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Tight race for big money at World Horseplayers’ Tour/Santa Anita Preakness event

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

Play continues today at the first-ever live-bankroll final table at the World Horseplayers’ Tour/Santa Anita Preakness contest. A field of 92 entries put up $5,000 each to compete in the money-added event, which is being filmed as a television pilot. There was no entry fee: The entire $5,000 acted as a live bankroll.

Entering Sunday, just eight players remain. They will take home the money on their live bankrolls from yesterday, and today those amounts will convert to mythical money, like chips in a poker tournament. Those eight are:

1. Garett Skiba, $24,974
2. Justin Mustari, $23,790
3. Nick Tammaro, $23,033
4. Tom Arndt, $22,800
5. Tony Zhou, $21,890
6. Jason Avila, $17,072
7. Frank McGoey, $16,559
8. Joe Metka, $15,123

The new final-table format demands that each player bet one horse to win in each of the nine Santa Anita races. Bet minimums start at $1,000 and will increase incrementally, just like blinds in a poker tournament. The second race will require a $1,500 bet, the third $2,000, etc.

There are no maximum bets, and players can go all in at any time.

At the end of the day, the winner will take home his Day 1 bankroll plus just more than $70,000 and a $12,000 Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship entry. Second place gets his Day 1 bankroll, just more than $25,000, and an entry in the National Horseplayers Championship. Third keeps the money from Day 1, receives just more than $15,000, and gets an NHC seat. Prizes diminish from there, all the way down to no additional prize money for eighth place, though that player will still keep his $10,000-plus in Day 1 winnings.

Stories abound on this leaderboard, starting with chip leader Garett Skiba, who is within reach of his record seventh six-figure cash in a handicapping tournament. Justin Mustari is in his early 20s, looking to beat players with much more experience to win his first major. Both Nick Tammaro and Tony Zhou have done very well in tournaments, but so far, a No. 1 finish in a major event has eluded them. Frank McGoey was third two weeks ago in the Kentucky Derby Betting Challenge – Good Magic’s nose made him $100,000 – and he looks to stay in form while showing the world that his brother, Patrick, isn’t the only one in the family capable of success on the tournament world’s biggest stage.

For updates throughout the day, follow @HorseplayerTour on Twitter.

Qualifying for the World Horseplayers’ Tour/Santa Anita Preakness event happened exclusively at tournaments.drf.com. Check out the site to play along with today’s final table in a variety of games.

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