Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Expanded Offering from HorseTourneys.com

Off a particularly bad Belmont weekend where Palace Malace scuttled my Belmont Pick 4 and second guessing cost me a Top 3 finish in Friday night's HorseTourneys.com NHC feeder, I contemplated writing about my dreadful handicapping of late, but am a forward-looking sort and will focus my attention an interesting email about new contest offerings from HorseTourneys.com.

Although by my own account I am 0-for-2013 in HorseTourneys' NHC-oriented contests, I remain impressed that McKay Smith's contest site continues to move forward in offering members of the National Handicapping Championship Tour increased tournament options.

No second-guessing the low
takeouts at HorseTourneys.com
Visitors will note a slight change on the site, namely the use of tabs to delineate the types of contests now offered.

The one that immediately drew my attention was the Head-To-Head tab, where two players can play head-to-head for monetary credit (i.e. to buy into future tournaments) on HorseTourneys.com.

For instance, my friend turned HorseTourneys.com tournament juggernaut Terry Flanagan and I could each pony up $55 to match our skills, with the winner coming away with a $100 site credit to use in any of a host of the site's future tournaments.

Based on my recent handicapping selections, it may be easier just to hand him $55, but the implied 10% takeout (the house keeps 10% of our total $110 of entry fees) is reasonable, and HorseTourneys.com notes the percentage will decrease for higher entry-fee contests.

The intriguing part about this, from an industry perspective, is whether this new head-to-head offering will win market share from similar online contests, namely on DerbyWars.com, which made its debut as an NHC venue but gravitated entirely toward a cash-focused prize structure and offers many 1-v-1 contests.

In addition, it'll be interesting to see whether head-to-head contests cannibalize HorseTourneys.com's consistent offering of feeder tournaments, where the takeout is closer to 8% on a $26 tournament fee but where players have to finish in the top 10% of the standings to win a $240 site credit (equivalent to the site's entry fee for an NHC qualifying tournament).

Then again, McKay Smith has been an excellent pilot to a website that continues to raise the bar for the entire online handicapping contest world and provides a much-needed venue for NHC Tour players seeking to qualify for NHC XV.  I suspect that his survey of HorseTourneys.com's customers earlier this year was the catalyst to broadening the weekly contest card to the head-to-head format.

I guess it's time to dust myself off after a dreadful recent run of handicapping and give the HorseTourneys.com head-to-head contest format a shot.


  1. Congrats on losing your 2013 Horsetourneys.com virginity today. Your score of $114.80 was the highest of all of the HT contests today. Well done.

  2. Thanks, Wright Stuff. I've had a handful of finishes good enough to be close but no cigar, and others where last-second switches have burned me badly, so today's makes up some for those. Rare to hit 23-1 and 12-1 back to back, but hey, it's Belmont on a Wednesday and Delaware...