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Drf/ntra nhc 1/22-1/26

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Labeeb, Jan 21, 2015.

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  1. Labeeb

    Labeeb Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    Except for a few of you, I wouldn't expect anyone here to know what in the hell these acronyms mean. For the uninitiated, DRF is the Daily Racing Form, NTRA is the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and NHC is the National Handicapping Contest. This is a season-ending horse handicapping contest held at the TI, with the winner taking down over $800,000 from a $2M+ purse. Unlike other tournaments, you can only qualify into the event via satellites, there is no buy-in. I qualified shortly after this years Breeders' Cup, where I played in the Breeders Cup Betting Challenge. Starting on Friday and continuing through Saturday, each player makes a $2 win and place bet on 15 races each day from 7 designated tracks. The top 50 after Saturday continue to the "final" with that group getting whittled down to a "final table" of 10. So hopefully if I'm updating I'll still be in the running on Sunday.

    When you qualify into the NHC, you get a comped room for four nights at TI. I decided that I wanted to get away from the mass of horse players after the day is done, and also do some live research on a place to stay for future trips. I briefly played at Aria a few months ago and decided to give a Sky Suite a try. Initially I booked just a one bedroom SS, however decided to go all out and get the penthouse instead. Should be just the spot to retreat to after a LONG day at the tournament. The room at the TI has been relegated for bathroom use only. While I like to gamble, using the facilities shared with 600+ horseplayers is not something I'm willing to take a chance on...

    I have a scheduled dinner at Gordon Ramsay Steak on Thursday night. After that, it'll be kinda up in the air. However I do plan on doing the rest of my evening dining at Aria. I'm going to try to squeeze in Julian Serrano, Bardot, Lemongrass, and Five 50 into three evenings. I hope most of them have bar seating since I'll likely be going solo!

    I'm hoping to do some "regular" gambling tomorrow morning and afternoon to get that energy out of me and focus on the task at hand. It'll likely be a combination of UTH, baccarat, craps, and maybe even a little roulette. Honestly I'm a bit behind in my preparation, however I think I've waded through the races on Friday to a decent extent to identify some possible plays. This need to do more work might result in less gaming, however if I can win $800k+ in the process, the tables will always be there.

    This report will likely be less than live, with sporadic updates throughout since I'll be focusing a lot of time and energy at the tournament. Hopefully I'll be live going into Sunday!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
  2. slimmy28

    slimmy28 Low-Roller

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    Good luck! I am a horseplayer myself and even worked in the industry for a couple years. I hope you obviously cash this weekend, but even if you don't, I hope it's a great experience. I think you are smart to get out of the TI when tourney play is done. I am a big fan of Aria and should be ok for a solo. Please keep us posted on where you stand!
     
  3. Bigcash12000

    Bigcash12000 Tourist

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    Good Luck!! I would love to qualify for this tournament. Maybe in a few years when i have enough time to do so. Anyway keep us updated and win that 800K
     
  4. Labeeb

    Labeeb Low-Roller

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    [​IMG]

    Ah yes, it's good to be in Vegas, the land of the$3.50 bottle of oj. Wait a minute I'm still in Burbank. While the juice price reminded me of LV, you don't get short changed on the sandwich. It's a solid way to begin bad eating habits and was pretty good to boot. Just wish I had caught it fresh.
     
  5. Labeeb

    Labeeb Low-Roller

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    First session in the books. 1.5 hours of UTH, -1500, 325 average. Started off great with some 4x wins but got down about 3k and had to rally before checking out the SS and heading over to TI die registration. Excellent room and the staff so far have been great.
     
  6. bubbamsu

    bubbamsu Low-Roller

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    I am one of the few people who knows what this is and I wish you all the best in the tourney.
     
  7. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

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    Here's hoping you're breezing into the finals..Best wishes!
     
  8. Labeeb

    Labeeb Low-Roller

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    After registering at the CF that is TI, back to the aria to get my head handed to me with quickness. -5k, -6500 overall... Although I did get a$100 chip at TI as a welcoming gift. Book a win for me!
     
