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If I Ran The SBNC: 5 Things I Would Implement For The Next DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship

Avatar January 15, 2019

As I write this, I am on a plane, one day removed from being bounced from the inaugural DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship (SBNC).

My partner (the incredibly talented Gill Alexander) and I ponied up the $10,000 entry fee for our shot at winning the $1 million top prize. We fell short of our goal, but had a blast and learned a lot.

I’ve always been extremely competitive. Sports. Poker. DFS. Sports betting. Scattergories. Whatever.

The SBNC takes sports betting — which is usually always you versus the book — to a peer-to-peer battle that really makes things fun.

Before this starts to look like I’m getting on my high horse, I’d like to say that the event was incredibly well run. The makeshift sportsbook was awesome. The DraftKings Sportsbook app worked nearly flawlessly.

The food was hot; the booze was plentiful; good times were had by all. This article is not an attempt to bash the event, but just some thoughts on how we could really crank up Version 2 of this interesting concept.

The timing of the event

The first thing I would do is change when the event occurs on the sports calendar.

Without question, the SBNC needs to happen earlier in the football season, when we have a full day of college football on Saturday and a full day of NFL football on Sunday.

The atmosphere in the room was undoubtedly fun, but if we had several football results hitting all day long, the walls would have been rocking in that place.

Further, I think with several more football games on the betting slate; the event would attract a lot more entries. A group of buddies that share a love of football may split up the entry fee for a shot at a million.

But with only three football games (you could only bet before the kickoff of the fourth game), I think it detracts from the appeal to the masses.

Betting cutoff

Even if we change the timing to allow for more football games, I would definitely push back the cutoff for bets.

The easy fix here is to push the cutoff back to the third-quarter kickoff of the afternoon games — at the latest. Then you could place bets pregame, in-game, second half, props and whatever you want up until the second half of a game kicks off.

There would need to be a formal announcement, e.g., an email, a tweet, a push notification, an IG post, a Facebook post — you get the point, as to which game happens to be on the slate.

When the final third quarter on the slate begins, there’d be no more bets. This window gives time for all the morning games to pay out and allows people to get that money back into action — even if it has to be making in-game bets to any afternoon games that had already kicked off.

ALSO READ: $2.5 Million DraftKings Sports Betting Championship Ends With Controversy

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Bet grading

I would make sure we had uniform bet grading across the board.

In no way would any player get paid out earlier or later than another player on the same form of a bet. So, player props would pay out uniformly. Game props would pay out at the same point for everyone.

There has to be a plan in place for bet grading that definitively ensures that no entrant in the contest has any competitive advantage by having a similar bet scored before another player’s bet.

Payout structure

I am and have always been, a huge fan of flatter payout structures.

I’ve always felt that if more people can leave with a positive (in this instance, financially) experience, it’s better for the product. I completely understand that slapping a $1 million top prize on the first event was needed for PR and to get everyone’s attention.

As we move into the second version of the SBNC, do we really think people would balk at a $500k or $600k top prize? It’s still a massive amount, and it allows for a deeper payout than the 25 entrants that made money in this contest.

Pumping $400k back into the prize pool would allow you to pay at least 15-20 more spots while dropping some extra cash into the 25 spots you were already paying.

ALSO READ: The DraftKings $2.5M Sports Betting Championship Controversy: Where It Goes From Here

Double it up

The final thing I would do for the next SBNC: Pair it up on the same weekend with one of the big DFS events.

I already mentioned the benefit of increasing entries. You’re getting a couple hundred (there would be some overlap) fantasy players into town with the DFS event, and naturally, you’re going to get some of those guys to fire into the SBNC.

Then — from an atmosphere and experience perspective — we move from every quarter of football producing some drama to every single play holding some value for someone. The room would be electric. One big catch would equal amounts of joy and misery. Isn’t that what gambling is all about?

All in all, this type of contest is only going to get bigger. As sports betting expands into other jurisdictions, we potentially see them pop up all over the country in the coming years.

Innovation within the sports betting realm has an open invitation, and let’s be honest, it was a pretty amazing sweat. With a few small adjustments, this event could be a solid product that grows into something that will be on every level of sports bettor’s bucket list.

For more on the inaugural Sports Betting National Championship, including an interview with the $1 million winner, check out the SBNC live blog here at TheLines.com.

