The Man. The Myth. The Legend. CSURAM/Peter Jennings

csuw

By the time you’re reading this, you already know that Peter Jennings, aka CSURAM, won $1 million in a single day MLB DFS contest on Tuesday August 26th. We’ve all seen CSU on Grinders Live giving out advice and also as an advocate for the industry. He’s always been a hell of an ambassador and I think he has the respect of most reading this blog. However I feel like I know him better than the general public out there and I’d like to share a few thoughts on his win.

First off, let me say that I sincerely and honestly consider this dude like a younger brother. Our fantasy sports ties go farther back than he even realizes. We both use to play in season long fantasy leagues through an online commissioner many years back. When I first saw his name in DFS circles playing games I thought it was maybe one of the links I posted in the season long home page that attracted him to the other side. Heck, I may even be responsible for this monster we know as “Ram” today! I met the guy at the inaugural RotoGrinders party in Las Vegas 3 years ago. I met a lot of guys that weekend and made a lot of DFS friends who I am close with to this day. Those meetings like the RG Party are invaluable. It wasn’t until his DFFC $150K win later that year that we got to know each other better.

Full disclosure here; Peter and I (along with a couple other players I won’t name) were working on a deal to spread out the chances of winning the big money. Instead of 1 shot in 25 at $150K, Peter believed that 4 shots in 25 at $38K was the way to go. He was a visionary at the time. I had zero poker background, and didn’t know how these top-heavy payouts worked. He knew what was going to happen in the industry and was ahead of the curve on this idea. I thought I could beat the world and didn’t take the deal. Big mistake on my part. The guy won the whole thing and took a couple other players along for the ride while I was left moping around the hotel for the next couple days. Lesson learned.

Fast forward to the next series of live events and it seemed like myself, Peter and a few others were always qualifying and meeting up in these things. I usually do a fairly good job of learning from my mistakes (a key attribute in DFS), so next time I got a chance to partner up with him I jumped on it. Kid is smart, talented and knows how to win. It was an obvious choice for me to make. We went through a string of events and never hit the big money. Not for a lack of trying. At times we tried TOO hard. Some of the events we should have just made an agreement then split up to make teams. Instead we talked too much and ended up influencing lineups amongst each other and failed epically. Through it all he always kept the right attitude in place. He always knew that it would hit one day.

Now, I pride myself on being able to contain my emotions and bottle them up. I remember a quote from high school that said “Courage is never letting people see that you’re actually scared to death”. So I’ve always maintained an even-keel. However, Peter was always a guy who never let the game rattle him. Win or lose he always kept it in check. Sitting there Tuesday night, watching Napoli hit a HR that sealed a $1M win and seeing Peter take it in stride and never erupt, made me feel almost like he had actually picked up on a trait from me. It made me proud. There were a lot of people in that room that were disappointed. No need to rub it in by screaming and yelling over your victory. In fact, one of the people who was probably feeling more disappointed than just about anyone was me.

Remember how I said earlier that we’ve worked together constantly over the years chasing the big prize? Well for a couple of reasons, this event we didn’t get a chance to partner up. I know it sounds a bit odd in timing but factors just prohibited it from happening. Perhaps it had something to do with the DFBC championship weekend. You see the week before in Las Vegas; we got together for the High Roller event. It was a huge buy in and we were all a little on edge about losing $12,500. So we tried to work deals to raise the odds that we make something back in this contest. Ultimately we decided on a 1st place only finish. This was my decision. I just didn’t feel like there was enough meat left on the bone to start doing second and third place. So can you imagine his disappointment when my guys fail in the last part of the night that cost me a 1st place finish? Instead I end up 2nd and he gets no part of it. I promise you he felt as bad that night as I did Tuesday night. Actually I could see it in his eyes that night.

