John O'Neil of Nesconset, New York, swept first and second place in Meadowlands Racetrack's Horse Player World Series Qualifier on Saturday, April 16.
O'Neil finished the tournament with identical $1,243 bankrolls to net $6,840 in prize money and a berth in the 2012 Horse Player World Series at The Orleans Casino in Las Vegas. The format required players to bet a minimum of $10 on at least 10 races from Aqueduct, Gulfstream, Keeneland or Oaklawn, with no maximums. O'Neil fired two $50 win bets on Toccet Rocket ($49.60) in the final race at Oaklawn to oust Gary Machiz out of the top spot, which he had held throughout most of the tournament.
O'Neil made identical plays with 11 of the 12 wagers on each of his tournament accounts.
"I've tried that strategy before in other tournaments and hit first and second in prize money," he said of his strategy.
Of his tournament-clinching wager, O'Neil noted, "I've been using some computer software for the last few years, and the 12 [Toccet Rocket] came up good in my program and was a bargain at 24-1."
Meadowlands Racetrack Horse Player World Series Qualifier Standings
April 16, 2011
Rank, Name, Hometown, Bankroll, Prize
1, John O'Neil, Nesconset, NY, $1,243, $4,560
2, John O'Neil, Nesconset, NY, $1,243, $2,280
3, Gary Machiz, Cream Ridge, NJ, $618, $1,140
4, Andre Hahn, Jersey City, NJ, $584, $855
5, Eugene De Marzo, Woodbridge, NJ, $489, $570
6, Thomas Martinson, Ft. Ann, NY, $323, $399
7, Terry Flanagan, South Orange, NJ, $226, $399
8, Gil Winston, Manalapan, NJ, $209, $399
9, Daniel Hamer, Brooklyn, NY, $200, $399
10, Sam Pierce, Bedford, NY, $180, $399