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So You Want To Play The Ponies: The Horseplayer World Series – Preview, Part I

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By now everyone has heard of the World Series of Poker. While it has been around since the early seventies, it exploded when Chris Moneymaker, with a $39 entry fee in a PokerStars online tournament, found himself champion in 2003 winning an astounding $2.5 million.

2005 marked the beginning of a new World Series event. The Horseplayer World Series! And January 18-20 marks the third annual Horseplayer World Series to be held at The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada. This event, sponsored by Coast Casinos, should prove to be bigger and better than ever.

Unfortunately, the online qualifying events are over for this year and the only way that you will get in (assuming you haven’t won the right already) is to pay the $1000 entry fee for the three day event.

In year one of the HWS, Michael Ray, a CPA from California who dabbled in handicapping at the local tracks after work, found himself winning it all. Like his career choice, handicapping was an analytical process. This process worked for him to a tune of $384,000.

In year two, 2006, it was Mark Clement from Buffalo, New York who took the top prize, beating out 734 other handicappers for a prize of $367,500. What was Mark’s strategy? Get there early to acclimate to the time zone change; to get into the zone! He blocks out distractions that can interfere with his focus and always considers the human factor.

With the advent of sites like Daily Handicapping Contests and Public Handicapper the world of handicapping has grown enormously in 2006 and that should mean a larger turn out for the 2007 event.The Orleans Hotel & Casino is expecting as many as 1000 horseplayers from around the country, from around the globe to attend. The First place prize money is 50% of the total entry fee. With 1000 entries, that comes out to $500,000 dollars. Prize money is paid out to the top 30 places.

Who will it be this for 2007? Only time will tell, but I am going to use this series to inform and educate on the contests that will be available next year and perhaps you can be the Chris Monymaker of handicapping.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.