06/24/2016 2:30PM

Upgrades in place for DRF Tournaments


Daily Racing Form announced this week that it will be rolling out upgrades to the new DRF Tournaments site as early as next week, responding to player input and suggestions during its first month of operation.

Overall reaction to the site, a one-stop shop for tournament players, has been positive, with features allowing players to navigate the site more easily, play across multiple devices, and manage their own accounts.

The addition of low-buy-in contests has been particularly appealing for existing and new players, demonstrating the site’s potential to fuel contest growth. So far, 30 percent of the players on the DRF Tournament platform are new to the tournament world.

“By giving a new group of players the chance to win into the National Handicapping Championship or Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge starting for as little as $15, we believe we can help take these already-great events to new heights,” said Ken Kirchner, senior vice president of DRF Tournaments.

The upgrades announced this week will begin to address some of the key issues that players have identified with the new platform. Enhancements include improved website responsiveness and speed as well as an improved user experience on mobile devices. Public leaderboards also are being added.

“As with any new launch, we’ve experienced some issues, and we wanted to assure you customers that we’re working hard to fix them,” said Kirchner. “Our objective is to make DRF Tournaments the most player-friendly tournament platform in the business, bar none.”

BCBC qualifier Sunday

The BCBC takes center stage on the new DRF Tournaments platform on Sunday. The BCBC is the world’s biggest live-bankroll betting contest.

Normally, the buy-in for the BCBC is $10,000, but you can also qualify online for an initial buy-in of as little as $21. Recent BCBC winners Bob Traynor and Patrick McGoey both parlayed a $100 online buy-in into hundreds of thousands of dollars at the BCBC.

Sunday’s contest is a qualifier. Players put up $190, and up to two BCBC seats will be awarded, with one seat guaranteed. The contest consists of 12 races (see below), and players make one mythical $2 win-place bet in each race. The highest scores win. If there aren’t enough entries to award a second seat, the additional money will be paid out in breakage credits.

The BCBC qualifier will use the live format, where players have the opportunity to change picks until the post time of each race. While this allows players to make last-minute changes, it is still an excellent idea to put in “default” picks early on. That way, if you get distracted, you still have something entered as your pick in each race. It’s always better to have some opportunity to cash than none.

In addition to weekend qualifiers, DRF Tournaments is offering feeders during the week. Feeders are qualifiers for the qualifiers, and that’s where players have an opportunity to win into the BCBC for as little as $15. DRF Tournaments is also offering feeders for the NHC, the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping contest.

Another important element of the new platform is racetrack partnerships, which allow DRF Tournaments to run feeders and qualifiers for ontrack events like the recent contests at Belmont, Monmouth, and Santa Anita. The one concern some contest players have had about the proliferation of live-bankroll contests is that they have the potential to price out lower-bankroll players. Feeders solve this problem by allowing anyone to win into high-buy-in events for precious little.

Also on Sunday, DRF Tournaments will be hosting a zero-takeout credit-builder contest. Entries cost $21. Credit builders are the perfect way for new contest players to get involved with tournaments. They provide valuable experience and allow horseplayers that rarest of opportunities: to play into a pool where as much money will be paid out as goes in. There is no better way to bankroll your upcoming contest play than to win a no-takeout credit builder.

The credit builder will be utilizing the all-in format. That means all picks must be in before the scheduled post time of the first contest event. In this case, that means 3:47 p.m. Eastern. Don’t wait until the last minute to enter your selections.

Sunday’s contests cover three tracks, and the sequence will last around 2 1/2 hours. Free DRF classic past performances are available to all contestants.

Here are the races for Sunday’s contests (all times Eastern):

3:47 Churchill 7

4:09 Belmont 6

4:19 Churchill 8

4:41 Belmont 7

4:51 Churchill 9

5:00 Santa Anita 2

5:13 Belmont 8

5:23 Churchill 10

5:30 Santa Anita 3

5:45 Belmont 9

6:00 Santa Anita 4

6:17 Belmont 10