Jeff Sotman, a longtime Thoroughbred industry executive and entrepreneur, died on Nov. 28 at age 50.
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Sotman received his master's degree from University of California, Irvine, before attending the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program in 1993.
Sotman served as the general manager for The Horseplayer Magazine which allowed him to work with racetracks, casinos, and other leaders in the pari-mutuel industry. In 1998, Sotman, who was an avid participant at poker rooms and horse tracks around the country, began to develop various on-site and online handicapping tournaments.
Sotman played an instrumental role in the establishment and growth of the National Handicapping Championship during its formative years, and helped create and perfect the online handicapping contests that have assisted in the growth of the NHC.
"Jeff was a driven individual who succeeded in making multiple successful contributions to the horseracing industry," said Tom Quigley, owner of The Horseplayer Magazine, in a release. "He never shied from controversy or debate, but those who knew him best will quickly recall his passion, spirit, collegiality, and sense of humor. Thousands of others, meanwhile, will remember him for his indelible mark on handicapping contests."
Sotman is survived by his mother Judith Abboud; brothers Mike Wolf and Sam Abboud; and sisters Julie Wolf and Michelle Abboud.