Ferrozzo wins 2017 National Handicapping Championship Tour
Mike Ferrozzo of Eagan, Minnesota, racked up 18,825 points to win the 2017 National Handicapping Championship (NHC) Tour, which ended Saturday.
Ferrozzo’s winning score awarded him $100,000, a trophy and the chance to play for a $2 million bonus at the National Handicapping Championship, which is scheduled February 9-11 at Treasure Island, Las Vegas.
The top 20 finishers on NHC Tour Leaderboard shared $285,000 of prize money. An additional $100,000 in prize money went to the top five “First Half” and “Second Half” finishers on separate six-month leaderboards, each of whom received a $10,000 entry to the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC).
Ferrozzo was the “First Half” leader of the NHC Tour, and his overall 2017 NHC Tour earnings total $110,000.
“It feels like I’ve had a thousand pounds lifted off my shoulders,” said Ferrozzo, who took the lead in the last weekend of 2017 with a strong placing at Hawthorne but had to wait for the results of the last few online Tour events. “I was pretty apprehensive for a couple weeks there. I can’t believe I won the whole thing but I guess I did. I’m totally elated.”
Ferrozzo was unable to hold on to his “First Half” lead and began falling down the Leaderboard. He kept playing, though, hoping to stay in the top 20 and earn a check.
“I had a few decent finishes, seconds and thirds, and passed a few people,” Ferrozzo said. “Then I tried to pass a few more, just making baby steps, and then I realized, holy smokes, I’m in third place. I’ve got to go for this! I may never be here again!
“The whole thing culminated with going to Hawthorne. I was at the track for 18 hours and it was snowing all day and all night. There was snow all over the place and I was just looking at myself and laughing, like, what am I doing here? But that contest put me into first.”
Ferrozzo, an IT projects manager specializing in healthcare, was a Final Table participant at NHC 16 in 2015.
“It’s a once in a lifetime chance,” he said of returning to the NHC in pursuit of a $2 million bonus.
Christopher Dewey of Troy, New York, finished second with 18,721 points, good for $50,000. Roger Cettina, the two-time NHC runner-up from Rumson, New Jersey, filled the third spot with 18,021 points, worth $25,000.
The NHC Tour top five was rounded out by David McCarty of Del Mar, California, in fourth with 17,375 points, good for $17,5000 in prize money, just ahead of 2014 NHC Tour champ Eric Moomey with 17,321 points, worth $10,000. McCarty and Moomey also were among the “First Half” top five.
The 2018 NHC Tour kicks off February 10. NHC Tour membership is $50-$95 and participants can sign up online at ntra.com/membership.