Team TwinSpires Well Represented At NHC

Profile Picture: Ed DeRosa

Ed DeRosa

January 27th, 2014

The first-ever Final Table at the National Handicapping Championship represented well, as all ten of the competitors are account holders with the official account wagering site of the Kentucky Derby, and two of the top four players going into the final five races—Michael Piccola and Chris Skotz—qualified via TS. was the only account wagering site to have more than one person at the final table.

Both Piccola and Skotz qualified via the TwinSpires Online Handicapping Series, which began this past week for 2014 and has a $10k guaranteed tournament every Saturday with satellites practically daily. Piccola finished fourth and Skotz seventh after the three-day event.

" is proud of the accomplishments of all our players who won their way in to the National Handicapping Championship especially Michael Piccola and Chris Skotz who made the final table," TwinSpires Vice President of Marketing Jeremy Clemons said. " players continue to prove they are among the best and the brightest in the game.

Team TwinSpires was easily identifiable in the playing area, as in addition to their seat at the NHC, qualifiers earned a sporty blue Team TwinSpires jacket. was on hand at Treasure Island as well to provide handicapping information to the 275 of its customers who qualified for the prestigious NHC.

“Visiting with such passionate horseplayers for a weekend in Vegas is one of the highlights of my year,” Director of Marketing Ed DeRosa said. “It’s exciting just to be an observer to this every year, so it’s easy to understand why players try so hard to make it back once they’ve been a part of it.”

This year’s NHC went to a three-day format for the first time with the traditional first two days (Friday-Saturday) deciding the top 50 for Sunday. Those 50 then competed among seven races (three mandatory and four optional) from five eligible tracks. The traditional first two days feature 15 selections each day—seven mandatories and eight optional races—from seven contest tracks.

The change to a Final Table with ten players all required to make their selections public before the race added a level of excitement to the final five races (all mandatory) that had been missing from the previous 14 NHCs.

The three-day tiered format also allows for some better record keeping. Now instead of just years qualified and wins (15 players now tied with one each), the number of final tables and day 3 appearances will surely add prestige to any horseplayer’s resume.

A pair of users added to that prestige as former champion Judy Wagner nearly made the final table and NHC Tour winner from two years ago, Paul Shurman, did make the final table.

The next big live tournament is the Horse Player World Series at the end of March at the Orleans casino in Las Vegas. will send 30 players to that event.

Get qualified for 2015 today.