Hundreds of the best handicappers in the land will again do battle this weekend in the third annual Flo-Cal Faceoff, a two-day, $250,000-guaranteed event that calls on players to make mythical $2 win-and-place selections on every race of the Saturday and Sunday cards from Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park.
Last year, Alan Levitt of Baltimore earned $206,000 for his victory in the Faceoff, which featured a total purse in excess of $570,000.
Along with the April 9-10 Players Championship and August’s Spa & Surf Showdown, the Flo-Cal Faceoff is part of the Tourney Triple series that offers a $2 million bonus should a contestant sweep all three legs, a $1 million bonus should someone capture two legs and guaranteed seats to the NHC, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge and The BIG One to those who perform best over the course of the three rich competitions.
Once again, the excitement surrounding the Flo-Cal Faceoff will be boosted by a live webcast on the HorseTourneys YouTube channel. Hosted by Bill Downes and featuring analysis from NHC Hall of Famer Chris Larmey, the program will air from 6:00 pm ET to approximately 7:30 pm ET on Saturday. Two hours of live, YouTube coverage is slated for Sunday’s second and final day of the Faceoff.
While the Flo-Cal Faceoff and its outsized, all-cash prize pool is the clear highlight, a wide array of cash tourneys and important qualifiers round out what is one of the year’s most important weekends of the contest year. The high-intensity action begins on Friday.
What makes this particular Friday extra exciting is that the day’s featured schedule contains the final qualifiers to the Flo-Cal Faceoff. We’ll offer a $118 multi-track play-in, a $350 Low Ratio, multi-track Pick & Pray and special single-track qualifiers as well.
Another prominent component of the Friday schedule is the day’s HT Tour event, our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray, which carries an entry fee of $190.
Joining the Friday menu this week is a qualifier to the 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge. Entries cost $207 each, and one of every 20 will earn a $3,500 entry to the the March 5th contest, which can be played from either Gulfstream, Santa Anita or Xpressbet.
Each day of Flo-Cal weekend will offer qualifiers to the Bally’s NHC Last Chance tournament on January 27th. Friday’s Pick & Pray carries a $59 buy-in with one in 10 picking up a $500 entry for NHC Eve.
There’s also qualifying action for this month’s NHC over at HorsePlayers.
It’s a $165 Pick & Pray with one spot guaranteed and a winning ratio of 1-per-65.
Contest races for Friday are the 7th through 9th from Aqueduct, the 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th at Santa Anita and the 8th through 10th from Gulfstream—10 races in all.
Saturday, of course, is Day 1 of the two-day Flo-Cal Faceoff. Entries, at $1,500 each, will remain available right up until post time of Saturday’s first race from Gulfstream. However, the Faceoff (an HT Tour event) is just one of eight Saturday features available for your contest enjoyment.
We also have a second HT Tour game on Saturday, a $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Pick & Pray. Entries cost $350 apiece.
Also 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 shot—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.
Saturday brings with it another opportunity to qualify for the January 27th Bally’s NHC Last Chance tournament. A fee of $59 gets you in the door of this 1-per-10 tourney.
Saturday’s $15 Jackpot Pick 4 tourney, a Pick & Pray, will have a carryover of $400. 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 take place entirely at Santa Anita…races 7 through 10 there at The Great Race Place. The last three of those four races are stakes.
There are three featured tourneys at HorsePlayers on Saturday. Two are qualifiers to this month’s NHC. The other is a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge play-in.
The featured BCBC game is a $179 Pick & Pray with at least one $10,000 entry certain to be won, no matter how many (or few) sign up.
The NHC games will both be contested in Live format, both will guarantee one seat regardless of participation and both carry a price tag of $210. One is restricted to those who have yet to earn a 2022 berth. The other is open to all.
Saturday’s featured-tourney races (for all but the Flo-Cal Faceoff) are the 7th through 11th from Gulfstream; the 8th and 9th at Tampa Bay Downs; and races 6 and 10 (four of them stakes) from Santa Anita. That’s 12 races in all. (We’re steering clear of Aqueduct on Saturday since it is supposed to be very cold there that day.)
On Sunday, we will crown our third-ever Flo-Cal Faceoff champion to join the ranks of Thomas Blosser and Alan Levitt. We will also host seven featured events that will, on an admittedly more modest scale, crown their own winners on Sunday.
Sunday’s HT Tour tilt is our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Pick & Pray. Entries will run you $250 each.
If the sun rises these days, you can be sure we are offering a Bally’s NHC Last Chance tournament qualifier. Sunday’s is a $59, 1-per-10 Pick & Pray.
The only Live-format feature on Sunday at HorseTourneys is our Big Bucks game. It’s an up-to-$20,000 battle 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.
And it’s not pictured yet, so it’s not 100% official, but count on seeing a $207 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge qualifier added to the Sunday menu sometime soon.
The NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge share the marquee stage on Sunday at HorsePlayers.
The BCBC tourney is a “regular,” $179 Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-per-65 and an entry fee of $500. At least one $10,000 entry for next November is certain to be awarded here.
The NHC play-in will be conducted in Live format. It’s a $500 Low Ratio qualifier with a winning ratio of 1-in-21. Note that at least 10 entries must be signed on in order for this tourney to “go.”
Good luck to all, and especially to those putting their skills to the test in the Flo-Cal Faceoff. Between the webcast with Bill Downes and Chris Larmey on Saturday and Sunday, our Twitter updates and all the high-stakes action, it should be an exceedingly exciting couple of days.