At the start of this new year, we have very exciting news! Mike is headed to Las Vegas this weekend to compete in the National Handicapping Championship at Treasure Island hotel & casino. Mike will be competing with 480 other people who have qualified, and prize money exceeds $1.5 million. This is not Mike’s first championship. In fact, he is a five time qualifier! In 2005, Mike won 3rd place in the National Handicapping Championship held at Bally’s Casino. He was one of three people featured on ESPN that year. Mike will also be competing in the Horse Player Wold Series at the Orleans Casino with approximately 500 others this February.
Mike, a long time handicapper, believes that the chaos of horse racing, which is similar to hold-em poker, is a good ying/yang with making abstract art. He finds there is definitely a parallel with decision making in horse racing and his “brush before the brain” painting style. In both horse racing and abstract art, it is important to go with your gut and be present in that moment in time. Mindfulness, the idea of living in the moment, is very critical to both disciplines. Mike credits Miraval Spa with introducing him to this concept during his many stays as artist-in-residence.
In 2010, this article was published in the Dayton Daily News highlighting Mike as a horse handicapper, as well as an artist. During this championship, Mike was unable to hit a horse in 30 races. Something he says is “hard to do.” He contended being tied for last place was pretty abstract…
So wish him well this year! With 2012 bringing many great projects, commissions and grand babies, we’re hoping 2013 brings Mike some better luck on the track! Mike has promised his staff members a whopping $100 each if he brings home the title. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!