A Second Big Bucks Tourney Joins the Memorial Day Weekend Lineup, Which Will Consist of More Than 20 Featured Events.

There won’t be many parades, but there will still be plenty of exciting gatherings here at HorseTourneys over Memorial Day Weekend. For the first time, we will be offering not one but two $1,150 Big Bucks tourneys—one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Those are just two of more than 20 featured events on tap during a holiday weekend that, for us, gets rolling on Friday.

The major cash game on Friday is the day’s $10,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. The entry fee is $190.

Each day of the holiday weekend, you can attempt to win a $2,000 entry into the August 15-16 Spa & Surf Showdown. Friday’s qualifier will award just such a grand prize to one of every 20 entries. The buy-in on Friday (and all the other days too) is $113. Those who make it to the Showdown will play two full days of racing from Saratoga and Del Mar for a cash-only prize pool that is guaranteed at $150,000.

HorsePlayers has its own pair of featured events on Friday.

The most popular competition of the entire weekend—at least in terms of number of entries—will like be Friday’s $75 NHC qualifier. Two seats are guaranteed and NHC Tour points will also be at stake.

There is also a “regular,” $179 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Pick & Pray on the Friday slate. One seat is guaranteed, and the winning ratio is 1-per-65.

The Friday menu of contest races is a little trickier than usual. Our partners at Breeders’ Cup requested an eight-race schedule for HorsePlayers on Friday so that tourneys would run simultaneous with its “Happy Hour” Twitter webcast that day. So the featured-tourney races at HorsePlayers will be the 2nd through 6th at Santa Anita and the 8th through 10th from Gulfstream.

We’ll be going with a more customary 10-race schedule here at HorseTourneys on Friday. Since so many people will already be playing the $75 NHC qualifier, we decided to simply add two races to the HorsePlayers schedule rather than create something radically different that would force featured-tourney players to handicap a largely different set of races. As a result, the Friday contest races at HorseTourneys will be the 2nd through 8th at Santa Anita and the 8th through 10th from Gulfstream—10 in all.

The Saturday featured schedule this week is bolstered by the addition of a Big Bucks tourney.

It’s just like the Big Bucks games that used to be on Sunday. A $10,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray with an $1,150 buy-in and a maximum of 20 signups. The pot could swell to as much as $20,000. Payouts go to the top three finishers on a 70%/20%/10% basis.

Despite the introduction of “Big Bucks” to Saturday, we still offer a $25,000 Guaranteed game, which will also be a Pick & Pray this week. It carries an entry fee of $260.

Despite the introduction of the Big Bucks game and the retention of the $25,000 Guaranteed tourney, there’s also an NHC qualifier here on Saturday. It’s a “regular,” $165, live-format play-in with two spots certain to be awarded regardless of participation.

There’s also a Spa & Surf Showdown to shoot for. Like Friday’s, Saturday’s is a $113 Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-per-20. Winners receive a $2,000 entry to the $150,000 Guaranteed affair August.

Also on the Saturday board is a Pick & Pray qualifier for the Lone Star Park Spring Betting Challenge. This one is a 1-per-15 event with an entry fee of $80. Winners earn a $1,000 entry into Lone Star’s onsite competition on June 27.

The features at HorsePlayers on Saturday take place in live-format. One of them marks the return of “an old friend.”

It’s the first NHC “Maiden Special” of 2020. This is a live-format qualifier with one seat guaranteed (no Tour Points since it’s restricted…and a one-seater), and it is restricted to those who have yet to win a spot in the 2021 event. Entries are $165 each. The winning ratio is 1-per-65.

The BCBC qualifier is a Low Ratio, 1-per-23 proposition. It carries an entry fee of $500, and guarantees at least one $10,000 BCBC entry.

The 12 Saturday contest races at both HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers are the 7th through 11th at Gulfstream; the 4th through 8th from Santa Anita; and the 7th and 8th at Golden Gate. The deadline for entry will be at about will occur at about 3:49 pm ET.

Nine more features come your way on Sunday, including the weekend’s second Big Bucks tourney.

This one is a little different than previous Sunday Big Bucks games. The buy-in amount and the payout schedule remain the same. The format will be Live, however, and the purse guarantee will be $7,500 (since we’ll have very few feeders leading in to this one…unlike Saturday’s edition).

Incidentally, we went to two Big Bucks games, because the stand-alone Sunday event was selling out regularly…and also earlier and earlier, it seemed, with each passing Sunday. So we hope this additional weekend offering helps reduce the number of players getting shut out.

In addition to the second Big Bucks game, another bit of news was made this week when we announced that The BIG One would now take place online here at HorseTourneys. The decision was made in conjunction with our good friends at Laurel Park, of course.

The dates for The BIG One will remain the same—September 19-20—and the prize pool remains intact. Actually the cash portion of the prize pool should be significantly better than it otherwise would have been since we’ll be directing funds otherwise spent on food, hotels and the like into the pot. McKay wrote a blog about it this week that lays out all of the details.

Anyway, the entry fee for Sunday’s guaranteed, Pick & Pray qualifier to The BIG One is $395 and entires are capped at 27. One grand prize is guaranteed and the runner up gets his or her entry refunded. In The BIG One, now online, the top 10 finishers receive their choice of a seat to the NHC, BCBC or Pegasus World Cup plus cash bonuses. Finishers 11-15 get a choice of either $1,500 or a Horse Players World Series entry. The final field will consist of no more than 57.

Now to the less newsworthy portion of our Sunday schedule…

Sunday’s $12,500 Guaranteed No Limit tourney is a Pick & Pray this week. The buy-in is $195.

We’re back to a Live format for Sunday’s Low Ratio NHC qualifier. It’s not a guaranteed event—there must be 10 entries (at $500 each) for this game to “go”— but filling this one has not been a problem so far. The winning ratio is 1-per-21. (Note that Tour points will only be available here if, as per NHC Tour rules, there are enough entries to award two seats.)

The weekend’s third qualifier to the Spa & Surf Showdown is set for Sunday. One of every 20 entries in $113 Pick & Pray will compete for an all-cash prize pool ($150,000 Guaranteed) on August 15-16. Players will be playing each race of the Saratoga and Del Mar cards on both days of the Showdown.

If it’s Sunday, you know we’re hosting an up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with $1,000 Guaranteed. Here, contestants choose a three-horse-exacta box in each of the contest races and receive scores based on the returns of a $1.00 base play. The format is always Live, and there are no payoff caps in these.

Another Sunday certainty is our $8 Pick 6 Jackpot tourney. These are also always run in live-format, and 70% of the net pool gets paid to top finishers via the normal, $2 win/place scoring method, while the other 30% is directed to the Jackpot pool. You win (or share) the Jackpot by picking the winners of all six races. No one has hit the Jackpot yet, and this week, it’s up to $11,480.

There are two Pick & Pray features at HorsePlayers on Sunday—one tied to the NHC and the other pegged to the BCBC.

The NHC tourney is a “regular,” 2-seats-guaranteed qualifier. It has a winning ratio of 1-per-65, and an entry fee of $165.

The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge get-together is a Low Ratio qualifier with a barrier to entry set at $500, and a winning ratio of 1-per-23. One $10,000 BCBC entry is guaranteed to be awarded, however, even if fewer than 23 sign up.

We’ll have a special menu of featured tourneys on Memorial Day as well. That schedule is still in the process of being put together, so check back to our homepage for the latest on the Monday front. Gulfstream, Santa Anita and Golden Gate will all be open that day.

We wish you all a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.