08/19/2014 12:09PM

NHC Tour rookies get contest


A new contest designed specifically for first-year National Handicapping Championship Tour participants has been announced by the NTRA. The contest, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 21, will follow the typical 12-race, all-mandatory, $2 win-place format common on NHCQualify.com, which will host the tournament.

The buy-in is $25, and entries are limited to one per player. The top three finishers will win berths to the NHC, hotel rooms, and airfare to Las Vegas for up to $400. The fourth through 10th finishers will receive a free entry to a future contest on NHCQualify.com. Registration will open at NHCQualify.com.

To play in the tournament, contestants must purchase an NHC Tour membership before the contest date. Membership costs $50. NHC Tour points will not be awarded since eligibility is restricted to rookies. With approximately 1,600 new players on the Tour in 2014, the event will be very competitive.

The idea for the all-rookie event came from internal discussions at the NTRA. Keith Chamblin, NTRA senior vice president, said, “We were looking for a way to thank these new players and entice them with an offer that would introduce them to online tournament play.”

Asked about the importance of this new format, NHCQualify’s contest director, Ken Kirchner, said, “For newer players, the intimidation factor is a reality. There’s definitely a learning curve. It’s hard to show up in your first online tournament and see all these familiar names playing multiple entries. This format gives these rookies who’ve committed to trying to qualify for the NHC a unique opportunity to be even more competitive from Day 1.”

Kirchner doesn’t expect the overall scores to be any lower than they would be for a tournament that wasn’t restricted to newbies. “Just because somebody’s a rookie doesn’t mean they’re not a good handicapper,” he said.