Brisnet member James
Michelson Jr. captures DRF/NTRA National Handicapping
Brisnet member James Michelson Jr. earned
the title of 2005 Handicapper of the Year, defeating 213
contestants to win the sixth annual Daily Racing Form/NTRA
National Handicapping Championship (NHC) contested January
21-22nd, 2005 at Bally's racebook in Las Vegas. Michelson won
the championship's $200,000 grand prize just two years
after his life long friend and fellow Brisnet member Steve
Wolfson Jr. accomplished the same feat at NHC IV in 2003.
Michelson, a 38-year-old advertising account director
from West Bloomfield, Michigan, qualified for this year's
tournament last August. He received the $200,000 Grand Prize for
bankrolling $240.40 in mythical money during the two days of
"To beat all these people is just mind-blowing," said
Michelson, who was a close fifth after the first day. "Some days
you pick horses and they all run backwards, but this was one of
those days when they won. I didn't think I could get lucky two
days in a row."
Players made 30 mythical $2 win-and-place bets at seven
tracks. Michelson's total was $31.60 ahead of his closest rival,
which was enough to give him the largest margin of victory ever
in the NHC. During his speech at the post-contest awards
ceremony at Bally's on Saturday night, Michelson mentioned that
Brisnet information assisted him in his win.
Brisnet customers dominated the leader board throughout the
two-day competition. Seventeen members
placed in the top 20 and
nine were in the top 10.
Michael Conway (Glencoe, Illinois), took the $75,000
second-place prize for totaling $208.80 in his bankroll. Conway
also led the Twin Spires Club team to a win in the NHC team
championship. The winning team split a prize of $15,000.
Michael Elsass, part of Churchill Downs #2 team,
rounded out the top three with $205.40 in his bankroll, earning
$30,000 for third-place. Damian Roncevich (Honolulu,
Hawaii), finished day one in second place and hung around the
leaderboard the entire contest to eventually finish fifth place.
Roncevich took home $10,000 in prize money.
Other Brisnet members finishing in the top 10 included
Bill Shurman, who was the day one leader and sixth overall;
Richard Gaetano and David Kassmier, who tied for
seventh; ninth-place finisher Don Sullivan; and
10th-place finisher Calvin Manns. The sixth through
10th-place finishers each won $5,000 in prize money. A total of
$20,000 ($10,000 a day) was also offered to the top daily
finishers. Shurman took home Friday's daily top prize of $5,000,
with Roncevich receiving $3,000 for second, and Conway earning
$2,000 for third. Brisnet members Elsass and Justin Carey won
$3,000 and $2,000, respectively, for second- and third-place
daily prizes on Saturday.
Team Members Jeffrey Blaylock (right) & Pete Colwell
(center) with Harry Furlong of BRIS Marketing.
(The 3rd team member, Florence Rotman is not pictured)
Team Brisnet.com, which consisted of Florence Rotman,
Pete Colwell and Jeffrey Blaylock put in a valiant
effort in the tournament to finish 29th among the 70 teams.
Brisnet.com is now home to all six Handicappers of the Year.
For the 2005 tournament, members captured an impressive $376,000
of the $412,400 in prize money.
In the six years the popular contest has been conducted, Brisnet
members have won well over a million dollars!
Brisnet congratulates all its members who were winners this
year and wishes them continued success in the future.