Alex Bertram of Kingsville, Md. finished with a balance of $4,067 to edge Mark Sapperstein and capture the spring session of the Maryland Jockey Club's Champions Handicapping Tournament held Saturday, March 16 at Laurel Park.
The tournament was open to players for a fee of $300, which covered a $100 entry fee and $200 bankroll. In addition to prize money, the top four finishers qualified for automatic berths to the NTRA/DRF National Handicapping Championship (NHC), Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) or The BIG ONE.
For the third straight year, the tournament was held in Laurel's refurbished second-floor sports bar.
After wagering on races from Laurel, Gulfstream Park, Aqueduct and Tampa Bay Downs, with no mandatory races and a minimum $20 wager, Bertram finished $50.20 ahead of Sapperstein's $4,016.80 and earned $5,640 in prize money.
Given his choice of four tournament berths, Bertram selected the BCBC to be held Nov. 1 and 2 at Santa Anita Park. Sapperstein, of Baltimore, Md., took home $3,760 in prize money and chose a berth in The BIG ONE Sept. 21 and 22 at Laurel Park.
Third place went to Dick Jerardi of Yardley, Pa., who finished with a balance of $3,240 and earned $1,880, and will compete in the NHC scheduled for February 2020 in Las Vegas. D.G. Metzger of Baltimore, Md. was fourth with a balance of $2,700 and earned $1,128, and is also headed to the NHC.
Rounding out the top 10 finishers were Jason Jubb with a tournament balance of $1,747, Gregory Caliwag ($1,739.40), John Zarou ($1,293.80), Oneil Doran ($1,200), Gary Gristick ($1,149.50) and David Picarello ($1,132.50). Each player earned $1,128 in prize money.
The fall session of the MJC Champions Tournament is typically held in mid-August.
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