Johnny Avello Confirms Dates For Second DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship

Written By Marc Meltzer on September 18, 2019 - Last Updated on February 18, 2020

This story has been updated.

In an interview on the Vegas Sports and Information Network (VSiN) in August, DraftKings Sportsbook Director Johnny Avello revealed that the company was looking at dates for its major live sports betting event of the year.

Avello has now confirmed that the second annual DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship (SBNC) will take place in the first week of December in 2019.

On Sept. 17, Avello told Matt Brown and Adam Candee on VSiN’s The Green Zone that the SBNC will have the same format as the first version — a $10,000 buy-in with $5,000 of that going toward a live bankroll. The other half of the entry will go toward the prize pool.

January’s event took place in Jersey City but the location for the upcoming December contest is still to be determined.

Options galore in early December

There are still plenty of logistics to work out, but most of the key details appear to be set in stone. The main reason for moving the contest from January to December is simple — more action. One of the gripes about the first SBNC was there weren’t enough games to bet on.

Indeed, there were only four NFL games, plus a handful of NBA, NHL, soccer, and college basketball contests. That will change a lot when the date moves to the first week of December 2019.

The following college and pro football games are scheduled from Thursday, Dec. 5 through Sunday, Dec. 8:

December 5

  • Cowboys at Bears

December 6

  • Pac 12 Championship

December 7

  • Big Ten Championship
  • SEC Championship
  • ACC Championship
  • Big 12 Championship
  • MAC Championship
  • Sun Belt Championship
  • Conference USA Championship
  • American Championship
  • Mountain West Conference (MWC) Championship
  • SWAC Championship

December 8

  • Colts at Buccaneers
  • Ravens at Bills
  • Lions at Vikings
  • Redskins at Packers
  • Lions at Vikings
  • Broncos at Texans
  • 49ers at Saints
  • Bengals at Browns
  • Panthers at Falcons
  • Dolphins at Jets
  • Chargers at Jaguars
  • Chiefs at Patriots
  • Titans at Raiders
  • Steelers at Cardinals
  • Seahawks at Rams (Sunday Night Football)

In addition to the football games, there will be numerous NBA and NHL games taking place between those dates. There will be plenty of games for participants to wager on during this timeframe.

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Improving on the first edition

Earlier this year, DraftKings blazed a new trail in sports betting with the first annual Sports Betting National Championship. The $10,000 buy-in sports betting event took place from January 11-13 in Jersey City, NJ. The event guaranteed a $2.5 million prize pool with the winner receiving $1 million.

There were 242 participants in the first SBNC in January. Each player started with a $5,000 bankroll to use in the DraftKings Sportsbook in New Jersey. While the event was generally run pretty smoothly, there were some bumps in the road to crowning a champion.

The Chargers vs. Patriots game ran late on the final day of the competiton, ending just a few minutes before the start of Eagles vs. Saints game. Several bettors near the top of the leaderboard didn’t have their winning bets on the Patriots graded in time to get money down on the Eagles or Saints.

Participants were warned about this potentially happening, but the issues still clouded an otherwise successful event. The Lines had a live blog covering the SBNC as the drama was going down.

While the first SBNC ended with some controversy, it sounds like DraftKings listened to some ideas on how to improve the next SBNC. The new timeframe should help participants spread out there action. DraftKings has improved its technology often over the past year and that should also help participants in the next event.

“We have a few things to tighten it up, make it better, make the process easier when you sign up, all of those types of things,” Avello told VSiN. “When you do something for he first time, there’s a lotof improvement that can be made.

Follow as we bring you more news on the SBNC as it is released.

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Marc Meltzer

Marc Meltzer grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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