Veteran horseplayer, industry exec Jeff Sotman dead at 50
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.