2012 DFBC Recap and Review
I’ve never been more stoked to be a part of the Daily Fantasy Industry as I am now. If you’re reading this, then you probably already know that the RotoGrinders crew just returned home from the FanDuel DFBC. Covering the event was fun, partying in Vegas while staying in a luxury suite was incredible, but nothing comes close to topping the excitement surrounding this event.
Let’s take a look at the facts. In 2010, GeneralV took home $25,000 for first place in the FFFC (FanDuel’s version of the DFBC for the NFL). “LittleBigFish” also took home $25,000 for a first place finish in the 2011 DFBC. However the 2011 DFBC was held online, so it kind of takes away from the entire Vegas Trip and Experience, not to mention the added cash value in the trip. In 2012, things picked up. The FFFC 1st prize tripled, and Beermakersfan took home $75,000. This past weekend, the DFBC first prize quadrupled, when DustyJ155 took home $100,000.
Did you know that the first year the WSOP awarded a first-place prize, that it was only $30,000? The second year the WSOP grew to an $80,000 first prize; That’s a 267% increase. Factoring in the lack of a Vegas trip in the first DFBC, the DFBC and FFFC combined to grow by over 350% from year 1 to 2, more than the WSOP’s first-prize grew. This year, the WSOP will be paying out a life-changing $8,527,982 to the champion.
I’m not making an argument that the DFBC is going to be paying out over $8,000,000 to its winner in some-odd decades, but you can’t ignore the staggering growth and potential in the FFFC and DFBC events; It’s great news for the Daily Fantasy industry. FanDuel is onto something ground-breaking with the DFBC and FFFC live finals, and we’re all a part of it.
Attending the 2012 DFBC
The staggering growth of this event is totally attributable to the attention to detail FanDuel put into the event. Every site has daily fantasy games, but why is FanDuel able to pay out so much cash during lavish trips? Here’s why:
When I arrived, Dan and Ethan had already been in Vegas, and were at the roulette tables when I got into the Palazzo (the “nicer” section of rooms attached to the Ventian). We convened in our FanDuel-comped suites, which are silly-luxurious…some of the amenities in the room are just unnecessary. Ethan slept on the gigantic couch, because it was “more comfortable than his bed.” I think he just liked playing with the remote control that moved the blinds next to it. And how about having both a TV and phone in the bathroom? Seriously, do I really need to order room service and check on my games while taking a dump? The point is, the room is nice, and for finalists, it’s free.
After we got our sleek-fitting, American Apparel tees and Vista Print business cards unpacked, we took the elevator down to floor 3 to hit-up the FanDuel Luxury Suite overlooking the hotel’s pool. I can only hope I’m able to stay in one of these rooms one day…the ladies from the pool really seemed to like to hang out with the guys who had a room on Floor 3… The FanDuel team, the 15 DFBC finalists, and the Sirius XM crew, were already there and everyone was enjoying the open bar. Dan did some podcast interviews while Ethan and I had some beers and put [user]names to the faces. It was awesome meeting everyone in person.
After the meet-and-greet we went to a Brazilian Steakhouse called Samba at the Mirage. For those of you who haven’t been to a Brazilian-style steakhouse before, it’s pretty much heaven for meat-lovers. They bring out endless flights of Grade-A protein, bacon-wrapped this, prime that. Incredible. After that we went to B.B. King’s blues bar next door and got our drank on. I got shot down hard when we met that old guy from Jurassic Park. I asked him to take a picture with us, and he calmly looked me in the eye, said “no” and walked off. Hats-off to Kay Adams for even spotting him at the place, and calling that it was him. She was even able to snap a creepily crisp and accurate picture of him on her iPhone from about 50 feet away that would even make Erin Andrew’s stalker proud. We posed for the picture you see to the right with the FanDuel team, stocked up on Red Bulls for Sunday, and then went off to hit the casinos and prep for Sunday’s early AM coverage. It’s important to note, that everything mentioned so far, was absolutely free and on the FanDuel DFBC tab.
After losing some money on “Switch Blackjack” the night before and grabbing a few hours sleep, Ethan, Dan and I miraculously made it to the Emeril Lagasse Sportsbook by 8 AM (West Coast sports times still throw me off) in prime-shape and ready to go. The biggest change from the FFFC finals to the DFBC was that we were in a different VIP Sportsbook Suite. Initially, I thought FanDuel had downgraded to a smaller one, but then I realized that there were actually two rooms connected (one for TVs and one with extra space for the Sirius XM team), AND we had the entire upstairs bar area at the Legasse…sick. Both setups were solid, but the diversity of the multiple areas for the DFBC was really awesome, and less cramped overall. We probably ordered around a hundred Jager bombs from the private bar in between the three free meals at the buffet.
If you haven’t already watched our Live Coverage of the DFBC, do so now. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, our Live Coverage should hopefully feel like you were there in spirit. You can even feel the awkward, pain in the room as Daniel Back, beer-in-hand, demolished the Champions trophy. Yup, that happened (OK, I embellished a little bit). I just hope FanDuel invites us back next season.
Covering the event was definitely a little chaotic for Ethan, Dan and I when we’re trying to take pictures and videos of all the action as it is taking place, but it’s a blast! The comments from RotoKevin, GeneralV, SClem, Naap, Tommy, Buckinah, ologuhm, Stevie, JMB, Hersh and everyone else made our day…I guess KC’s comments were OK too. :)
The 15 finalists this year were awesome this year. Dusty DustyJ155 Jordan, who won it all, had an awesome posse along with him. They were there start-to-finish, and were having fun drinking even before DustyJ started running away with it. His buddy Aaron, provided some entertaining video interviews, and their group’s champagne celebration, at 4 PM, in the middle of Las Vegas BLVD was of epic proportion. You can check that out in the Live Coverage page near the bottom of the feed…I just wish I got the ‘Lil Jon’ look-alike in the video of it who showed up at the end.
