The Tournament Edge: Equestricon’s NHC Qualifier – A Beginner’s Guide

Did you meet members of the Tournament Edge at Equestricon last week, or attend the tournament panel featuring our co-founder Michael Beychok? Are you looking for a place where you can put your newfound tournament skills to the test?

If you had a Panel Pass or a VIP Ticket, you have the perfect chance coming up on Saturday afternoon, August 26 at At stake is a seat in the biggest tournament event of the year, the 2018 NTRA National Horseplayers Championship (NHC).

Head over to The Tournament Edge, read my beginner’s guide to the Equestricon NHC qualifier, and get ready to try for that NHC seat this Saturday, even if it’s your first tournament ever!

Illinois Derby Challenge for Galloping Out!

Once again, I’m teaming up with Danonymous Racing to host an Illinois Derby contest to benefit Galloping Out!

Saturday’s action has been drawn, and the contest races have been selected.  The contest includes ten stakes races — all three from Hawthorne, and more action from coast to coast.  Just a $10 donation to Galloping Out makes you eligible for the grand prize, a signed picture of War Emblem, the horse who parlayed an Illinois Derby win into Kentucky Derby and Preakness wins in 2002!

What are you waiting for?  Get to handicapping the races — and, good luck in this weekend’s Illinois Derby Challenge!

Illinois Derby handicapping contest for Galloping Out!

The Illinois Derby is coming up on April 22.  Once again, I’m thrilled to be hosting, in conjunction with Danonymous Racing, a contest to benefit Galloping Out!

The contest will feature stakes racing at Hawthorne, including the Grade 3 Illinois Derby, as well as stakes action across the country.  The best $2 win-place return on the day, among players who have donated at least $10 to Galloping Out, wins a signed and framed photo of War Emblem after his Kentucky Derby score!  War Emblem prepared for his Derby win with a victory in the 2002 Illinois Derby.

Head over to Danonymous Racing to read all about the contest, make your donation to Galloping Out, and get ready for the Illinois Derby Challenge on April 22!

The Tournament Edge: Finding My Foundation

My series about my first live contest concludes today at The Tournament Edge.

The first and second parts of this series were a bit heavy on the doom and gloom: anxiety about what was to come, things I screwed up during the actual contest.  But, despite my natural pessimism, not everything went poorly.  I did a few things right, and I conclude the series by discussing a few things I did that helped me build a solid foundation to move forward in live contest play.

The Tournament Edge: Lessons Learned

Monday, I published the first part of my series about my experience playing a live contest for the first time.  It covered my preparation before the tournament: Analysis Paralysis.

Today, I published part two: Lessons Learned.  As much as I hoped my first live contest would turn out a fairy tale — it didn’t.  But, I saw a few things that I could have done better, and will help me improve my game for next time.

Head to The Tournament Edge, and find out what my first live contest taught me.

The Tournament Edge: Analysis Paralysis

Last Friday, I played my first live contest.

Over at The Tournament Edge, I am publishing a three-part series about my experience playing it.  The first part of the series discusses my experience preparing for the contest.  The contest took me out of my comfort zone — and much of that was due to the voluminous preparation.

So, head over to The Tournament Edge and read my reflections on preparing for Friday’s NHC qualifier at Hawthorne.  And, stay tuned: the series will continue on Wednesday and Friday.

The Tournament Edge: Lifeline Game Strategy

In my latest blog for The Tournament Edge, I talk Lifeline strategy.

What is a Lifeline game, you may ask?  It’s one of the new kinds of games that are available to play on, The Tournament Edge’s new contest website.  If you like survivor-style games, but wish you could take a mulligan or two along the way, you will love Lifeline games.  If you come from the poker world (like I did!), and you liked playing rebuy tournaments, getting aggressive early, and taking advantage of those rebuys, then Lifeline games will be right up your alley, too.

So, head to The Tournament Edge, and read my latest blog about lifeline game strategy.

And then, sign up on to put this strategy to use!

The Tournament Edge: Heads Up!

This week at The Tournament Edge, I write about something that scared me for a long time, but became my favourite niche of horse racing contest play: head-to-head contests.

Before I got the hang of horse racing contests, they scared me.  After all, head-to-head poker was not my style at all.  As I’ve gained experience, they have become my favourite type to play.  They’re the perfect balance of knowing the races and knowing the opponent, particularly if you can focus closely on a limited scope.

Head over to The Tournament Edge, read my latest piece, and get the hang of head-to-head contest play!

handicapping contest this Saturday for Galloping Out!

Million Preview Day is this Saturday at Arlington…and Danonymous Racing and I are doing a contest!

The contest will benefit Galloping Out, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps rehabilitate, retrain, and rehome thoroughbreds who are retiring from Chicago-area racetracks.

