The Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) industry appears to be growing as the two main operators, FanDuel and DraftKings, compete for market share.
While there is no quantifiable data to support it, I would venture to guess that a good number of U.S. online poker players are now DFS customers and are no longer playing poker on the Internet. Online poker player traffic statistics do show that the number of players are down when compared to pre-Black Friday calculations. And with the numbers of DFS players growing, it’s not hard to do the math and put two plus two together.
Let’s face it, the events surrounding Black Friday turned a lot of U.S. players away from online poker and DFS was there almost just in time to fill the void. And DFS is 100% legal in most states, as only a handful of states don’t permit it.
However, online poker is not illegal in the U.S. It’s just not regulated. That day is likely coming – and already has in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. Regulation in additional states appears to be a slow, very time-consuming affair.
Many online poker players in the U.S. perhaps think that the game is illegal because of Black Friday. But that’s simply not the case. As you can see on our homepage, poker is being played daily by Americans at the likes of Carbon Poker, Intertops, Black Chip Poker, Americas Cardroom and Full Flush Poker.
Which leads us to the main topic or question at hand. Which is a better bet for players who want to make money – DFS or online poker?
Well, we all know that poker is a game of skill and that the best players win on a consistent basis. Sure, good players take their lumps sometimes when the cards run cold. But in the long run, poker skill will win over those less-skilled and result in profits.
Can one become skilled and a consistent winner at DFS? There are certain things that a DFS player can do to improve his or her chances of winning. Extensive research into the past performances of players against their opponents on any given day may improve your odds of winning somewhat.
But the bottom line is that DFS players are putting their faith in professional athletes to perform at a level consistent with what has happened in the past. And the reality is that many times what is supposed to or likely to happen based on those past results doesn’t. Just because a batter typically hits well against a certain pitcher won’t stop him from going 0 for 4 against that same pitcher.
In other words, DFS is a game of chance, and is recognized as such by the legislation put in force that makes it legal. You’re taking a chance that the players that you select to accel on any one day will do so. Other than selecting a lineup, the results are completely out of your hands and dependent upon professional athletes.
Not so in poker. The game is completely in your hands regarding whether to bet, raise, check or fold. You are constantly making decisions based on the odds or likelihood of the current situation or hand. It requires skill on your part to make the correct decisions in order to win.
There is some chance involved in poker, of course, in the cards that are dealt your way. But the control is in your hands and YOUR performance is what will be the difference between winning and losing – not the performance of an athlete of your choosing.
While DFS may be fun and there may be some players who can profit over the long haul, the bottom line is that it is still predominantly based on chance. Players who want greater control and would rather play a game that relies on skill choose poker over DFS.