Posts Tagged ‘Brian Hastings’

Is Daily Fantasy Sports going through a Poker Boom?

Friday, November 21st, 2014

chris-moneymaker-andrew-luckEven today, many poker players like to discuss the Poker Boom, which, depending upon whom you ask, lasted from 2003 – 2006 (maybe until ’08). Regardless of when the Boom ended, many can agree that the downturn’s fondation was laid when the United States enacted the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). But one activity that avoided the umbrella of this unfavorable 2006 bill against online gambling: fantasy sports.

Largely thanks to the NFL’s deep pockets and desire to keep fantasy sports alive – due to the fan interest it brings – fantasy sports don’t come with the same limitations as online poker and casino games (at least for Americans). So players can use PayPal and other handy forms of payment to fund their accounts.

This is just one reason why daily fantasy sports (DFS) have been exploding over the past 1-2 years. Now, just like online poker today, sites like DraftKings and FanDuel are offering multi-million dollar tournaments.

As we covered before, poker pro Matt Smith was a big beneficiary of one of these tournaments. Smith earned the million-dollar top prize in a $2.2 million NFL tourney on DraftKings. Other noted poker pros who did well in this tourney included Brian Hastings, Aaron Jones and Tony Dunst.

Of course, a boom isn’t built on the participation of pros, but rather the average Joes. And as this New York Post article indicates, Mr. Average Joe is setting his DFS lineup far more often these days.

The NY Post cites how FanDuel expects to pay out over $500 million in prizes this year, and over $1 billion in 2015. Their player base will also reach 1 million people this year, quadruple what it was in 2013. And while 1 million is FAR off the 50 million-plus that PokerStars boasts, it indicates that the largest DFS sites are growing by leaps and bounds.

Will DFS ever reach the lofty status that online poker did in the mid-2000s (and remains at today)? Well, there’s no Chris Moneymaker figure in the DFS world yet. But both DraftKings and FanDuel seem to be driving the game, much like PokerStars and Full Tilt did for internet poker. And with DFS tournaments growing larger and larger, it’s only a matter of time before the football-loving version of Moneymaker comes along.

Poker Pro Matt Smith wins $1 Million in Fantasy Football

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

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.

Viktor “Isildur1” Blom dominating Online Poker

Monday, January 7th, 2013

When Viktor “Isildur1” Blom first hit the online poker scene in 2009, his hyper-aggressive style and fearlessness baffled opponents. He was taking on the world’s top poker players just months after moving into high stakes games – and he was winning too!

Unfortunately, Blom ran into a red-hot Brian Hastings, who was armed with ill-gotten hand histories on Isildur1’s play. Hastings’ massive EV spike coupled with the hand histories helped him win $4 million off of Blom in a single session. Since that time, the Swede’s profits have spiraled downward at both Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars.┬áThat spiral continued into this past November, when his career Full Tilt losses hit $2.97 million.

But it seems as if a cloud has been lifted because all of the sudden, Viktor Blom is dominating the online poker world. And when we say dominating, we’re not just talking about a few hundred thousands dollars in a week; instead, we’re alluding to the fact that he’s won almost $2.5 million in the past week alone!

Thanks to the $344k profit that he hauled in last night, Blom has earned $3.1 million since early December. What’s more is that this $3.1 million amount has easily made him the biggest winner in the “new” Full Tilt Poker’s history.

Blom is still only up $222k for his entire career at FTP, which dates back to 2009. As mentioned before, he was quite a bit in the hole after the $4 million losing session to Hastings. And he’s never really battled out of the red – until now that is. Seeing as how he is now pulling a profit, it’ll be interesting to see what Blom does from here. The 22-year-old is much younger than most high stakes poker pros and could really take over the game as time moves on.

Biggest Poker Winners of 2009

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Happy 2010 to everyone! To ring in the New Year I thought it would be fun to remember some of the biggest poker winners of 2009. We can all learn from these players’ wins and shoot for the stars in 2010!

Patrick Antonius has been a top earner in poker for the last several years. In 2007 he earned a whopping $1.3 million playing poker online. However, he didn’t stop there. In 2008 he made yet another $1.3 million playing as a member of Team Full Tilt. In 2009 he continued to blow the poker industry away. By the end of the year he had earned a profit worth more than $8.9 million! It looks like Antonius is set for life!

Phil Ivey was another massive winner in 2009. In 2007 Ivey topped the charts by earning the most money playing poker online. He took home two WSOP bracelets in 2009 to continue his winning streak and came out one of the top grossing players in the world of poker.

Brian Hastings started out the year in a downward spiral. However, in a single session Hastings made $4.2 million in profits, for one of the largest single session winnings ever.

We can all look to these big poker winners for inspiration. In 2010 you can shoot to be on the list of top winning players by familiarizing yourself with poker rules, perfecting your strategy and playing to win!