DerbyWars, the newest online tournament site, kicked off with a bang this weekend. On Friday, Argie Bertolucci bested a field of 267 in the $25 NHC Qualifier, earning an NHC ticket. Richard Hoffman ran away and hid from the field in Saturday's $5K game, taking home the $1,500 top prize. And on Sunday, in an exciting finish, Ellis "Ubercapper" Starr hit a winner in the last to capture the $4,500 first prize in the $15,000 Big Game.
$10,000 NHC Qualifier
What better way to start off the weekend than by winning a ticket to the NHC Championship this January in Las Vegas. Well, that is exactly what Argie Bertolucci did, winning the contest by amassing a whopping $138.40 for the 12 race card.
$5,000 Saturday Game
Saturday was highlighted by a $5,000 contest, which ended up being a come from behind thriller for Richard ‘Lionidze’ Hoffman. Out of 165 participants buying in for $25, Hoffman powered away from the competition amassing $181.20, strengthened by 22-1 Pure Victory, who ended up paying $60.60 for the win-place in the last at Keeneland.
“I was in second place with one race to go, so there was some doubt as I had a 22-1 shot,” Hoffman said. “I did have confidence in the horse, but I had no idea where I’d end up.” The score was Hoffman’s biggest cash to-date.
$15,000 Sunday Big Game
On Sunday, Derby Wars rolled out its first-ever $15,000 Big Game contest and it did not disappoint. In a field of 129 entries, the 12-race contest went down to the wire and was decided by a neck as 10-1 Nikki’s Sandcastle defeated 9-1 Lighthouse Sound in the Keeneland nightcap. When the dust settled, the final race put Ellis “Ubercapper” Starr on top with $118.20, over Bill Downes and Argie Bertolucci who dead-heated for second with $109.40. Starr claimed a $4,500 first prize, his biggest tournament win to date.
Starr, who is also the National Racing Analyst for Equibase, describes himself as a contrarian handicapper. Whether playing contests or producing daily selection reports, his motto is, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Bet Chalk.” His selections are available at Equibase, TrackMaster, TVG, Xpressbet, and Keeneland Select. You can also follow his handicapping via Twitter as @Ubercapper.