The latest Free-to-Play online National Handicapping Championship (NHC) qualifier is set for Sunday on NHCQualify.com. The contest will offer four berths to the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping tournament and is open exclusively to NHC Tour members. NHC 17 in January 2016 offered a total prize pool of more than $2.75 million including an $800,000 first-place prize won by Paul Matties, whose finish also earned him an Eclipse Award as Horseplayer of the Year.
This marks the first free contest of the NHC Tour’s “Second Half,” which starts with a clean slate separate from the overall standings. The top five on the NHC Tour leaderboard from Aug. 1 to Jan. 1 will each be awarded a $10,000 cash prize. Meanwhile, the overall year-long NHC Tour continues through Jan. 1, with $175,000 in prizes paid out to the top 20, from $75,000 (plus a trophy and an automatic berth to NHC 19) for the NHC Tour champion to $1,000 for 20th. The top 40 NHC Tour finishers will then compete for a $25,000 bonus to the player from that elite group with the highest score at NHC 18.
This weekend’s plethora of contest offerings include the two-day (Friday and Saturday) $200,000-guaranteed Wynn Las Vegas Handicapping Challenge (2 NHC spots); Saturday’s “All-Optional” contest on HorseTourneys.com (3 spots minimum); Saturday’s “Second Chance” contest (a qualifier for the 2-spot championship Oct. 1) at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas; Sunday’s free online tournament (4 spots) presented by the NTRA; and another Sunday contest (2 spots guaranteed) at NHCQualify.com.
The top four finishers in Sunday’s free contest will each earn an automatic berth to the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, presented by Racetrack Television Network and Treasure Island Las Vegas, to be held January 27-29, 2017, at Treasure Island. Each winning prize package includes NHC entry, four nights at Treasure Island and airfare reimbursement up to $400.
Registration for the free contest is underway. If you have an existing NHCQualify.com or DRF Tournaments account go to tournaments.drf.com and log in. If you have not registered on DRF Tournaments, go to tournaments.drf.com and click on the “REGISTER” button at the top of the page. You may create your account on the right of the page. Once you are logged in click the “ENTER” button next to the contest description, then confirm your entry. For assistance contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The free qualifier also offers NHC Tour points, with the top 10 percent of finishers earning shares of a points pool estimated at 250,000 points (with 3,750 to the winner), based on an estimated 1,500 players. The final number of points available will be determined on a sliding scale according to the number of participating NHC Tour players.
This marks the fourth of five free online qualifiers to be presented by the NTRA this year, with the final contest set for September 3, also on NHCQualify.com.
For more information on the NHC and NHC Tour, visit www.ntra.com/nhc.