03/02/2018 3:40PM

New event unveiled Preakness weekend


There’s an exciting new event for horseplayers that has just been added to the DRF Tournaments website and the first feeders are live now. The World Horseplayer Tour is a new television concept and its pilot will be shot at Santa Anita in conjunction with its Preakness contest on May 19-20. Qualifying for the tour’s Santa Anita Preakness event is available exclusively at DRF Tournaments.

The contest will be a $5,000 live-bankroll event with several twists. Like the recent Pegasus Betting Championship, there will be no entry fee. The entire prize pool of more than $165,000 will be added. That pool will include two seats to next year’s National Horseplayers Championship as well as a berth to the 2019 Pegasus contest.

The format is unique. It will be a two-day event with the first-ever live-bankroll final table, modeled after World Poker Tour events. The first day will follow a typical live-bankroll event with players having to make a minimum of five bets of at least $1,000 on the live Santa Anita card, plus three selected stakes at Pimlico. There are no maximum bets: Players can go “all-in” at any time.

At the conclusion of the first day of play, the players with the eight highest bankrolls will advance to a final table for Day 2. At that point, their existing bankrolls will be converted to mythical money – just like the chips in a poker tournament. On Sunday, those eight will continue to play the full card at Santa Anita with an escalating series of minimum bets – think blinds – until there is a winner. Betting at the final table will be win only and once again there will be no maximum bet.

The contest will allow only one entry per player with re-buys permitted. Re-buys will cost $6,000, with the extra $1,000 fueling the prize pool. In order to re-buy, players must be able to make their five $1,000 minimum wagers. Additionally, strict anti-collusion rules will be enforced. Contest families are encouraged to participate, friends may help each other out, but players are not allowed to coordinate the races they select, the amounts they bet, or the horses they play. All players’ wagers will be made public after the contest.

Sunday will also see a $1,500 consolation tournament, as well as the continuation of a special “churn” contest, awarding cash back to the players who bet the most – inside and outside the contests – over the course of the two days.

The contest will be filmed as a TV pilot, which will be edited in the weeks following the event. The hope is that the pilot will be ready for screening by the Del Mar and Saratoga meets with a planned screening at Equestricon in Louisville on Breeders’ Cup week as well.

There will be several qualifiers on DRFT for the WHT/SA Preakness contest, with feeders every operating day. The first feeders will offer two options to win into the $458 first-chance qualifier on Sunday, March 11, and will be held in conjunction with the Ultimate Betting Challenge, a $54 buy-in tourney where one in 10 will advance and a $135 feeder where one in four will go forward.

Go to tournaments.drf.com for more details about all the games happening this weekend.