That leads me to the next part of this process, the feelings surging through the room at these live events. The fact is indisputable that these events are very cool. You enjoy every second of your trip up until the part where the final event is winding down and you realize you’re not going to make the money you thought you were going to make. There’s no way around it, it hurts. It stings to your core. I’ve never won a million, so I guess that may be a different feeling, but I have won $50K, $60K and other nice prizes at these things. However I can say for me that the letdown of performing poorly sucks the life out of you. Flaming out and losing hurts worse that the joy you get when you win. Maybe it’s because the disappointments are far more often than the wins. Maybe it’s because you invest a lot of time, money, resources, emotions and effort into an event and then to lose is just utterly heartbreaking.

So now we get back to the finals in the Bahamas and we have a guy about to accept the check for a million bucks. The same guy who a week before was very disappointed in the outcome. And there I was watching this guy win all the monies, disappointed in my performance, but only a week before I was riding on cloud 9. The roller coaster you feel is worse than riding in a cab with a Bahamian taxi driver. It’s a tough, emotional industry. The swings can be harsh. You better be a stable person if you attempt to do this for a living. And that’s probably why I worry about Tommy G sometimes. Stability is not his strong suit.

We’ve had $1,000,000 winners on a few occasions in the industry thus far. However none of them have been like CSU. So far we’ve seen a few guys win who were single entry fairy tale stories. And that’s good for the industry we needed that type of publicity. We’ve seen a recluse who only played one site win a million. Again, good because it showed that winning at daily fantasy isn’t a fluke. Now you have a full time Grinder, one who gives out advice on a daily basis, win the big prize and in my opinion we couldn’t have asked for a better winner. Pete wins, but so do the rest of us. His story is going to sell this industry to a lot of people.

Quick story: Ray of Hope, who is the best MLB DFS player right now in my eyes, was there this weekend. He brought his dad along for the trip. His dad appeared to be slightly disabled. He was in a wheelchair. I went over and said hello to Ray a couple times, but I’m just not the outgoing type. Every time I would look over Ray and his dad would be sitting there watching the events going on around them, but there wasn’t much interaction with other people. Everyone else was busy getting hammered and partying. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Then I watched as CSU walked down to RayOfHope, and before even saying anything to him, reached out and shook the dads hand and made a comment to the effect that your son is one hell of a player. The old man’s face lit up with the biggest smile I saw from him the whole weekend. RayOfHope had a huge smile also. Peter took the time to acknowledge the man when no one else really did. That’s the kind of guy he is.

As I stood there watching him on stage while they blared “We are the Champions” over the sound system, I couldn’t help but feel part of his winning, even though I had nothing to do with it. The reason why goes back to some things I said earlier. I feel like Peter Jennings is my little brother. He’s certainly my DFS brother. He is positively a great friend. What makes Peter special though, is that the majority of the people in that room that night, even the ones who had just met Peter that weekend, felt the same way. He’s a good human being. Very genuine. People like that are hard to come by. So I am positive that we are in great hands here. Peter will represent well and we should all be grateful that if we didn’t win the million dollars at least Peter did. He will use the platform to help us all.

So, I say to Peter Jennings, well done sir. You deserve it. I love you man and I wish you nothing but the best. You are definitely the best player in DFS right now.

BUT, I say to CSURAM, that if you get in my way during college football I’ll win part of that million from you real quick, so don’t test me because this is an industry where you have to shake off last night whether you won or lost and you have to get back to grinding the next day.

About the Author

  • David Kaplen (headChopper)

  • One of the “OG’s” of the Daily Fantasy industry, David Kaplen, aka headChopper has been dominating DFS as long as it’s been around including winning the 2013 DFBBC and making too many live finals to count. He finished runner-up for the 2012 RotoGrinders Tournament Player of the Year and followed that up with a top 10 finish in the 2013 TPOY race. His popular videos such as the MLB Chop Shop and UFC Takedown can be frequently found on the RotoGrinders front pages.

    HeadChopper

Comments

  • ActionJunkie

    @Jeffnyr911 said...

    Is this supposed to be about Chop or CSU? The dude talks about himself more than Peter here

    Guess my reading comprehension sucks because I see NOTHING about Chop here other than deals, feelings, and experiences WITH Peter. Then the rest of the blurb is about Peter. So no clue what you are talking about, dude.