Contest races will be posted once the weekend’s races are drawn.  But, they will definitely include all four graded stakes on Saturday’s Arlington card, the Belmont Derby and Belmont Oaks, and two other stakes races on Belmont’s Saturday card.

The rules are simple: pick a horse in each race.  You get a mythical $2 win/place wager on each of your picks.  The biggest total at the end of the day wins a picture of Sarah Sis from the 2016 Chicago Handicap, signed by rider Jose Valdivia, Jr.!

Anyone can play, but to be able to win the prize, you have to make a donation of $10 or more to Galloping Out, and send Dan Tordjman ( a receipt from your donation.

So, make sure to head over to Danonymous Racing and get all the details for the contest!

join #TeamRogueclown!

This Saturday is Belmont Day — and the final leg of #Cappers4Causes at Danonymous Racing.  It’s your chance to help a slew of excellent charities, and win a one-of-a-kind prize in the process.

The contest races will be posted later in the week — but, if previous years of the contest are any indication, it will feature Saturday’s marquee stakes races at Belmont.

There’s a friendly little challenge going on between me and Ryan Dickey, to see who can get the most new players for this weekend’s contest. So, if you join, please send up a tweet hashtagged #TeamRogueclown, or put #TeamRogueclown in your message when you send Dan your donation.

Just a $10 donation to the fundraising pool makes you eligible to win a picture of Secretariat, signed by Ron Turcotte.  The fundraising pool will be divided between seven nonprofit organisations:  Thoroughbred Retirement Fund, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Thoroughbred Charities of America, ReRun, Go and Play Stables, Camp Casey, and Kids Beating Cancer.

You’ll be looking at the big stakes races at Belmont anyway…so why not donate to seven great causes, and give contest play a shot?

DerbyWars Wednesday Webcast

I’m thrilled to be a guest on the next DerbyWars Wednesday Webcast!

The webcast is this Wednesday, May 25.  It starts at 8:30pm Eastern, and I’ll be on at 9:30pm.  We’ll be chatting racing, contest play, and the Triple Crown.  It’ll be a fun time, so make sure to tune in!

DerbyWars runs a contest while the webcast is going on, as well.  Hop in and play in the game if you’d like…or, just watch as I take a step out of my usual handicapping routine, and take a swing at some races at Evangeline and Mountaineer!

Chicago Contest Corner: April 29

The Hawthorne meet may be drawing to a close this weekend — but you still have one more chance this Friday to play some Hawthorne games on DerbyWars!

The Chicago Contest Corner is here to help, with the most interesting contest horses on Friday’s card.   Last week was another solid week for the column: both Sure Survivors were winners, and one of the Promising Prices hit the board as well.

As always, I have a pair of Sure Survivors, and a pair of longer priced horses.  One of my Promising Price horses this week is the longest shot on the morning line — perhaps your cap horse for the day?

Go read my latest Chicago Contest Corner, and sign up for some Hawthorne contests on DerbyWars this Friday!

Cappers for Causes returns!

Danonymous Racing regularly hosts handicapping contests to raise money for racing-related charities.  For the third year in a row, he is hosting Cappers for Causes.  It is a handicapping contest that covers all three weekends of Triple Crown races, and benefits seven different charities: Thoroughbred Retirement Fund, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Thoroughbred Charities of America, ReRun, Go and Play Stables, Camp Casey, and Kids Beating Cancer will also benefit from the contest.

Anyone can play in the handicapping contest, but to be eligible for the prizes, you have to contribute at least $10 to the fundraising pool.  All donations from players will be distributed across the seven charities at the end of the contest.

You can also contribute $100 or more to sponsor the contest, and be a named Capper for a Cause.  The contributions from the Cappers for Causes are what purchase the amazing prizes for the competition (American Pharoah!  Barbaro!  Secretariat!  California Chrome!), with the surplus going back to the fundraising pool that will be distributed to the charities after the contest.  Just like last year, I am in to support ReRun.

The contest has been a huge success in the past.  In 2014, Cappers for Causes raised $1,858.50 for a group of five charities.  Last year, it raised $4,031.00 for the same seven charities who will benefit again this year.

We are hoping to raise even more this year for these deserving organisations — and we can, with your help.

So, head over to Danonymous Racing, see what this is all about, and make plans to join us!

Chicago Contest Corner: April 22

DerbyWars contests for Hawthorne are back this Friday, and I am back on the DerbyWars Contest Central blog with more plays!

The first column did well.  Both “Sure Survivor” plays finished in the exacta, and one of the two “Promising Price” plays finished second, too.  This week’s column features more contest plays, no matter whether you’re the type to play more conservatively or take some swings.

Go read my latest Chicago Contest Corner, and sign up for some Hawthorne contests on DerbyWars this Friday!