Final Qualifier for Tampa, Last Chance for 2021 NHC Tour Points and First 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge Play-in Just Some of the Noteworthy Doings This Friday, Saturday, Sunday

This Saturday is the Tampa Bay Downs High Rollers Tournament Presented by HorseTourneys. That means that McKay Smith and I will be down at the picturesque Oldsmar, Fla., track to mingle with players, hand out a few goodies and perhaps help support the local parimutuel handle a bit. 

It also means that we have the wherewithal, in this instance, to offer qualifiers to this on-track contest right up until the day before. So a Last Chance Tampa play-in is a prominent part of this Friday’s featured schedule.

The Last Chance Tampa qualifier requires an entry fee of $80, and one of every 15 participants gets a $1,000 seat to the next day’s tournament which, based on 100 entries, will offer two NHC seats for either 2022 or 2023 (make sure you are signed up for the 2022 NHC Tour if you prefer a 2023 seat) and a $20,000 cash prize to the winner. Also…there will be plenty of food and an open bar on us. So it should be a good time—even if the horses don’t run according to our wishes!

No longer will you have to conquer 1-per-15 ratios to earn a coveted $1,500 berth (though we’ll still be offering them, of course). Instead, if you wish, you can cut things down to 1-per-5 in our new Low Ratio Flo-Cal Faceoff qualifiers.

Elsewhere on the day’s menu is our first Friday event on the 2022 HT Tour schedule, our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray, which carries an entry fee of $190.

On each day of the weekend, including Friday, you can compete for a seat at the January 15-16 Flo-Cal Faceoff (first leg of the 2022 Tourney Triple series) and the Bally’s NHC Last Chance contest on January 27th.

The Flo-Cal Faceoff Pick & Pray costs $118 to play, and one of every 15 competitors earns a $1,500 seat in the $250,000 Guaranteed event.

The Bally’s qualifier—also a Pick & Pray on Friday—carries a $59 buy-in with one in 10 moving on with a $500 entry for NHC Eve.

Getting back to the Flo-Cal, we also offer a Low Ratio Pick & Pray to the Faceoff on Friday. The winning ratio is just 1-in-5, and entries cost $350 apiece.

The Friday feature at HorsePlayers is a $75 NHC Pick & Pray with two seats guaranteed and a winning ratio of 1-per-143. 

In addition to the potential for grabbing a low-cost NHC spot, this one is a fine, late opportunity to earn potentially valuable NHC Tour points, which could lean to an NHC seat or a cash bonus to those on the threshold for such as the NHC Tour season winds down. Remember…the 2021 NHC Tour year concludes this Sunday, January 9th!

Contest races for Friday are the 6th through 9th from Tampa Bay Downs, the 7th through 10th at Gulfstream and the 3rd and 4th from Santa Anita—10 races in all.

Even some of those playing onsite at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday may want to pay attention to what’s going on here at HorseTourneys that day…because we have four Live-format and two Pick & Pray features slated that day.

The richest tourney of the weekend is our $30,000 Guaranteed, No Limit, Live-format cash tourney, which is also the day’s HT Tour event. Entries cost $350 each.

Operating as a Pick & Pray (as it always does) is the Saturday Big Bucks tourney. It’s an “up-to-$20,000” game with a guaranteed pot of $10,000. Entries—at $1,150 per pop—are limited to 20 (unless we get a late arrival or two from last-minute Saturday feeders…in which case the pot will exceed $20,000). Payouts go just to the top three finishers with the winner collecting 70 percent of the net pool, the runner up getting 20 percent, and the third-place finisher picking up the remaining 10 percent.

There’s an NHC qualifier at both HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers on Saturday. The one here is a Live-format, $165 play-in with two spots to this month’s Vegas extravaganza guaranteed.

As noted earlier, there will be regular qualifiers to both the $250,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff and the Bally’s NHC Last Chance contests on Saturday. Both will be Live-format games. A fee of $118 gets you into the Flo-Cal play-in. Entries to the Bally’s qualifier cost $59 each.

Saturday’s $15 Jackpot Pick 4 tourney, a Pick & Pray, will have a carryover of $292. In our Pick 4 Jackpot games, going four-for-four means you win or share the Jackpot. (You don’t have to be the only winner.) Meanwhile, 70% of the daily net pool gets paid out to players via the traditional $2.00 win/place scoring system. The other 30% goes to the Jackpot pool. Entries in these Jackpot Pick 4 tourneys are limited to three per person.

The Jackpot Pick 4 races for Saturday are the 9th and 10th from Tampa and, similarly, the 9th and 10th at Gulfstream.

We mentioned that there’s an NHC qualifier on Saturday at HorsePlayers. There’s also a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge play-in.

The featured BCBC game is a Live-format, $179 test with at least one $10,000 entry guaranteed to be won, regardless of participation.

The NHC tourney is a $165 affair that is restricted to those who have yet to earn a 2022 berth. One seat is guaranteed, but since the game is not open to all, no NHC Tour points will be awarded here.

Saturday’s featured-tourney races are the 7th and 9th from Aqueduct; the 7th through 10th at Tampa; the 8th through 11th from Gulfstream; and races 3 and 5 at Santa Anita—12 races in total.

On Sunday, a new addition to the featured-tourney schedule is an, ahem, first 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge qualifier.

If you wait until March 5th to sign up for this lucrative contest, entries will run you a stiff $3,500 each. If you play Sunday’s Pick & Pray qualifier to it, you could get a spot for $207 (and that spot can be played on March 5th from either Gulfstream, Santa Anita or Xpressbet). The winning ratio in our Sunday qualifier is 1-per-20. If you win, you can consider yourself the “1/ ST” qualifier.

Sunday’s docket also again includes qualifiers to the Flo-Cal Faceoff ($118 entry fee), and the Bally’s NHC Last Chance tournament ($59). Both will be run in Live format.

The HT Tour skirmish on Sunday is our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit cash tourney. Entries to this Live-format game are $250 each.

Also in Live-format is our Sunday Big Bucks tourney. It’s an up-to-$20,000 throwdown with $7,500 Guaranteed and an entry fee of $1,150. Entries for this one are limited to 20, and payouts are made only to the top three finishers.

We’ll also have a $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney on Sunday. The Jackpot amount will depend on how many played in the Saturday Pick 4 Jackpot tourney—and whether anyone hit it. Check our website or our Twitter feed starting on Saturday night for updates. 

It’s a busy day at HorsePlayers on Sunday with two NHC qualifiers plus a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge play-in. 

The BCBC tourney is a Low Ratio game with a winning ratio of 1-per-23 and a ticket price of $500. One $10,000 entry for next November is guaranteed to be awarded.

The two Sunday NHC play-ins will also be conducted in Live format. One is a $500 Low Ratio qualifier with a winning ratio of 1-in-21 and one seat for later this month certain.

The other is a “regular,” $165 qualifier with two spots definitely headed out the door. The winning ratio here is 1-per-65. Also…this is your last chance of the 2021 NHC Tour year to earn 2021 NHC Tour points. So keep that in mind as well!

We look forward to seeing several of you out at Tampa Bay Downs this Saturday. We secretly (okay, blatantly) hope that a HorseTourneys qualifier is the big winner there. (If so, you can buy us a drink from the open bar.) If you can’t make it to Tampa…well…we wish you good luck too. The food and drink will entirely be your responsibility, but we’ll still try to provide an ample supply of fun.