It was a big weekend of punting for those following the Queensland Racing Carnival, with Stradbroke Day on Saturday offering three Group 1 races in some excellent conditions as those down south lamented the winter chill.
Stradbroke Day also brought the much-anticipated TopBetta Tournament of the Year with a superb turnout of 62 entrants taking part in the $550 buy-in tournament. They swelled the prize pool in excess of $30,000 to shatter the advertised guarantee.
It meant that the top prize would be a massive $20,700 and when it was all said it done it was amateur punter Matt Sawaszenko who upstaged the professionals to claim victory.
The Sydney-based Sawaszenko said that he usually enjoys a recreational Saturday punt, and after landing a decent score the week prior, decided to buy straight into the big tournament and take a shot at glory.
In the early stages of the tournament, Sawaszenko found himself off the pace as the pros went hard on the favourites Flippant and Strawberry Boy in the early races to build up a sizable lead. But Sawaszenko held his nerve and found a couple of winners including Jabali at big odds in Race 5 and then Magicool in one of the feature races of the day to find himself right in contention.
However it all came down to the final race of the day where Sawaszenko knew he needed to pull out something special to grab the win. Sawaszenko said that his aim was to reach T$500,000 in TopBetta tournament dollars, which was ten times the start stack, and to achieve that, he laid out three bets for all of his tournament money on the final race. It proved to be a stroke of genius that his T$11,000 wager on Jetset Lad landed a huge winner at 47-1, with the extra thousand giving him the edge over the second place finisher who had bet only $T10,000.
If it wasn’t enough of a feel good story for amateur punter to beat the pros and win $20,700 in prize money, but it turns out that Sawaszenko is actually getting married on Friday – less than a week after his big win. That should help the wedding fund as the Sawaszenkos will be having one helluva party this weekend!
Congratulations to Matt and to everyone who joined in the Tournament of the Year. Special thanks also to TopBetta for running the event and we hope to see more punters take a shot at the next big tournament. In the meantime there are great weekly tournaments running on TopBetta for NRL, AFL, horse racing and more, where you can sharpen your tournament strategies! For more information check out our TopBetta Review page.
Check out the video following Sawaszenko’s big victory with thanks to The Punters Show:
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