06/14/2010 11:00PM

Breeders' Cup handicapping tournament expands

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Breeders' Cup Ltd. has raised the cap from 80 to 120 on the number of players who can participate in a $10,000 buy-in handicapping tournament scheduled to be conducted during its two-day year-end event on Nov. 5-6 at Churchill Downs.

Although the tournament attracted 75 players for its inaugural at Santa Anita Park, five short of last year's cap, Breeders' Cup simulcasting consultant Ken Kirchner said he believed more players would be drawn to this year's edition due to the central location of this year's host track and plans by Breeders' Cup to offer 25 spots through additional on-line handicapping tournaments conducted throughout the summer and fall. Last year, Breeders' Cup offered eight spots through on-line tournaments.

"I'm hopeful that because we're holding it at Churchill we can attract players from both the West Coast and the East Coast," Kirchner said. "Last year a lot of the East Coast players didn't make it out to California."

With added money from Breeders' Cup, if the tournament draws the maximum amount of players, total prize money will be $340,000. Of the $10,000 buy-in, $2,500 is directed to the winner's pool and $7,500 is used as the player's bankroll. Any bankroll winnings are kept by the player. The event is currently the largest live-money tournament in the U.S.

The tops six finishers in the Breeders' Cup tournament will also receive automatic berths to the National Handicapping Championship, which is scheduled for Jan 28-29 in Las Vegas. The National Handicapping Championship has a total prize pool of $1 million.

The on-line tournaments offering spots in the Breeders' Cup tournament will require entry fees ranging from $100 to $400, Kirchner said, and will be scheduled within the next week to ten days. The prize for those on-line qualifiers will be the $10,000 entry fee in the Breeders' Cup tournament, according to Kirchner.