Tuesday, June 11, 2013

NHC: A Journey, Not a Destination

I read somewhere fairly that a high percentage of blog posts start with an apology for not blogging recently. I don't want to be a cliche and do that; instead I'll leave my opening to the presented factoid, and leave it to the reader to decide whether that constitutes an apology.

Despite my dormancy (at least on the blog -- I've been reasonably active on twitter), I'm still hangin' around (as the Counting Crows song goes) on the fringes of the NHC Tour scene.

Live contests have been slow, which is more a function of a lack of local offerings than anything else. I played all three legs of the NJHorseplayer-dominated Monmouth Park Simulcast Series Challenge earlier this year, with no luck (or skill, really). The calendar does pick up going forward, as I'm signed up for the Belmont contest June 22-23 (which I've come to realize is a serious freaking weekend of contest play), and then I'll most likely do Monmouth on July 7.

I have had some modest success online, specifically with HorseTourneys.com feeders. I 'won' a $26, 37-player event this past Sunday, earning $240 in site credit. It was the 3rd $240 credit I've won this year out of 14 tries (I'm 2-for-11 on $26s and 1-for-3 on $52s), giving me a notional return on investment of +63%! Top that, bitches.

But unfortunately, I crapped out in the two $240 NHC qualifiers I played so far, so while my little feeder fun builds some confidence, at the same time it doesn't really count for much if my qualifying attempts continue to go for naught.

My one real change as an NHC Tour member this year is that I'm no longer paying attention to NHC points. I'm off that hamster wheel. Last year at around this time I found myself (kind of accidentally) around 50th in point standings, so I payed attention for most of the rest of the year, hoping to stay in the top 100 and back into an NHC seat. But that turned out to be a bit of a money pit, as I played a bunch of full-freight buy-in online qualifiers trying to chase points, which ultimately proved futile. This year, I'm not doing any full-freight buy-ins -- I find the dinky feeders to be fun enough and they sufficiently scratch the itch at a much lower price, and I still have NHC-qualifying hopes.

So if I win points I win points, but I'm not gonna care about points until maaaaaayybe the last week of the contest season and I'm sitting in 150th or something, then I'll relent and pull the trigger on a full-freight buy-in or two. But until then, I'll leave the points chase to the NHC Tour heavy hitters.    


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