03/31/2014 1:25PM

Shurman qualifies for NHC for 12th time

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William Shurman qualified for the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship for an amazing 12th time on Saturday on NHCQualify.com. I spoke with him Sunday morning.

You were playing in both the Horse Player World Series and the NHCQualify.com contest at the same time. Is it common for you to do that type of multi-tabling?

Actually, I was triple-tabling. I was playing in another online contest as well. I was playing at home and my brother was playing my ticket in Las Vegas, which they allow for that contest with its unlimited entries. Last year, I was there in Vegas, playing for us, and he was on a cruise. This year at the World Series, I was pretty much in a support role and that allowed me to play those other contests online.

Talk about why you like multi-tabling. Is it an efficiency thing?

Part of my logic was, “Well, I’ve got to be looking at these races anyway, so I might as well play these other contests.” I had a nice-priced winner in the race that started both the online contests, so I focused more on those and let Paul handle the World Series.

How did that work out for you, managing the two online contests simultaneously?

After starting out so well, playing the same price horse on both tickets, I made a mistake. I had a $50 horse at Santa Anita, the longer price of the two [Bob] Baffert runners. And I originally played it in both online contests. And at the last second, I decided to split it up and play the Gary Stevens horse at 6-1 in the non-NHCQualify contest, who I also really liked. It’s one of those lessons I always tell myself but I rarely follow: When you’re considering two horses and one is 15-1 and the other is 6-1, even though you might like the 6-1 slightly better, you play the 15-1 in most contests. The 6-1 still may not win, and 6-1 might not be enough anyway to help you anyway. If not for switching at the last second, I would have had a good shot to win the other online contest too. My total would have given me enough in theory, but who knows if I would have played differently after that.

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I love how philosophical you are when talking about this stuff. A lot of players would have just said, “I would have won,” and neglected the fact that there’s a whole decision tree that might have branched out differently.

Yeah, I was kicking myself, but really happy with the way things worked out on NHCQualify.com. When I play on there, against 350 people, I really don’t expect to finish in the top five, my main goal going in is to finish in the top 10 percent and pick up NHC Tour points. My schedule isn’t going to allow for that much travel this year, so going into this weekend, I was thinking my best chance to qualify for the NHC was to do so via the Tour – the top 150 finishers on the Tour are all guaranteed seats to the NHC. But as the day went on, I kept creeping up.

Was there any drama late in the day?

The last two races were going off at the same time. And I was in the top three with a $20 on sixth, and with the top five getting seats, that’s what I was worried about, finishing top five. So I played horses that were more protective in nature in those final two races. If the people in sixth or seventh hit back-to-back 3-1’s to beat me, so be it. Watching the races, all I was concerned with was that a 20-1 shot didn’t win. I didn’t even realize that the horse at Santa Anita I played in the last race ran second, giving me enough to actually win the NHCQualify contest. I checked the leaderboard afterwards expecting to have held on for fourth or fifth and was shocked to see myself in the lead. I had no idea.

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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When you make six figures or more a year you can afford to spend a grand or more every weekend playing contests. How about leveling the playing field and cap how much every tour member can spend in contest fees...Perhaps the NTRA should have made this question part of their member survey. I would be willing to wager that the response would be overwhelming... This would put an end to the wealthy buying their way and in the long run make all tour members better handicappers/contest players.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey Pete Why has DRF not released the winners of the March 30 tourny?
Peter Fornatale More than 1 year ago
Here is a link with that info: www.drf.com/events/drf-contest-results
Peter Fornatale More than 1 year ago
I tried to post a few comments that wouldn't post for some annoying reason. One was about the rationale for not allowing contest bets to be cancelled in the DRF Bets contest. I will try to find out, I must admit that was a new one for me. Someone else wanted to know abt the final leaderboard. I should have something on that in tomorrow's post.
Ron Rios More than 1 year ago
Hey Pete, I was curious ( and I think it would be very helpful to all tournament players to know) if there is a way we could actually find out all tourney players stats, for instance, Golf keeps stats on players so I can see how many events someone has played, how much they have won, how many top 10 etc… I think its great to win a tournament no matter what, but I am curious to see if someone like Hellmers or Shurman play in 100 events a year or 3 events a year, afterward we love horse's stats we should too...
Peter Fornatale More than 1 year ago
Ron: That is a fantastic idea! I have said before that I think having some sort of handicapping contest wiki to track players and results would be an amazing resource for all of us. I have no idea how to get something like that started but if anyone out there has experience in that realm, I'd love to hear from you. I believe some of the other online sites have methods to track top players, monthly/yearly leaderboards things of that nature, so you should check around there for information. As Eric Moomey suggests in THE WINNING CONTEST PLAYER, there is a lot of merit to patterning yourself after the best players. I believe he just started collecting data available on those other online sites. Thanks for your astute comment and let's talk soon, Pete
mikey More than 1 year ago
This man is money in the BANK.Allways a force