Chasing the Big Payday

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 20, 2008 in General Discussion, Handicapping, Other Events | No Comments >>

Everyone wants to hit the BIG payday. We play every exotic under the sun, keep a watchful eye on the carryover pool, and rehearse our speech of telling the boss where to file our job…..

This is all good, but keeping your head with a dose of monk-like discipline will work much better than carrying your lucky rabbits foot to the track. If you want to make the next step as a player on the move, and have a great time doing so may I suggest watching for the next NTRA contest, or the Horseplayer World Series Contest.

The contests take place online, or at your local track and the top finishers get to take an all expense trip to Vegas to do battle with the best in the game. Sound like fun?? Well, it is….. And it all starts now. So put on your headgear and get your bankroll ready and get set to have the time of your life.

The NTRA Contest takes place at The Red Rock in Vegas, in January. This is a plush joint that is off the beaten path. You will hook up and do battle in a two day contest with around 250-300 of the best handicappers in the country. The pool is said to be growing near a cool million beans. They split the pot down to the top 20-30 players, and the recognition is about as close to winning the Super Bowl as you can get. My first trip was awesome, and it drives you to make the grade to return to do battle with some of the best in the land… I would at least try this 5-6 times your first year to qualify. There are plenty of qualifying rounds, and you can check them out on and remember that you can’t win unless you get in….

There is another GREAT contest to seek out as well. It is The Horse player World Series. Poker has one, and so does racing. This is held at the Orleans in Vegas, and it will take place this February. There are also many qualifiers as well, and you can check them out at and look under handicapping contests. This contest has a little different twist. If you don’t qualify you can BUY your way in for a $1,000 per entry. The prize pool nears a million dollars depending on the amount of players, and is one of the best run contests I have ever seen.. This is definitely a must for players who want to chase the gold.

Here is a small blueprint that you can take with you as you attempt to etch your name in history. Keep your head, plot out your bets in advance, do your best homework, NEVER bet anything under 5-1, and don’t get caught up thinking if i pick every chalk winner out there I will be in the money. This RARELY happens, and is very difficult to pull off. Stick with price plays, stay focused, and you will meet some new friends from around the country who love the sport as much as you.  Contests are the ultimate way of gauging where you are as a player. We all have a winning day from time to time. But there is no experience like playing, qualifying, and playing with the best in the country. The chase is worth the time. You’ll never feel closer to horse racing heaven than when you walk into Vegas with your selections in your hand, and the day is about ready to begin. Go ahead, chase the gold.