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win, place & show (WPS) WBC 2016 Report
Updated Nov. 29, 2016 Icon Key
35 Players Dave Steiner, IN 2016 Status 2017 Status Event History
2016 Champion Click box for details. Click box for details.

New Track Draws Record Crowds

The move to Seven Springs was certainly positive for the horse racing community. Attendance at the “Ski Downs” was up over 30 percent as ten cards were contested during four heats. We had our share of new players but the major increase was from the number of “regular” punters who were able to attend one or more of the heats in the expanded schedule. Altogether the expansion combined with a general downturn for other events resulted in a rare Century position for pony fans in 2017.

The program began on the opening Saturday. Four boards were filled with players wishing to punch an early ticket to the big board a week later. The winners of these first boards included Ken Gutermuth, Bruce Reiff, Jeff Finkeldey, and Owen Kyrollos. These are among the “usual suspects” in WPS and most of the victories were accomplished in workmanlike fashion. Bruce was the largest money winner with $174,000 and Owen got by on the least with $92,000.

The late night Tuesday crowd was missing the aforesaid qualifiers, but gained several new players—including a couple from the demo immediately preceding the event. It probably generated the most interesting action of all the heats. Mark Kennel won his board with $139,000. Josh Coyle was victorious on the second with approximately the same amount of money, but the racing featured extremely tight finishes in the last four races. Josh had the right winners at the right time. The third board saw almost everyone losing money in the first four races and, by the fifth, only Dave Steiner had any money left to bet or buy horses. The program closed early with Dave the poor winner.

The Friday morning early riser heat was down to two boards but they generated the most winnings thus far. Mike Polcen took one board with $163,000 and John Welage the other with the most winnings in the entire tournament, $219,000.

With most of the regulars having already punched their tickets for the big board, the “last chance” heat filled but one board. That was won by Bill Riggs with the least amount of cash on hand at the finish, $77,000.

This gave us ten entrants for the Final, reduced to nine when Mark was otherwise engaged. The opening races set the tone for the game. Eight Ball held off Rotunda in the first and Corn Plaster nosed Nothing Special in the second to ensure that no one had large amounts of starting capital and all daily double bets were trashed. Dunce Cap took the third and Born Loser the fourth to fuel the whining of players seriously short of cash. A few were working on purse money, never the key to success in WPS.

By the end of the fifth race, the only two with any real hope were Welage and Steiner. John backed Captain Ahab and Dave Mona Lisa in the last race.At the tape, the Lisa did her usual finish and Dave walked away with his third WBC crown and $131,000. John took second with $105,000. Third, fourth, and fifth were very close between the only others who made a profit for the evening with Kyrollos, Riggs, and Coyle finishing with meal money at least. The others were sent home worrying about the rent.

Special thanks from the racing commission goes to Nicole Reiff and Stuart Tucker. Both were eliminated in the Saturday heat but stayed for the Final to assist the racing commission. Without their assistance, things would have been a lot more difficult on the GM. As always, thanks to Ken Gutermuth for the “Big Board”. We were able to accommodate the game easily in the Ski Lodge and, at the same time, have quite a few spectators including some of the other hotel guests who were amused to observe the action. We look forward to the 2017 season at the Seven Springs track.

2016 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 1
John Welage, OH Owen Kyrollos, NJ Bill Riggs, VA Josh Coyle, VA Jeff Finkeldey, OH
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Sean McCulloch, Lisa Gutermuth, Chris Greenfield,
George Kyrollos and Ken Gutermuth on opening night at the track.
David Sander, Jeff Finkeldey, Jim Burnett, James Garvey,
Scott Beall and Rob Drozd try out the high tables by the bar.
Jeff Mullet, Bruce Reiff, Nick Benedict, Jennifer Visocnik
and Christina Hurley try for a ticket to the big track.
Owen Kyrollos punches his ticket to the big board in the last
chance heat with Angela McGavisk, Bert Schoose and Nicole Reiff.
GM Jim Burnett and his finalists at the first meeting of the Ski Downs track—complete with adjacent bar.
GM  Jim Burnett [8th Year]  NA
 jimallene@comcast.net  NA