Veteran horseplayer, industry exec Jeff Sotman dead at 50

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Jeff Sotman, long time industry executive and entrepreneur, died on November 28 at the age of 50. He was a graduate of the University of Michigan and received his master’s degree from University of California, Irvine, before attending the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program in 1993. All of his knowledge and degrees always led him back to the sport he loved. Serving as the General Manager for The Horseplayer Magazine allowed him to work with racetracks, casinos and other leaders in the pari-mutuel industry.


In 1998, Sotman, who was an avid gambler in poker rooms and at horse tracks around the country, began to develop various on-site and online handicapping tournaments. Jeff played an instrumental role in the establishment and growth of the National Handicapping Championship (NHC) during its formative years, and he was truly visionary in creating and perfecting the online handicapping contests that are immensely popular with fans today and that helped fuel the growth of the NHC.

“Jeff was a driven individual who succeeded in making multiple successful contributions to the horseracing industry,” said Tom Quigley, Owner of The Horseplayer Magazine. “He never shied from controversy or debate, but those who knew him best will quickly recall his passion, spirit, collegiality and sense of humor. Thousands of others, meanwhile, will remember him for his indelible mark on handicapping contests and, specifically, the most successful handicapping tournament in the world.”

Jeff is survived by his mother Judith Abboud, two brothers Mike Wolf and Sam Abboud, two sisters Julie Wolf and Michelle Abboud.

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  • Jay Robbins

    december 17. ??

  • Jay Robbins

    december 17. ??

  • Keith

    RIP, Jeff.

  • Keith

    RIP, Jeff.

  • Noelle

    How sad.  

  • Noelle

    How sad.  

  • ken k

    I worked with Jeff on many of these projects. His knowledge and experience from the poker world helped to educate me and others about the opportunities in horse racing for these tournaments. As the first tournament director of the NHC, he influenced the initial structure and growth of the event. He was a vibrant and passionate voice for the player on a wide variety of subjects. I and racing will miss hearing that voice.

  • ken k

    I worked with Jeff on many of these projects. His knowledge and experience from the poker world helped to educate me and others about the opportunities in horse racing for these tournaments. As the first tournament director of the NHC, he influenced the initial structure and growth of the event. He was a vibrant and passionate voice for the player on a wide variety of subjects. I and racing will miss hearing that voice.

  • Tim S.

    Funny guy.  Good poker player.  Sad situation.

  • Tim S.

    Funny guy.  Good poker player.  Sad situation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000060014659 JoJo Zumwalt

    That is sad news. My prayers go out to his family and friends. So young to pass.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000060014659 JoJo Zumwalt

    That is sad news. My prayers go out to his family and friends. So young to pass.

  • Guest

    My prayers go out to his family. Horseracing is full of characters and Jeff definitely fit the bill. He was a unique individual who had great passion. His drive, sense of humour and unique personality will be missed.

  • Guest

    My prayers go out to his family. Horseracing is full of characters and Jeff definitely fit the bill. He was a unique individual who had great passion. His drive, sense of humour and unique personality will be missed.

  • Ace

    Why isn’t the cause of death listed?

    • Ute321

      you dont want to know

  • Ace

    Why isn’t the cause of death listed?

  • Kris

    He was far too young.

  • Kris

    He was far too young.

  • Ute321

    you dont want to know

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