NTRA tourney on deck; Bookies vie head-to-head

Dec 19, 2000 7:27 AM

Horseplayers from around the nation will be at the MGM Grand next month for the second annual $200,000 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship.

The premier event for horse handicappers will be held Jan. 12-13. The 200-plus contestants ”” a unique collection of professional players, weekend warriors and novices ”” qualified from among 90 sanctioned events held this year between February and December.

The top prize is $100,000 and the elite title of DRF/NTRA Handicapper of the Year. Supporters of the event point out it may not be the richest purse in horse handicapping, but in only its second year it has become the U.S.Open of handicapping tourneys.

Last year’s tournament was a resounding success. Steven Walker, an environmentalist from Lincoln, Neb., was victorious over a field of 160 finalists that included, among others, a blind horseplayer from Minnesota, a quadriplegic from California, and a 68-year-old grandmother and retired school teacher from Massachusetts.

This year’s championship will be bigger and better. An added feature is a concurrent $10,000 media tournament for charity. Participating media members ”” including a crack contingent from GamingToday! ”” will be grouped into teams of four, and compete against each other for the glory (and the charity money ”” equally divided between the charity of the media’s choice and the NTRA charities).

Watch for further details as the DRF/NTRA handicapping championship draws nearer.

Bookies Battling
to the end

Entering the final week of our annual Bookies Battle oint Spread contest, only two games separate the front runners at the top of the leader board.

After picking the point spread winner in 229 previous NFL games, Bill Fogg (Flamingo Hilton-Laughlin) clings to a two-game lead with a 143-86 mark over Rob Akers (The Venetian), who’s a solid 141-88 against the spread. Their records don’t include Monday night’s Rams-Tampa contest. Since each took opposite sides, they could be separated by either one or three games going into the weekend.

The weekend’s games will probably settle the race, as Rob and Bill are on the opposite side of the ledger in eight games (see their picks in accompanying box).

For the entire NFL season, the Bookies’ Battle has once again proved to be a favorite of GT readers across the country. To date, the Bookies’ Battle Best Bets (see page 1), which include the top three consensus plays of the week, are a stellar 33-17 against the spread (66 percent), while the consensus picks are 127-102 for the season, a respectable 55.5 percent.

Actually, the consensus mark is very respectable, considering the bookies must make selections on every NFL game, a week in advance!

See page 28 for a complete list of bookies’ selections.

Head-to-Head Picks
Rob Akers Bill Fogg
Jaguars Jaguars
49ers 49ers
Bills Bills
Packers Tampa
Cardinals ”˜Skins
Rams Saints
Miami Miami
Chiefs Falcons
Bears Lions
Jets Jets
Eagles Eagles
Chargers Steelers
Vikings Vikings
Panthers Raiders
Cowboys Titans