April 10, 2021

National Horseplayers’ Championship 2020 Recap at Bally’s Las Vegas

Thomas Goldsmith won the 2020 National Horseplayers Championship (Horsephotos.com)

I attended my 9th National Horseplayers’ Championship this past weekend and first at Bally’s Las Vegas after 8 years at Treasure Island.

Moving the event to one really big space versus a small space next to a big space was the biggest positive of Bally’s. Negatives included climate control issues in the event center, $7 coffee, room service ending at 1p, poor dining options within the host venue, and low quality towels in the bathroom.

The positive is by far the most important, so kudos to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association for livening the event up.

As for the negatives, the time has come to ditch the hotel component as part of winning an NHC seat. Everyone vying for a seat knows the event is in Vegas and will require travel to get there. If NTRA and/or the host qualifying sites want to offer a travel stipend as part of the prize, then that’s one thing, but charging qualifiers $500 in seat equity for hotel when many players can find cheaper rates on own and/or prefer staying elsewhere is not ideal.

Speaking of money, we’re long past due for a transparent reconciliation of how $10,000 in entry fees on HorsePlayers results in just $4,000 in seat equity (and that’s some generous rounding there).

This is an event I’m proud to support via Brisnet. We spend thousands of dollars being there for our players–many of whom access our past performances via HorseTourneys, but I can’t in good faith recommend that people qualify online. Your mileage may vary with B&M and/or live money events.