It really surprised me how cool and down-to-earth Jamie ‘MLBSyndicate’ Robbins was, especially right after his deep WSOP run and huge score. I was shocked to hear that after his 2nd deep run and huge WSOP score in three years, that he was going cold turkey on poker. It makes sense though as it really can be a grind. The good news (or bad new for some of our bankrolls), is that he’ll be turning his full focus to Daily Fantasy MLB in his spare time now! Look for ‘MLB Syndicate’ on a site near you soon. I think we’ll all look forward to watching his coverage on ESPN for the WSOP this year.
Craig ‘StewburtX8’ Snyder was another great guy I got to hang out with. He’s one of the more active RotoGrinders, so I was definitely rooting along with him at points in the day. His Lucas Harrell pick wound up making him look kind of like a genius (or at least proved he had nerves of steel), by selecting the value-priced Astro with a whopping $100,000 on the line. I loved reading the comments in chat all day, especially when former FFFC champ GeneralV said “ Lucas Harrell for a 100 Grand… I couldnt do it.” Well Stewburt did, and though it wasn’t $100k, the selection paid off nicely for him as he took home $12,000 for fourth place. That should help him out some with the upcoming wedding plans!
The duo of Homie and the Bean aka ‘nucor401’, were great guys. They were having some drinks and partying with everyone all weekend long. I got to sit with Bill ‘cardog777’ Carley and his father at dinner. They run a custom furniture-building shop out of San Francisco, and were extremely likable. Roger ‘narnar’ Narhi knows his MLB, but he seemed to have some unique strategies for MLB, and they didn’t go unnoticed. I loved hearing ‘Nar’ and Chris ‘eritas’ Noroski’s buddy, Andrew, argue over the Twins game. There were some smart, MLB minds at the finals.
My favorite encounter with a finalist had to be when I bumped into Jared ‘Jamell4’ Arnell at the craps table Sunday night after the DFBC. I was walking through the Palazzo casino and saw a guy at the craps table rolling away with a fancy, new RotoGrinders American Apparel tee shirt on, so naturally I walked up and told him “nice shirt.” Based on his response, you would have thought I told him that I was going to bang his mother. He looked at me like he was going to murder me (for the record, the guy was pretty jacked). Luckily, Jared came up and explained the situation to everyone. Turns out that Jared gave his RG tee to his buddy to wear for the night, and he was in a pretty bad mood as the craps dealer at the time was a VERY non-discrete transvestite named ‘Sophia’, and wasn’t exactly helping him win money. Jared’s friend wasn’t at the event much during the day, so he had no clue who I was and just thought I was a dude telling him ‘nice shirt’ as he rolled dice with a ‘tranny’. Can’t blame him for getting pissed…
After the potential fight was smoothed over, we all laughed about it and hung out for a bit. I don’t think he’ll mind me mentioning that Jared’s wife is smoking-hot, so while Jared and his brother were a little bummed about the 11th place finish for $2,500, I told him he didn’t have it that bad off.
Speaking of ‘smoking-hot’, I know everyone wants to hear some Kay Adams stories. I hate to disappoint, because I had a lot of people asking me about her before the trip, but unfortunately there’s no provocative stories here. Kay was just really cool and hung with the guys all weekend. She was not a stuck-up, good-looking, female, radio personality like I’ve seen some chat boxes/forums guess. In fact, it was pretty hysterical and cool of her to pose for a couple of pics just for RG and our boy KCearnal in the middle of a busy workday. I’ll forgive her for not liking Tebow, I guess. After seeing their crew at work while I stumbled around with my iPhone video interview coverage, I have a TON of respect for the entire Sirius XM Fantasy Crew (Matt, Ray, Kyle & Kay) and how hard it is to do what they do. It is a very difficult job to commentate live like that, and it requires a ton of prep-work and focus.
With all the coverage going on, I didn’t get to talk in depth with every finalist unfortunately, but had a blast with the ones I did. Luckily Dan was able to get almost everyone on his podcast during the trip (still no Kay guest appearance though), and you can listen to those by searching ‘RotoGrinders’ in iTunes or on our Podcast page.
After the DFBC and champagne celebrations, I was exhausted and headed back to the room for a nap. That night, the RG team hit the casinos again. Dan and I played some NL poker at the Mirage, I won $55…nothing too exciting. Ethan bet on his RedSox (again) then logged multiple hours of Blackjack, War and Roulette all over the Venetian. I’ll let him tell you how that went…After that, it was time to pass out for a few hours and head home in the morning.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t depressing departure from Vegas. Sure, it helped knowing that we’ll be back in just over a month for the First Annual RotoGrinders Party in Vegas, which is going to require another, hopefully epic, trip report. But that wasn’t why I left happier than when I arrived, and it wasn’t because of the measly $55 I made playing poker.
It was FanDuel’s model for the FFFC and DFBC. Their attention to detail on this trip was incredible. Hats off to Ken, Tom, Alex (WaiverWire), Jeff, Mike, and Mark as well as Nigel, Lesley and Cameron from Scotland. Just think about all of the incredible free stuff listed above that a DFBC/FFFC finalist receives…who wouldn’t want to be a part of this? And that’s the reason the first-prize has grown by up to 400% in just one year. I expect it to grow even more moving forward.