Jan 22 2014

Beat The Host Tournament

Beat The Host Logo

On Xpressbet.com there is a weekly tournament under way right now that is fun and very affordable.  It is called “Beat The Host.”  It is conducted every Saturday (having started on January 4th) and runs for eight consecutive weeks thereafter.  So, at the time of this article three of the eight weeks have been completed.   But not to worry,  each week is an individual contest, so you can jump in at any time.

GP Tote with Xpressbet

Every Friday evening (by 5:00PM ET) Xpressbet posts eight races that will be the “contest” races for the next day.  In the first three weeks, the races have been a mix from Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita.  In addition to listing the races, a “Host” handicapper provides his/her Win selection for each race.  The Host handicapper is identified, so you know who is making the selections.  For example, Steve Byk of the Thoroughbred Racing Radio Network was the host for week one.  There is a different host every week.

The format for the tournament is quite simple.  You make one $5 win bet on each of the eight races for that day.  Your daily winnings are totaled for the contest.  If your total winnings are greater than that of the Host, then you qualify for the Championship Round on March 8,2014.  You only need to beat the Host one time in the eight weeks to qualify for the Championship Round.

In addition to competing with the Host in order to gain entry into the Championship Round, you are also competing against other tournament players for cash prizes.  The payouts for each of the eight qualifying weeks are as follows:

Placing Payout
1st $1,500
2nd $750
3rd $250

The payouts for the Championship Round (March 8th) are even better.

Placing Payout
1st $5,000
2nd $4,000
3rd $3,000
4th $1,000
5th-10th $500

Now, the only way to compete in the Championship Round is to Beat the Host in one of the eight weeks. If you are a beginner, you might be wondering how realistic is that? Consider this, in the first three weeks this year, the total winnings accumulated by the Host were as follows.

Week# Host Winnings
1 $58.00
2 $62.00
3 $13.50

So, with $40 worth of win wagers, do you think you have a shot at topping the Host for one week? Sure you do.  In fact, this past week, one winning $5 bet on a horse 2-1 or higher would have qualified you for the Championship round.

However, besting the other tournament players for the weekly prize money is a little bit tougher. Below are the total winnings for the top three players each week so far this year.

Week# 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
1 $138.00 $118.00 $115.00
2 $129.00 $126.50 $122.00
3 $155.00 $150.00 $148.50

From my limited experience in tournaments, tripling your wagers gives you a very legitimate shot at winning a prize. Even doubling it, will often times give you a chance.  So, give it a try, and see how you stack up.

Of course you have to be a member of Xpressbet to compete in the tournament. And, since the $5 Win wagers are “live” bets, you have to have money in your account to make the wagers.  With that said, here are 10 reasons why I think this contest is fun for both new and experienced horseplayers.

  1. It is very affordable, even for the casual player. Eight $5 Win wagers is only $40 for the day.
  2. There is no registration fee.
  3. You don’t have to play every race, or every week.
  4. You can play along with an experienced handicapper’s picks, The Host.
  5. You can test your mettle, and see how you measure up to The Host.
  6. One “off” week by The Host, and/or one “good” week by you, and you’re in the Championship Round.
  7. You can practice handicapping different race tracks.
  8. During the contest, player totals are posted after every race, so you know exactly where you stand at all times.
  9. Seeing your name on the leader board is a thrill in itself.
  10. Since your bets are “live action,” you get to keep your winnings regardless of where you place in the tournament.

One last footnote on this contest, if you beat the host, and then finish within the top 30 during the Championship Round, you receive a free buy-in (worth $300) for the Xpressbet Showdown Tournament to be held on April 13 & 14.  This is a 2-day tournament, with 10 races each day, and a top prize of $20,000.  Qualifying for BTH and then finishing in the top 30 is the path that I followed to placing in the top ten of the Showdown Tournament in 2013.  Click here to read more about my “wild ride” in that tournament.

Click here for more information about the Beat The Host Tournament on the Xpressbet website.

And good luck if you decide to give it a try!

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By Neal Benoit

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