Kahlden Wins Big and Cook, Blevins and Lazarus Win Often (Weekend Recap, Dec. 30 – Jan. 1)

In terms of volume, we didn’t run THAT many tourneys last weekend, and yet each day brought us something special or unique that served to make several high-quality games even more memorable.

On Friday, Terence Cook won our Horse Players World Series Entry Only tourney.


I was able to copy and paste that last sentence from last week’s weekend recap because Cook did the exact same thing on Friday, Dec. 23.


Tony Nevill at Treasure Island reports that, due to a flurry of recent betting action, Cook is now the strong 5-2 future book favorite to annex the Friday, January 6 Horse Player World Series Entry Only tourney here. Horses for courses.

Jobby Blevins took down the top prize in Friday’s $5,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray.


Four days earlier on Dec. 26, Blevins grabbed 2nd money in our $12,500 Guaranteed game.


Blevins also used his Friday picks to successfully advance to our Saturday $50,000 game. He didn’t fare as well in that event, but it will take more than one small setback to dampen the enthusiasm of the Blevins camp.


The player who DID fare well in our $50,000 Guaranteed tourney (a sell out) was Lawrence Kahlden, who received $22,500 for his efforts.


Kahlden whiffed on his final three plays of the 15-race contest. But he had done so well in those first 12 races that he was still able to maintain a fairly comfortable lead over runner up Michael Lazarus.


And it turned out come New Year’s Day that Lazarus (like Cook and Blevins) was on a heater of his own.


Meanwhile, our Sunday $1,500 Guaranteed Exacta Box tourney was won in vastly different style this week. Our recent winners seemed to all be hitting one huge race that resulted in them finishing with two or three times the totals of their nearest opponent. Not so on Sunday.


What was the difference for David Curich? The 10th race at Tampa where Curich hit the $1 exacta that paid a whopping… $4.80… and edged him past runner up Sean O’Malley. Who said that 3-5 shots (the win odds of the Tampa winner) can’t help you in contests?!

Meanwhile, we were pleased this weekend to award another 12 entries to the January 26 Treasure Island NHC Last Chance tournament. We’ll have two more direct qualifiers this coming Friday and Sunday.

Speaking of direct qualifiers, here’s an early heads up that on Saturday (Jan. 7) we will offer our first direct qualifier to the Aug. 4-5 Wynn Handicapping Challenge. And the next day, Sunday, January 8, we’ll be hosting our first all inclusive package qualifier to the 2017 The BIG One, our high-expectation event to be held on Sept. 23-24, once again at the newly renovated Laurel Park.

Also note that, due to strong response, our featured cash game on Wednesdays have been upped to $3,000 Guaranteed. Thank you for your support of these mid-week tourneys!

Finally we are delighted to honor a man who, as far as we know, won no tournaments of note last weekend. Nevertheless, Trey Stiles is the first recipient of the HorseTourneys Best Turned Out Award for this indisputably winning look that he sported while fishing over the holidays on his ranch in Texas.


We will be awarding future Best Turned Out Awards on a (very) irregular basis. If you think you have a candidate worthy of consideration, send a picture to Please note that our judges are highly biased and have tastes that run somewhat counter to the fedora-and-fascinator look that tends to hold sway with some other Sport of Kings fashion arbiters. If fairness is important to you, you are much better served sticking to our horse racing tourneys!

All fun aside, here’s hoping that 2017 is a healthy — and winning — year for you and yours.