, and show. Players are not allowed to make more than one wager per simulcast race.

Participants are allowed to cash out their balances at any time during the tournament as long as they have made the minimum required number of wagers using their advance-deposit wagering card.

Entries received after 4 p.m. Monday must be paid for in cash. The $500 buy-in will be deposited into an advance-wagering account for each player. Registration is open now through 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 13.

For information, including the full rules, click here.