01/31/2018 2:26PM

Last-chance WCH qualifier comes at a discount


The best opportunity in the history of online handicapping contests is just about here. The World Championship of Handicapping is a big-money, no-takeout online tournament taking place this weekend at tournaments.drf.com.

Daily Racing Form chief executive John Hartig said upon the launch of the WCH, “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 biggest of those aforementioned benefits to the player is the fact that the WCH has no takeout. High takeout is an area that horseplayers have recognized for years as holding back the growth of the sport by limiting the overall amount of money players can afford to wager. There will be as much money coming out of the WCH as goes in – a rare opportunity in horse racing.

The WCH is using an all new format: Players will make $2 win-place wagers, as is typical in online contests, but this time around the event will last two days and have cut lines, making it a more strenuous test of handicapping ability. The qualifiers for the WCH started in late April, and since then approximately 70 players have qualified for the event online, exclusively through DRF Tournaments.

:: Enter the World Championship of Handicapping, with a potential $1 million prize pool and 0% takeout

As of Friday morning, there will only be one more chance to qualify. Friday’s final qualifier will be the first opportunity for players to win in directly to the big game for less than $580. Entries are $225 but the ratio is still favorable for players compared to a lot of what is out there – one in 26 will win their full $5,000 buy-ins for the WCH. The current purse is expected to be at least $500,000 with that number able to swell to $1 million should the event receive full participation of 200. In the end, around 70 entries will have qualified in with the rest coming via traditional buy-in.

Friday’s last-chance qualifier will happen in conjunction with a special, live video streamed edition of the DRF Players’ Podcast that will also function as a pre-game show of sorts for the WCH. The final time of the show will depend on post-times, but it’s expected to start around 2:30 ET. You can watch at live.drf.com or on DRF’s Facebook Live. The podcast will also be available archived through the usual channels: iTunes, Soundcloud, Youtube (drf.com/youtube), Spreaker, etc.

Here is a review of how the rules will work for the WCH:

On Saturday, Feb. 3, participants will play 15 mandatory races in the live, mythical $2 win-place format. Based on performance, 50 percent will advance to day two on Sunday, when bankrolls will carry forward. In event of ties, both entries advance. If there’s an odd number of entries, the “extra” will advance (i.e., if there are 149 entries, 75 will move to day two).

On Sunday, there will be two segments. In segment one, all remaining participants will play seven races in which 50 percent of the field will advance to the finals (same rules for ties and odd entries apply). Bankrolls will again be carried over to the final eight-race segment, where a champion will be crowned.

The official rules, which are posted now, include the breakdown of prizes, which will be paid to the top 20. Check them out at http://www.drf.com/wch-rules. To purchase your WCH entry now, go to https://shop.drf.com/wch-entry