NHC star and NTRA’s Players Committee member Ross Gallo takes a comprehensive look at the history of the National Handicapping Championship.
Mike Mayo was our original chairman, and he was a wonderful leader. He passed away in 2014 and I miss him everyday. He left his mark all over the NHC and last year he was one of the two original inductees into the newly formed NHC Hall of Fame with former NHC Champ, the late Ron Rippey. Chris Larmey, one of the best players in the world is our leader now, and he has continued Mike’s legacy of excellence. The NHC has changed drastically over the last several years and one could argue that most of the changes have been for the better.
The NHC is still played under hypothetical rules, which means, scores are accumulated using track payoffs, and correct picks add to the player’s score. In recent years, real money tournaments have become popular with players and the venues. The reasons for the venue are obvious; the players are being “forced” to put their money through the windows, the scores are actually the player’s bankroll and the venue gets the handle. Real-money has been directly responsible for some tracks and OTB’s to get back into the tournament game. Theses tournaments are popular with the players because they have much more control of their fates during the tournament.