Kinchen named NHC Tour champion
Edited Press Release
Jonathon Kinchen of Austin, Texas, won four National Handicapping Championship (NHC) qualifying contests in his first full year of play and earned 19,026 points overall to win the 2015 NHC Tour, which ended Sunday following a three-day tournament at Del Mar’s Surfside Race Place.
As the 2015 NHC Tour champion, Kinchen earned $75,000 and an automatic berth to NHC 18 in 2017.
Defending NHC Tour champion Eric Moomey of Michigan finished second with 16,626 points, followed by Joe Jarvie of Renton, Washington, with 16,418.
NHC Tour standings are determined by totaling a player’s top six scores from eligible qualifying events (including at least one live, on-site event). The NHC Tour victory will become official upon completion of a review period and audit concluding Friday.
Kinchen, a 33-year-old realtor who has taken the contest world by storm since playing his first tournament less than two years ago, is now eligible for a $2 million bonus should he go on to win the 17th annual NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC), set for January 28-30 at Treasure Island in Las Vegas.
Coupled with an $800,000 first-place prize at NHC 17, Kinchen will compete for a $2.8 million payday.
Kinchen earned points in 11 separate 2015 contests, mostly online. For scoring purposes, though, only a player’s top six scores (including at least one on-site tournament) count in the full-year standings.
Kinchen’s wins included online contests at NHCQualify.com (March 22; good for 3,538 points) and HorseTourneys.com (May 2, Kentucky Derby Day; 3,625) and on-site contests at Hawthorne (August 15; 3,188) and Gulfstream Park (September 19; 2,953).
The NHC Tour top five was rounded out by Jon Nichols (16,223 points; $10,000 prize) and Ryan Flanders (16,190; $5,400).
Prize money for the NHC Tour season totaled a record $225,000, with $175,000 going to the top 20 finishers and $50,000 to the “First-Half” leaders. The top 150 finishers on the Tour not previously qualified earned automatic berths to NHC 17.
The NHC Tour is a yearlong bonus series offering additional prize money and qualifying berths to the NTRA National Handicapping Championship. Tour members receive NHC Tour points for top finishes in NHC qualifying events held during the year.
The 2016 NHC Tour kicks off January 31 with a “First Chance” contest at Treasure Island. Tour membership is $50-$95 and participants may sign up online at www.ntra.com/membership.
Jonathon Kinchen photo courtesy of Horsephotos.com/NTRA