Phil Galfond Co-Founder of New DFS Site Draftboard
Prominent online and live poker pro Phil Galfond has expanded his interests on the business side of gambling by co-founding a new daily fantasy sports (DFS) site, Draftboard.
The new site trails the DFS market by several years, which has become a virtual duopoly controlled by giants FanDuel and DraftKings. However, Draftboard has launched itself as a contrarian effort, hoping to carve itself a market niche by catering to casual, newer players, and instituting a couple of prominent policies designed to prevent massive multi-lineup, professional DFS players from cleaning up against the hobbyist type of players the DFS world needs to retain to expand.
The dominance of DFS by a proportionately small number of players who can submit hundreds of lineups into any given contest has been an important growth mechanism for DraftKings and FanDuel, due to the massive amounts of entry-fee revenue thus generated. However, the entire framework has created a massively imbalanced player ecosystem that the two giants have only slowly and haltingly begun to address.
That market imbalance is where Draftboard hopes to strike gold. Claiming to offer “A Level Playing Field,” Draftboard has included its “Fair Match” concept as part of the site’s debut. According to Draftboard, “Our Fair Match contest structure features separate lobbies for low and high stakes contests and a revolutionary approach to multi-entry that levels the playing field for single and multi-entry users.”
The separate lobbies for low- and high-stakes DFS players is simple enough. “Draftboard features separate lobbies for Rookie ($1-$5) and Veteran ($10-$50) contests. You may only enter contests in one lobby on a given day for each sport.”
So each player has to choose at the start of each wagering day whether to play in low-stakes or high-stakes events. This won’t entirely eliminate the problem — some pros will simple choose to keep playing low-stakes only, implementing the poker mantra of “finding the best table.” But it will reduce some of the problem, simply because such pros will know that grinding out small but easy-to-achieve daily wins comes with a price tag, not being able to go for the biggest prizes the site might offer.
The other new part of the DraftBoard platform is rather more intriguing, in that the “multiple” entries submitted by large-volume scales will be pitted against only other lineups submitted by large-volume players. In DraftKings’ words:
“At game time, Draftboard places your entries into contests with randomly selected, unique opponents from the same contest type. The Fair Match system matches first entries against first entries, second versus second, and third versus third.”
That means that a multiple-lineup player only has one chance of ending up playing a single-lineup novice. All the other lineups submitted by the massive-multiple-lineup player will instead be pitted against similar multiple-lineup players.
Interesting. Whether it catches on will remain to be seen; DraftBoard shows all the signs of being a very small startup at the present time, though with the well-known Galfond as a frontman, it has a chance. Galfond’s founding partner in this is Dan Quinn, the company’s Las Vegas-based CEO.
It’s not quite clear where Draftboard is conducting its operations. Some of the legalese appears to be centered on New York City and the state of New York, though Quinn is also maintaining a business presence for the company in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Draftboard is also steering clear of a large number of US states where DFS participation is either banned by law or appears to exist in a dangerous grey area. If you live in any of these jurisdictions, you cannot play on the site: Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, or the US territory of Puerto Rico. That means DraftKings is available to residents of 30 US states, in addition to all of Canada.