First Chance for Keeneland Grade One Gamble, Last Chance for Tampa, Plus Six All Optional Live Featured Events Ring in the First Weekend of the New Year

We all start the new year even, and in 2020 you can try to get things off on the right foot not just with a nice assortment of traditional Pick & Prays, but with six important All Optional Live tourneys on Saturday and Sunday. We choose 25 races, you decide which 10 of them you like best, and may the best decision makers win.

Friday is a work day for most, however, so we stick with 10-race Pick & Prays on January 3rd.

Heading the Friday marquee is our up-to-$15,000 cash game with $7,500 guaranteed. The entry fee is $190, and entries are capped at 90.

You again have two chances this weekend to win a $6,500 package to the January 25 Pegasus World Cup Betting Challenge (time is running out!), and the first comes on Friday. You can get in to this Pick & Pray for $384. One per 20 will earn a $6,000 entry (plus $500 for travel) to Hallandale, Florida.

There are also Friday and Sunday qualifiers this weekend to the NHC Last Chance Tournament at Bally’s Las Vegas on February 6. The winning ratio is 1-per-10 in this $59 competition. Please note…should you win a $500 entry to this tournament and later earn an actual 2020 NHC seat, you have the option of keeping the entry, trading it in for $500 in HorseTourneys credit or transferring the $500 entry to another player. The deadline for letting us know of your plans is February 1. No switcheroos after that.

Every day of the weekend is Horse Player World Series Day at HorseTourneys. On Friday, you can play an entry-only Pick & Pray for $89. The winning ratio is 1 per 20. Winners receive a $1,500 entry to what is always one of the highly anticipated contests of the year.

Traveling to contests can be fun, but sometimes there’s no place like home—especially when you can play for $100,000 from home. That will be the case on February 29-March 1 with the $100,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff. The Faceoff is a “No Limit” tourney, so the pot could be more than $100,000, and it will feature full-card racing from just Gulfstream and Santa Anita during Fountain of Youth weekend. Sunday’s Pick & Pray has an $86 entry fee, and winners earn a $1,500 entry to the Faceoff. The winning ratio is 1 in 20.

During the month of January, only NHC qualifiers will be hosted at HorsePlayers. The Friday feature there this week is a $75 Pick & Pray.

Two NHC spots are guaranteed in this one, and since the low entry fee is conducive to a large field, this tourney is a good, late opportunity for 2019 NHC Tour points.

Contest races for Friday (for all six features at HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers) are the 7th through 10th from Gulfstream; the 7th and 9th at Tampa, the 5th and 8th from Hawthorne; and the 3rd and 5th at Santa Anita—10 races in all.

Four more featured tourneys—three of them at HorseTourneys—are slated for Saturday. Two of the three are All Optional Live events.

One of those “AOLs” is our richest tourney of the weekend—Saturday’s up-to-$30,000 game with $15,000 Guaranteed. It’s $260 to play and, again, you make 10 plays out of 25 available races.

The same rules apply in our full-package qualifier to the Horse Player World Series. Winners get a $1,500 entry plus four nights at The Orleans (where you can rest a cup of coffee or can of beer on a convenient ledge while you shower) and a $500 travel credit in your HorseTourneys account. The entry fee for this contest is $148, and the winning ratio is 1-per-20.

The 25 All-Optional Live races available for you Saturday selecting pleasure on the 6th through 11th at Gulfstream, the 6th through 9th at the Big A, races 2 through 10 at Santa Anita, and the 4th through 9th from Hawthorne.

Using a more standard, 12-race Pick & Pray format, you can also compete on Saturday—one final time—for a spot in the Tampa Bay Downs High Roller Tournament on January 11. One of every 15 entries, at $80 each, will pick up a $1,000 entry to the Tampa tourney that takes place a week from Saturday.

Over at HorsePlayers, the Saturday headliner is a regular NHC qualifier with two seats guaranteed.

Note that this one, like the Tampa qualifier, is a traditional, 12-race tourney with all races mandatory. Also note that this one (unlike the Tampa game!) will be run in Live format.

