On Track With Johnny D: Santa, Beat the Host Nearly Here

Don’t look now, but Christmas is just five days away; the New Year only 12 and the first of nine Beat the Host competitions merely 15 sleeps from lift-off! That’s right, only 15 days until Saturday, Jan. 4, when horseplayers will attempt to strike out leadoff-hitter Jeremy Plonk in Xpressbet’s popular and profitable $50,000 Beat the Host.

Beat the Host has three ways for players to win, but first players must register free for the competition at Xpressbet. That means you’ll have action each and every Saturday in January and February. Play as often or as little as you like. Of course, the more often you play, the better your chances of winning. Duh!

The object of Beat the Host, naturally, is to beat the host. Competitors must make single, ‘live’ $5 win wagers on one horse in each of 10 races. If your total exceeds the host’s, you qualify for a seat in the Beat the Host Championship and a shot at $10,000 in prizes. Also, the top 30 finishers in the Championship Round each earn a seat in the $30,000 Xpressbet Showdown—a $200 value each.

The second way to win is to outscore fellow players weekly. That aspect of the competition boasts a hefty $2,000 in weekly prizes to the top three players: $1,000 to first, $750 to second and $250 to third. That’s not too shabby and an attractive way to spend a winter afternoon.

The third way to cash is new this year. Xpressbet has added a seasonal component to the Beat the Host competition that will reward outstanding play throughout the entire nine-week season. A juicy $10,000 in prizes is available to top players based on cumulative earnings over the entire season. That means you could fail to win a single weekly prize and still come away with a decent chunk of change by finishing first ($5,000), second ($2,500), third ($1,500) or fourth ($1,000) in the seasonal earnings race. Cumulative awards are another great reason to play Beat the Host each Saturday.

This year’s roster of Beat the Host pros features a collection of handicapping stars from Xpressbet, Santa Anita, Gulfstream, XBTV and NBC Sports:

Jan. 4 Jeremy Plonk
Jan. 11 Millie Ball
Jan. 18 Jon White
Jan. 25 Jeff Siegel
Feb. 1 Steve Byk
Feb. 8 Ron Nicoletti
Feb. 15 Tom Quigley
Feb. 22 Acacia Courtney
Feb. 29 Eddie Olcyzk

See any weak links? Didn’t think so. See anyone you’re particularly afraid of? Didn’t think so. Admit it, they’re good, but not unbeatable. Pick a single spot or take a shot each week. You’re bound to catch one of them on an ‘off’ day, opening the door to your seat in the Championship Round.

One fantastic aspect of Beat the Host is that since contest wagers are ‘live’ players can make money each week even without winning a prize. Pick a couple of nice-priced winners along the way and your bankroll will be ‘in the black’ for the afternoon!

Beat the Host players have an advantage because hosts must post selections each Friday evening, before late scratches, final track conditions or developing track biases are known. Also, understanding the ‘horse to beat’ in each race beforehand permits players to take direct aim.

Usually, Beat the Host competition races will be split–half from Gulfstream and half from Santa Anita–with a mid-afternoon contest start time. This winter, chances are you’ll be playing one or both of those tracks anyway, so why not give Beat the Host a try? Weekly mandatory competition races will be posted along with host selections on the web site each Friday evening.

Horseplayers today are alert for ‘value’ and Beat the Host is one of the most generous contests in the universe. Beat the Host boasts zero takeout, rake or skim! That’s because Xpressbet dishes out all the prize money and invites account holders to help themselves to slices of a delicious pie. It’s our way of saying ‘Thanks for playing with Xpressbet!’

These days, there are many tournaments for players to choose from and Xpressbet offers several additional fantastic online opportunities, some in conjunction with Santa Anita Park, that often are ‘live’ money events with big purses that often include qualifying seats to the rich Pegasus competition at Gulfstream Park or to the popular Breeders Cup Betting Challenge–both of which also are available on Xpressbet.

While outstanding opportunities, some of those ‘live money’ tournaments can be a bit pricey for most players and intimidating to inexperienced tournament participants. Beat the Host erases those barriers to entry because it’s affordable, simple and serves as an appropriate entry-level contest experience.

All things considered, there’s next-to-zero reason you shouldn’t play Xpressbet’s $50,000 Beat the Host tournament, beginning Saturday, Jan. 4 and available each Saturday in January and February. See you then!

Happy Holidays!
Thanks for reading my weekly scribblings in this space. And thanks to everyone for the kind (and unkind) messages throughout the year. Even if we disagree on a topic it’s nice to hear from you. Really. However, the kind comments are far more enjoyable.

In a message from everyone at Xpressbet, thanks for playing with us. We know when it comes to Advance Deposit Wagering you have many choices. We’re glad you choose to play with us. We’ll do everything possible to make your wagering experiences as enjoyable and profitable as they can be. We wish you and your families a very Merry Holiday Season and look forward to welcoming you back for a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Race On!

On Track With Johnny D: Santa, Beat the Host Nearly Here

On Track with Johnny D |