04/25/2017 11:35AM

DRF unveils $1 million World Championship of Handicapping


One million dollars. No takeout.

Those are the two key ideas behind DRF Tournaments’s new venture, which will offer the biggest prize ever awarded online.

“Following the decision by the NTRA and Breeders’ Cup to separate from DRF and create their own operating platform, DRF has decided to deploy its resources to create the DRF 2017 World Championship of Handicapping,” Daily Racing Form chief executive John Hartig said.

DRF’s broad coverage of racing and 123-year mission of serving the horseplayer make it the perfect company to unleash this new contest, with its exciting and never-before-seen benefits to the horseplayer.”

The mythical-money, all-mandatory, two-day event is scheduled for Jan. 27-28. Entries will be capped at 200, and if full participation is achieved, the purse will be $1 million. Players can buy in directly for $5,000 or start the qualifying process for as little as $10.

DRF has listened closely to tournament players about their needs, wants, and desires, and we believe that today’s players are looking for fresh new ways to engage in tournaments and contests,” Hartig said.

“We were looking to create the most player-friendly handicapping tournament ever conceived,” said Jordan Goldberg, DRF’s senior vice president of e-commerce and gaming. “The DRF Championship final event has 0 percent takeout, plus there’s no travel required, and everyone can participate with no membership fee. In addition, we’ll provide free DRF classic PPs and expert handicapper analysis around many of our contest races.”

The finals will consist of 15 races each day, with two cut lines. Assuming a full field of 200, only 100 advance to Day 2 on Sunday. Halfway through Sunday, another 50 will be cut, allowing the remaining 50 to play for the million. The cut lines add an element of strategy that can sometimes be absent from other online contests, where one cap horse can tip the balance too much.

DRF also is flattening the curve of the prize structure so that it’s not too top heavy. In a field of 200 entrants, the top three still will cash for six figures each, and 10th place will get $20,000. In all, the top 10 percent of the field will finish in the money.

There are multiple ways to win your way into the DRF World Championship. Players can purchase $100 entries into Round 1 events that will advance one in seven players into Grade 1 qualifiers (players can also purchase into the Grade 1s directly for $580). In the Grade 1 qualifiers, one in 10 entries will qualify for the championship.

There also will be $225 buy-in Grade 2 qualifiers that will send one in 26 entries to the championship. This compares favorably to other online contests, where often only one in 65 entries advances.

Feeders will be a huge part of the qualifying process as well, and there will be a variety of options for as little as $10.

To sum up the benefits of the World Championship of Handicapping:

• Zero-takeout final

• Better odds of winning in through qualifiers

• No membership fees

• Free-roll feeders and qualifiers

• Handicapping support around contest races

• Free DRF PPs will be provided with every entry.

For more information, check out tournaments.drf.com.