The 12 contest races for the Tampa and NHC qualifiers will be the 7th through 11th at Gulfstream; the 3rd, 4th and 6th from Santa Anita; the 8th and 9th at Aqueduct; and the 6th and 8th from Hawthorne.

Eleven more featured tourneys—including four All Optional Live games and one new qualifier—take place at HorseTourneys on Sunday.

We’ll start with the four All Optional Live events. One is for our “regular,” $195-entry-fee up-to-$20,000 tourney with $10,000 Guaranteed. Entries are capped at 118 for this one.

Another “AOL” on Sunday is our Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship qualifier. tIt’s $384 to play, and whoever makes the best use of his/her 10 plays from the 25 eligible contest races earns a $6,500 package to the January 25th live-bankroll competition.

For the third straight day, you can take a shot at the Horse Player World Series, and this one (you guessed it) is an All Optional Live opportunity. The cost to enter is $89, and one in 20 will advance to the The Orleans for the storied HPWS.

The other Sunday All Optional Live game on tap is our Flo-Cal Faceoff qualifier. Just like on Friday, the entry fee is $86 and the winning ratio is 1 in 20. Winners advance to the $100,000 Guaranteed online cash tourney (Feb.29-March 1) that will test them only racing from Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park. (That February 29 date should tip you off, if you weren’t already aware, that 2020 is a leap year.)

On to our more standard 12-race Sunday tourneys. We have a second up-to-$20,000 cash game in the form of our $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks Pick & Pray. This one is not cheap to play—$1,150—but entries are limited to 20, and payoffs go only to the top three finishers on a 70/20/10 basis.

Sunday also marks the debut of our direct qualifiers to the 2020 Keeneland Grade One Gamble. One of every 20 entries in this 12-race, $236-buy-in tourney receives a $3,500 entry to Keeneland for their big contest on April 19, plus $500 for travel to Bluegrass country.

There’s also a special NHC Low Ratio qualifier on the schedule. This 12-race Pick & Pray carries an entry fee of $500 and a winning ratio of 1-per-21. One “Bally’s Berth” is Guaranteed.

Sunday’s Sam Houston qualifier goes as a 12-race Pick & Pray as well. One of every 15 entries, at $80 per entry, earns a $1,000 spot in Sammy H.’s January 26 NHC qualifier.

If you didn’t succeed on Friday (or even if you did), the second of two weekend qualifiers to the NHC Last Chance Tournament at Bally’s takes place on Sunday. One of every 10 entries in this Pick & Pray, at $59 each, will get a $500 entry spot in this day-before-the-NHC contest.

Two Live-format cash games round out the Sunday schedule at HorseTourneys.

One is our up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with $1,000 Guaranteed. Players must select a three-horse-exacta box play in each of the 12 contest races. You’re credited with the returns on a $1.00 base play, and the highest final total receives the spoils. (There are never any payoff caps in these Exacta games. What your exacta pays is what you’re credited with…even if it’s a bomb over a bomb.

The other is our $8 Pick 6 Jackpot tourney. Seventy percent of the net pool goes to top finishers via the normal, $2 win/place scoring method, while the other 30% goes to the Jackpot pool. Pick the winners of all six races and you win (or share) the Jackpot, which is now up to $4,253. Some of you may be able to come up with this entry just from your New Year’s Eve bottle returns (unless you live in a No Deposit state, of course).

Over at HorsePlayers, it’s the fourth and fifth of five weekend NHC qualifiers. Both are a little bit atypical.

We have a Live-format tourney with two spots guaranteed, but the entry fee is $210 instead of the customary $165. This works out to a winning ratio of 1-per-50 instead of 1-per-65.

The other Sunday NHC qualifier is a “Maiden Special” restricted to those who have yet to earn a 2020 seat. It’s a live-format game with one grand prize guaranteed. The entry fee is $165 and—as with all of these restricted, “Maiden Special” games—no NHC Tour Points will be awarded.

We hope you end 2019 on a winning note. And we want to give you an early heads up on an opportunity to both end 2019 and begin 2020 on winning notes…in the very same tourney.

May you have a great year ahead…and may your handicapping vision be, ahem, 20/20.