VSiN.com senior reporter
LAS VEGAS – The SuperContest at the Westgate fell short of many predictions, but still drew a record 3,123 entries for this year’s running of the famous football handicapping contest.
SuperContestants pay a $1,500 entry fee and make 5 NFL picks a week against the contest line. Players earn 1 point per win and half a point per push. This year’s top point-earner will receive a record $1,422,214.20 plus a championship ring that the SuperContest just started awarding to its champions. The SuperContest now pays the top 100 finishers with second worth more than half a million at $517,168.80 with $301,681.80 for third and $216,487 for fourth.
The entries were up 13.6% over last year’s 2,748. In falling short of expectations, the SuperContest can be seen as a victim of its own success. The SuperContest has grown from 345 in 2010 when it was mostly played by local handicappers and wise guys plus a few out-of-town sharps who knew you could enter by using a local proxy to submit plays each week. It experienced close to 50% growth the next few years before a huge leap from 1,727 in 2016 to 2,748 last year (that 59% explosion was something a lot of people expected to continue unabated). If the increase had been 30-something percent last year and again this year, we would be right around the same number and everyone would be lauding the growth.
SuperContest Classic has a $15,00 aggregate bonus for the leader after the first four weeks of the season as well as the halfway point (after Week 8), plus its traditional $15,000 mini-contest over the last three weeks of the season for the 2,712 entrants who registered by the annual 4 p.m. PT early-bird deadline on Labor Day.
The SuperContest, the Westgate’s high-end $5,000 winner-take-all contest that uses the same contest lines, drew 128 entrants after having 94 in its inaugural year. The prize will be $640,000 this season with zero for second.
Check out VSiN.com/supercontest all season for the SuperContest Classic/Gold standings on Tuesdays, weekly lines on Wednesdays and consensus plays after all selections of all SuperContestants are released on Saturday afternoon.
Ultimate Football Challenge at Golden Nugget
The Golden Nugget also set a record with 307 entries in its Ultimate Football Challenge (which includes picking 7 NFL & NCAA sides a week after dropping over/unders from previous formats), which was expected as it also lowered the entry fee from $2,000 to $1,000.
The UFC pays the top 20 and the Golden Nugget actually sets aside $1,000 apiece for 11th through 20th so those players earn back their entry free; after that is deducted, the champion receives 40% of the remaining purse: $118,800. Second place will be worth $59,400 with $29,700 for third.
College Pick’Em at William Hill
William Hill didn’t announce its final entries as of the posting of this article on Saturday, but it should be around 250 (after having 221 last year) at $500 apiece. More details will be added to this section on Monday or Tuesday.