Rancho Santa Fe resident wins Horse Player World Series at the Orleans Casino in Las Vegas


By Julie Sarno

Christian Hellmers bested 749 other racing handicappers to win the Horse Player World Series at the Orleans Casino in Las Vegas on March 29. The Rancho Santa Fe resident finished the three-day handicapping tournament with a score of 3,559.30 and won $269,640. Participants were required to make 15 mythical $20 win or place wagers.

Hellmers has been featured this season on the “Horseplayers” show on the Esquire television network. The Horse Player World Series is a championship event, the culmination of a year-long series of qualifying events hosted by the Orleans and related casinos in Las Vegas, as well as qualifying tournaments at racetracks, Off Track Betting facilities and websites. Players are also permitted to enter the finals by paying a $1,000 entry fee. Hellmers bought one entry. Previously, Hellmers finished second in back-to-back Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenges in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, he finished second in a handicapping contest at Keeneland.

“I’m supremely grateful and cannot thank every person enough who has helped me master my intuition as a man, and as a wagering Jedi, including my close family and friends, as well as Yoda,” Hellmers said in a text.

“The other reason I’m successful is because I learned the hard way by losing and challenging myself to be my best, betting fearlessly out of a deep rooted belief in myself and in something bigger above,” said Hellmers, who acknowledged he spent five hours each night handicapping.