Fantasy sports have been growing in popularity over the past decade and a half. And since fantasy sports offer positive expected value for those with skill, it’s little surprise that many poker players embrace the activity.
Case in point, numerous poker players flocked to the recent “Millionaire Maker” fantasy football event at DraftKings. For a $27 buy-in, entrants got to play for a $1 million top prize and an overall prize pool of $2.2 million.
As this event got near the end, poker players Brian Hastings, Aaron Jones and Tony Dunst all had a shot at winning. However, it was a lesser-known poker player named Matt Smith who’d eventually capture the title along with a $1 million payout. After winning, Smith wasn’t quite sure what to say so he just tweeted this:
I don’t even know what to say. I’m in complete shock and can’t thank everyone enough for all the support!
As mentioned before fantasy sports have been attracting more and more people every year. And this has given rise to daily fantasy sports, where players pay a buy-in, draft their team and see the game play out in a single day.
Switching to another note, somehow daily fantasy sports continue to be completely legal across the United States – yet online poker is only legal/regulated in three states. I’m not sure why this is the case….oh wait, yeah I am. Professional sports leagues have done heavy lobbying over the years for various interests, and making sure that fantasy sports stay legal is one them.
The NFL has especially benefited from the widespread popularity of daily fantasy sports – and season-long leagues too – because these generate far more interest in the games. Call it a double standard while online poker waits on the sidelines, but it’s an unfortunate reality now.