Over the weekend, I decided to give DraftKings one more try.
I was glad I did.
Instead of these poker tournament style picks I made last week and did disastrously, I played in contests that were another offshoot from poker tournaments: the 50/50 style events. Actually the odds are about 44.2% in your favor, because for every five people that win, about 11.3 enter. (So it’s more like a 44/56.)
I read up on what some of the experts were saying as to who to choose, but it was a pick I went with that proved to be a difference maker. I saw that the Philadelphia Eagles regular quarterback, Sam Bradford, had been injured the previous week, and would be starting Mark Sanchez in his place. I figured he wouldn’t be effective with the Eagles offense, which would give the Bucs and Jameis Winston more time with the ball, so in about half of my picks, I picked Winston and favored target, wide receiver Mike Evans.
At 1:35pm Sunday, I saw Winston throw a touchdown pass to Evans for a Buccaneer touchdown from four yards out, and whooped it up for that moment. I also had Doug Martin in some picks, who rushed for 235 yards against an Eagle defense getting a lot of attention among daily fantasy players.
It all came down to last night’s Patriots-Bills contest. I needed Brandon LaFell and Lagarette Blount to put up average numbers, and Danny Amendola not to have a big night. As Amendola made a big catch in the second half, I was in some real danger of losing one of my 13 picks as it drifted near the border line of finishing out of the money.
Then I saw Amendola on the sideline late in the game, having injured his right knee. The Patriots had a slight lead of 20-10 most of that fourth quarter (winning 20-13), so Tom Brady handed off to Mr. Blount frequently. The time ticked away with the Bills scrambling to get out of bounds on a play in the last few seconds, but couldn’t stop the clock with no time outs left when the final play didn’t get to the side of the field that would have set up a desperation Hail Mary pass to try and tie or game.
(Had the Bills gotten a TD, they could have won had they tried the more riskier two-point conversion, but most coaches would kick the extra point and taken their chances in overtime to get the win.)
I made 13 NFL picks this weekend, and won all 13.
This morning, I went to the site and cashed out all of my winnings via PayPal. There’s a lot of rumor in the news about DraftKings being shut down by state or federal governments, and is in ongoing battles over its legality. When there were similar arguments over online poker four years ago, the U.S. government just shut down the sites without warning. If you had money in play at one of those sites, good luck trying to get it back in your lifetime. Some people haven’t been compensated all these years later.
As much as I’d want to continue playing, the future of these sites appears very much in doubt. I’m getting out while I can.