    Thanks for the personal insight, Chop, good read.

  • Hatorade

    Porn 'Stache --- FanDuel Sunday Million (1st for $200,000)

    • 2014 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    • 2013 StarStreet NFL Playboy Mansion Finalist

    Um, it’s his blog and as he mentioned, he has had a chance to get to know Pete better than most other grinders. It’s great to hear his perspective on getting to know him, working with him and being there to see him win the best prize in the industry, again. You should probably just keep your mouth shut and listen, the guy provides invaluable insight pretty much everyday, including this blog. Great article Chop.

  • Jeffnyr911

    great read chop

  • headChopper

    RG Contributor (OG Status)

    • 293

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #38

      RG Tiered Ranking

    • 2014 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • x3

      2012 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    Fair enough. It’s tough to give a personal look at a guy without the interactions between us being brought up. So “I” say “I” a lot.

  • Ross

    Great article Chop!

  • db730

    RotoGrinders Media Director

    • 226

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #46

      RG Tiered Ranking

    • 2016 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    • 2016 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    Well said Chop.

  • haze28

    Great article! As a learning player it’s nice to read about the personality/human side of you and CSU. I think it’s easy for us in the peanut gallery to forget that you guys have highs and lows like the rest of us. Thanks for the insight, I guess nice guys don’t always finish last.

  • CruzinToVictory

    RG Product Coordinator

    • Blogger of the Month

    It’s so easy to lose touch with the human aspects of this game we all play, and this was an awesome read to help people keep everything in perspective.

    Thanks for taking the time to share with us, Chop. Great stuff.

    Also, LOL @ the Bohemian taxi. So true.

  • PapaCub

    Terrific behind the scenes look at some of the possible deals, emotions and insight into both of their personalities. In an industry where both of them are two of the Founding Fathers it is nice to see Chop write that the DFS fraternity is something that they cherish and want to grow.People that are close to them already knew that. It would be understandable for an elite player to be more of a recluse and and treat others with an elitist attitude. Chop’s personality may appear to be more reserved and controlled than Peter but both are similar in their passion.

    I have only met them at one event but I can say that anyone that gets the opportunity to meet them, or learn from their takes on DFS will be better for it.

    Thanks for your blog Chop, (I) loved it.

  • SWIFTYWON

    • 2012 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    Great article

  • csuram88

    • 48

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #43

      RG Tiered Ranking

    • x7

      2014 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    • 2014 DraftKings FBWC Champion

    Wow Chop… don’t even know what to say but I definitely teared up reading this. I am lucky to have role models like you in the industry and feel extremely blessed that I was on the right side of variance for this tournament. It takes a ton of class and a great person to put the time and be willing to write something like this. I appreciate all of this more than you know and I love you like a brother. We talked before the tournament and believe me that meant the world. I am excited for the future of DFS and all the fun times we have in front of us.

    LMAO @ the Bohemian taxi driver (thought I was going to die on my way over).

    I just donated a large part of the million back on CFB tonight (Mike Davis) and I hope it went to you brotha!

    - CSU

  • Cameron

    RG Co-Founder

    • 2014 FanDuel NFL Survivor Champion

    • 2016 RG Season Long Champion: NFL

    Thanks a ton for writing this, Chop. Amazing read from an amazing guy, yourself.

    Congrats again, Pete. – Pete winning is THE best moment to date in DFS History, IMO. Chop winning the DFBBC not far behind that. And there’s still, a LOT more to come.

    CSU! CSU! CSU!

    PS: Bahamian taxi driver line and Tommy lines were great

  • BigItaly42

    Great story! Loved reading this, and it gets me even more excited for the industry. The personal aspect is something that is lacking at times, and it seems that this couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person. Congrats!

  • eniedfeldt

    • 2014 StarStreet MLB Playboy Mansion Finalist

    Great article Chop. Thanks for the insight and history. Pete so happy for you. Only got the chance to meet you both at one live event but hoping in the future to be fortunate enough to compete with all stars like you both again.

