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Tournament Roundup: $22K Fun in the Sun Final Table is Saturday | Wednesday, September 1

by Johnny D

September 1, 2021

Saturday’s Fun in the Sun Final Table will match 30 Xpressbet account holders occupying 35 seats as they battle for shares of a $22,255 pot enhanced by a $10k Xpressbet infusion. A juicy prize of $12,240.25 awaits the top earner at the conclusion of a 10-race competition that includes ‘live’ $10 Win wagers on one horse in each of the last 5 races from Saratoga and the first 5 heats from Del Mar. Second place is worth $5,563.75, third collects $2,225 and fourth and fifth place earn $1,112.75 each.

In each of seven previous weeks of Fun in the Sun play Final Table seats were awarded to the top five finishers. Players that have accumulated an advantageous pair of shots at the brass ring are:

Ellis Star
(1st Week #1 & 3rd Week #4)

Paul Lutz
(4th Week #1 & 5th Week #6)

Steven Jones
(5th Week #1 & 1st Week #2)

David Jaffe
(3rd Week #3 & 1st Week #4)

Jon Vanniel
(2nd Week #5 & 5th Week #7)

Top 3 players overall collected $28,595 in cash prizes for an average total of $4,085 per week and $1,362 each. The top seasonal prize earner is Ellis Star with a total of $3,501. Second is David Jaffe at $3,052.88.

Additionally, top 5 weekly players gathered $9,836.50 in wager payoffs based on ‘live’ $10 Win bets on one horse in each of 10 competition races—the last 5 heats at Saratoga and the first 5 at Del Mar. That’s an average top five player return of $281 each.

Those with an eye toward a possible winning score might want to know that top players averaged $319 in mutuel payoffs throughout the seven-week competition. Ellis Starr’s Week 1 earnings total of $392 was the season’s highest, followed by Michael O’Grady’s $389 in Week 3. Steven Hilbert’s $231 total was good enough for the top prize in week 7 and was the season’s lowest winning mark.

Final Table players represent coast-to-coast states from California to Massachusetts with the former claiming a hefty 13 in the main event. Amazingly, tiny Massachusetts is next in line with 4 Final Table qualifiers. Illinois is next with 3, followed by Florida at 2. Connecticut, Washington, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Ohio, New York and Kentucky also have residents vying for cash.

Familiarity appeared to breed Fun in the Sun success because 16 out of 30 Final Table qualifiers have been Xpressbet account holders for more than 15 years and 3 of the talented 30 have been loyal customers for more than 20 years! Six additional Final Table players have been with Xpressbet for at least 10 years. At the other end of the familiarity spectrum are 5 players with less than 5 years of membership and 2 of those are ‘rookie’ Xpressbet account holders.

The seventh and final qualifying week’s action produced four new Final Table participants. Steven Hilbert topped all players with $231 in earnings. Edwina White was a clear second with $217, well clear of Robert Rosen $189 and Frank Isaac $186.50. Checking in fifth was Jon Vanniel at $186, giving him a second Final Table seat.

Thanks to everyone who played Fun in the Sun. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Congratulations to those who won cash and seats and best wishes to those at the Final Table. We’ll be watching. May the best horseplayer win!

See you Saturday!