Many of the top handicappers from across the country will match wits this weekend in Las Vegas at the 2020 National Handicapping Challenge (NHC) at Bally’s Hotel and Casino.
A total approaching 700 entries will take place in the $2.95 million event, with the winner taking home the lucrative $800,000 grand prize. The three-day tournament runs from Friday-through-Sunday, with the winner being crowned as “Handicapper of the Year”.
The NHC competition is based on mythical $2 Win-Place wagers placed by each participant. The format for the tournament will see handicappers make selections on eight “mandatory” races on each of the first two days, as well as 10 “optional plays” on Day 1 and Day 2.
Following the first two rounds, the field will be reduced to the top 10 percent of players. The highest 10 cumulative scores after the Semi-final round will fill out the Final Table. Bankrolls amassed during Day 1, Day 2 and the Semi-final round will roll over to the Final Table, with the 10 finalists settling the NHC score in seven “mandatory” assigned races. In total, the winner will have to navigate his or her way through 53 races over the weekend, and top a huge field in doing so.
There is no way to buy your way into the demanding NHC — all players previously earned their way to the event through the numerous contests offered annually which comprise the ‘NHC Tour’.
Defending champ Scott Coles will aim to become the first ever two-time winner of the ever-growing event, which boasted just 203 participants and a top prize of $100,000 in its inaugural contest. He will be joined by 10 other prior champions who also strive to be the initial dual NHC winner.
David Snyder was the winner of the 2019 NHC Tour and earned a berth in the big event. He made $110,000 for his accomplishments, and he is also in line for a $5 million bonus if he bests an estimated 555 counterparts at Bally’s.
Brad Anderson, who took down the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, is eligible for a $3 million bonus if he comes out on top of the NHC.
“The NHC is a true celebration of the horseplayer—the individuals who fuel every aspect of the sport and business of Thoroughbred racing,” said NTRA Chief Operating Officer and NHC Tournament Director, Keith Chamblin.
For the Kentucky Derby team however, Churchill Downs will be cheering on Kevin Kerstein as he embarks on his first endeavor. So a hearty toast to Kevin and be sure to follow and cheer him on.
by John Mucciolo