  • Rockythunder

    Outstanding read from beginning to end. Thanks for the insight and sharing your personal interactions. You guys help us small time players by giving us the dream and the hope that one day we can reach the heights as you two do through all the sports. If I ever get on the big stage I will take to heart the feelings and sentiments with those around me.

  • Jaydontpay

    • x2

      2013 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    Thanks for the insight Chop. You say you’re not outgoing but you made a point to come say hello and console me about the water main break at the DFBC and it meant alot coming from a pro. CSU was great too.

  • beermakersfan

    • Previously Ranked: #1 Overall

    • 2011 FanDuel WFFC Champion

    I go way back with both of these DFS GREATS and couldnt agree more Chop. Peter is the ideal person to lead this industry we all love forward and into the next huge stage of growth we have on the horizion.

    Chop, this was one of the best things that has ever been posted on this site, well played sir!

    And Peter, congrats again. Couldn’t have happened to a better guy. Still remember meeting you many years ago in Vegas and it was very apparent even at that time that you had the total package to be successful in this game and this win just confirms that, YOU DA MAN!

    Proud to call you both my friends/brothers and cant wait for VEGAS!!!

  • CeeGee

    • Ranked #81

      RG Tiered Ranking

    Very nice article and insight Chop. Great read, a look behind the curtain so to speak.

    Very well done.

    Congrats again to CSU. Hopefully I get to compete with you all one day in a live event.

  • sugewhite

    Bravo Chop!

    I started playing on FanDuel in the fall of 2012…..very sporadically, but it was fun. Still, I was a dedicated season long NFL fantsay player (20 years).

    Flash to the fall of 2013. I discover RotoGrinders and I am blown away. I become a member in October 2013, and have been playing daily ever since then…including NBA and MLB.

    I am by no means ready to “quit the day job,” but because of all of the content, shows, and advice from the RG community, DFS has become a new passion for me. It Is just so much damn fun!

    But, if it were not for guys like CSU, I would not be as passionate as I am. Hell, the dude has even responded to me on twitter a few times when I’ve asked for advice, or had a question.

    In any event, just know that the work you guys do through RG does make a big diference! All of the guys, particularly Dan Back, Al Smizzle, HeadChopper, STLCards, DraftCheat, Dean, TommyG, BeerMakersFan, Pepsi7, and boggslite are leading the DFS industry in the right direction. You truly make a novice like me feel “at home.”

    Congratulations once again to Peter Jennings. It is very easy to root for a guy like him. He has been, and will continue to be a major force in the growth of this industry, by, well, just being himself.

    Looking forward to meeting you guys at the RG party in Vegas!

  • SyrSlappers

    • 2013 StarStreet NFL Playboy Mansion Finalist

    • 2013 StarStreet MLB Playboy Mansion Finalist

    Excellent

  • msidla

    2013 TPOY - 4th, 2014 DDBC Champion, 2013 DFFC 2nd Place, 2013 DSBC Finalist

    • 2014 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    Great piece of reading…..respect to both guys. The industry truly did win with a CSU win.

  • emac

    • Ranked #61

      RG Tiered Ranking

    Fantastic article Chop! Having had the pleasure of meeting up with CSU at a Rockies game, I will add to the chorus and sing his praises also.

  • agr692004

    Very nice article chop and grats csu on a well deserved win

  • mrballer

    Great article chop stoked for Csu thats such a huge payday love where the industry is heading!

  • shanksalot

    2013 PFBC Champion, 2013 DFBC Finalist, and 2013 FFFC Finalist

    • 233

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2017 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    • 2013 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    Chop well done sir! It’s hard to understand the feeling of laying an egg at a live event unless you have been to one. I’ve talked to several people who have tried to change their flights and leave right away. You give a great perspective. There were some great ambassadors in this event and you knew one was due to take down the million. Pete is a great guy and has helped a ton of people in this community. Congrats again my friend!

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