  9. Labeeb

    Labeeb Low-Roller

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    Got into it with someone choosing seats. If it's gonna be this kind of weekend I better book a return flight pronto. Hopefully dinner at Gordon Ramsay steak will help matters.
     
  10. geoff

    geoff Low-Roller

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    not a big horse better (some family members are though) what do you use to guide your picks other than Drf? thoro-graph?
     
  11. 34cents

    34cents Low-Roller

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    I would like to qualify for the NHC. I'm pretty new to betting the ponies but enjoy the all day entertainment it provides. Been to Vegas the past two years for the KYDerby and even picked a winner my first go at it (Orb) even though at short price.

    Pick some winners yo and hope you make it into Sunday.
     
  12. KyleB

    KyleB Low-Roller

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    Any pics of the Penthouse suite? Don't think I've ever actually see it. Good luck this weekend, thanks for the updates!
     
  13. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Good luck in the contest!

    Looking forward to reading this TR!
     
  14. klevegas

    klevegas Low-Roller

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    Good luck! I play the horses regularly but never have entered a tournament. Definitely try Julian Serrano - they have a large bar area and I've eaten there several times solo. Make sure to order the creamy mushroom risotto!
     
  15. third.coast.capper

    third.coast.capper Newbie

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    Labeeb, you probably already know this but you don't have to sit upstairs at the nhc during the contesT. The last 3 years we've just played down in the usual race book so we didnt have to deal with all the loudmouth know it all ******s upstairs. You just tell the book teller it's for the nhc and they code it in properly. This way you are In The company of other sports beTtors and normal horseplayers and not the inane production Upstairs. Good luck!
     
  16. 34cents

    34cents Low-Roller

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    And TI recently updated the Race & Sportsbook
     
  17. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Hope it turns around!
     
  18. Labeeb

    Labeeb Low-Roller

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    Quick little update as I wait for breakfast at the Aria Cafe...After the formalities of a Q&A session and a cocktail reception, off to Gordon Ramsay Steak. I'm still trying to decide which was more impressive, the ridiculously good food, or the ridiculously hot staff. I'm not a food picture guy for the most part, so here are the details, although it's all pretty much standard fare for his place. Carpaccio, followed by the wellington with the ginger shittake mushrooms and asparagus and sticky toffee pudding accompanied by a drink called The Drifter. Vegas is about the only place where I'll order cocktails off a menu and this one did not disappoint. After dinner decided to go back to the room to get ready for today's events.

    A few notes:

    -Staff at the Aria has been tremendous all around.
    -I had my first bidet experience. It could be a life changing event.
    -How in the hell is a steam shower supposed to be used? I just cranked it on when I was showering but it seemed like it was the wrong way to use it.

    I got lucky whereas a lot of the races I thought were playable were chosen as mandatories. This make my day a lot simpler whereas I'm just waiting for my spots to come up. This will leave some time for handicapping tomorrow's card throughout the day. I have plays sprinkled throughout the day, but the first 2/3rds of the day will be slow. The last two hours will be crazy.
     
  19. Labeeb

    Labeeb Low-Roller

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    Well the day didn't go quite as hoped. I'm a shade over $20 after Day 1. Normally this would pretty much be game over, however this year the leader is only at $115, and the fiftieth spot is at $72. So just one cap horse away from being alive to Sunday. I don't have to catch the leader tomorrow, just keep alive for Sunday's action. So an evening of handicapping and most likely room service instead of one the Aria restaurants. If things don't go well tomorrow and I wind up outside the top 50, then I'll definitely be going out to eat!

    Tomorrow I will film a mandatory race or two to try and capture the atmosphere in the room.
     
  20. NCAAHoops

    NCAAHoops Low-Roller

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    Good luck hope you make it to Sunday. Is this held at TI each year or do they rotate the casino each year?
     
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