How to become a millionaire playing Daily Fantasy?
According to most researchers, the history of Fantasy sport goes back to 1962. An Oakland tycoon, the owner of the local NFL team Wilfred Wilkenbach set up a newspaper contest that remotely resembled modern Internet entertainments: similar lists of the players with certain prices, similar budget limit and points’ scoring system.
Wilkenbach’s idea was a huge success. In no time only the lazy did not arrange similar competitions in the United States. They had plenty of drawbacks I have described before, but were quite sophisticated for the time. Even considering the modest prize pools involved.
With the advent of Internet Fantasy tournaments got a major boost. The game became a top choice among people. According to experts, about 50 million Americans have played Fantasy at least once – that’s more than every seventh citizen. Knowing the figures leaves you wondering why nobody turned such a popular game into a powerful commercial industry earlier.
The money has come to Fantasy not so long ago. Daily Fantasy was the first game to emerge, which made it possible for advanced users to play on daily basis. Large Internet platforms followed. FanDuel and DraftKings should be mentioned as their combined market value exceeds 2.5 billion dollars, according to some estimates.
The famous Black Friday was the last straw in turning Fantasy into commercial success. On April 15, 2011 the Anti-gambling Act was issued in the United States, triggering shutdown of a dozen of most popular poker websites in the country. The poker experts were looking for another application for their analyzing abilities, and there was a perfect solution in Fantasy Sport waiting for them.
The great and terrible Peter Jennings was among those who switched to Fantasy from poker table. Colorado University graduate began his poker adventure in school and became a true professional while being a student. Pete confessed that poker had always got him more money than the job, although he was hired as an economist by a solid company after graduating.
The Black Friday delivered a huge blow to Peter’s budget as his earnings dropped by a half. He began considering a move to a place that would satisfy his ambition to play professional poker offline, but that was the time when Daily Fantasy emerged. Jennings was smart enough to see the advantages of a new game and went on to demonstrate great results. He won $150,000 in December 2012 in the NFL competition and went even further in the summer 2014 by beating all of his opponents in the NBA tournament and winning one million dollars.
Al Zeidenfeld has been on a similar path as he has loved poker and sports since childhood. NBA and NFL betting as well as large online poker tournaments earned him much more money than full-time job. Naturally, the shutdown of major poker platforms provided a serious setback for Al, although, being a family man, he was not going to relocate anywhere like Jennings. All he did instead was changing his specialty from poker to Fantasy and becoming successful in a different game as he went on to win $50,000 in one of the NBA tournaments. Big times followed as Zeidenfeld became an owner of a large online portal, specializing in Fantasy analytics, and an author of a special lecture course.
Tran the ordinary guy
Sometimes you can win a million dollars in one night. Just a couple of months ago Michael Cohen won a large NFL tournament on DraftKings. James Tran is another iconic person in Fantasy world as his profound understanding of American football earned him one million dollars. However, he didn’t have to go through hardships to the stars like most serious players and won his million in one of the first games. Besides, Tran is by no means a crazy sports geek – with all due respect this is not the case with Jennings or Zeidenfeld. Tran is an ordinary guy with a lovely wife, a kid and clear plans for the future. ‘I will spend the million on my son’s college, house repair, a family travel and charity’ – a true embodiment of an American dream.
Tran doesn’t spend all spare time on watching sports or studying stats, if we are to trust his words. The same can’t be said for the other characters, mentioned in this article. Successful performance in Fantasy requires serious intellectual work. Beginner’s luck does not apply here. For instance, Jennings complains about the lack of off days, the necessity to work on stats up to 12 hours a day and problems with his girlfriend – even a million and a half dollars of the prize money doesn’t make him a more attractive guy as he spends entire days in front of a computer and prefers watching new matches to dates. Zeidenfeld lives in a similar manner. Drew Dinkmeyer, another Fantasy-millionaire, is lucky enough to work for a sports website, which allows him to eventually combine job and hobby. However, even he complains about the lack of free time: ‘A lot of matches need to be reviewed afterwards’...
One way or another, hardly anyone from the fresh millionaires seriously regrets joining the Fantasy world. Dozens of Americans managed to convert profound sports knowledge into great money, and the number grows every day. Professional Fantasy-sport covers larger territories these days, moving from Western Europe to the East. And it is destined to have a huge success, as there are much more people interested in football than NFL or MLB fans, so leading fantasy platforms will be placing high stakes on Europe. More and more interesting and luring offers are emerging every day, and the scale of the industry is going to get bigger.
Globally, around 15 players have made their first million playing Fantasy sports. And there is Aaron Jones, who won DraftKings super tournament not so long ago and earned $5 million at a time. The number of happy Fantasy millionaires is going to triple in the coming years, and there have got to be players from Europe. Who knows, maybe you are one of them?