LIVE BLOG: Randy “rleejr86” Lee Wins DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship

Staff January 13, 2019

More than 250 participants competed for a $1 million top prize in the first-ever DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship in Jersey City, New Jersey. TheLines was in the Garden State providing coverage all weekend with leaderboard updates, interviews with players and staff, videos and photos from the event, and more.

All of the action can be found below, including a postgame interview with eventual champion Randy “rleejr86” Lee, who sealed the title with an Eagles +8.5 cover against the Saints. Lee is an Eagles fan and longtime sports bettor from New Jersey.

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8:00 p.m. ET: We have a winner! We spoke with the 2019 DraftKings Sports Betting National Champion Randy “rleejr86” Lee about his path to victory in this unique event.

Meanwhile, the controversy we reported earlier with the graded bets in between games the was addressed by DraftKings in a statement sent first to TheLines Sunday evening. For a full recap of what took place, read the story at LegalSportsReport.

5:30 p.m. ET: Leaderboard update and the biggest bets of the day can be found below. All bets are closed for the championship event so the sweat is on for those at the top.

PlayerGameWagerBet AmountTo WinWon/Loss?
rleejr86Philadelphia at New OrleansPHI +8.5$47,500
Opti5624LA Chargers at New EnglandNE -3.5$42,875$81,891Won
bewitPhiladelphia at New OrleansNO ML (-357)$42,510$54,413Won
nomoreiloveyousPhiladelphia at New OrleansPHI +8.5$35,000$66,850Won
moneylinemikeyPhiladelphia at New OrleansPHI ML (+275)$33,634

4:55 p.m. ET: Updating our most recent video, it appears that DraftKings was unable to grade most of the winning tickets from the New England/LA Chargers game in time for bettors to re-invest those winnings into the late game. However, some bets may have been graded before others. All contest bets were locked at the start of the Eagles/Saints game. One of the most affected by this the most is the new leader Opti5634, who had all of his bankroll tied up in the Patriots game. He is now “stuck” at $81,891, as he explained in a series of tweets.

As of now, the contest has moved forward without any comment from organizers. We will keep you updated as soon as we hear anything.

4:45 p.m. ET: Craziness before the kickoff of the Eagles/Saints game. Brett, Matt and Matt break it down.

3:15 p.m ET: Dan “nomoreiloveyous” Steinberg passed “gucho” for the pole position at halftime when gucho’s two Chargers first half bets went up in flames. Steinberg hit a Sony Michel rushing prop for more than $5,000 to build the roll up to $56,356.

Others in the Top 10 struggling with open Chargers wagers:

  • Deliveryboy — $32,000 parlay with the Chargers/Pats under.
  • Imawhale — All in for $29,000 on Chargers +4 and Chargers -3 ALT SPREAD

2:00 p.m. ET: “Gucho” led at this time yesterday and has regained the lead after hitting the Chargers/Patriots 1H OVER 23.5. He still has more than $31,000 invested in bets on this game ($14,352.62 on 1H tie, $16,919.75 on LAC 1H +2.5)

1:45 p.m. ET: Coming at you live from the floor with the Pats and Chargers playing behind us. Brett Collson and Matt Perrault break down the big bets and strategies of the participants at the top of the leaderboard and what the others still alive need to do make up ground.

1:05 p.m. ET: Bets are in (and still coming in) for the first NFL game today. We will have an update in 30 minutes with some of the biggest bets on this game and plays from the leaders as they chase the seven-figure score up top.

Sunday 11 a.m. ET: We’re back at the DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship! Follow this page all day for leaderboard updates, interviews, videos and more from Jersey City.


Five things to know before the DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship finale

  1. Remaining participants can ONLY bet on the two NFL games on Sunday. No soccer (sorry, “gucho”), no NBA, no NHL. Only wagers on the Pats/Chargers and Saints/Eagles will be accepted for the contest.
  2. Players must wager AT LEAST $2,000 on the Sunday NFL games to qualify for the $2.5 million SBNC prize pool. All qualifying entrants needed to bet at least $1,000 on Friday/Saturday as well.
  3. Accounts will be locked and bets will be closed once the Eagles/Saints kicks off this afternoon. Then the sweat is on for the field. All open wagers can be viewed on the DraftKings SBNC leaderboard page.
  4. Eighty-one of the 260 players in this contest have gone completely broke. Nineteen players have between a penny and a dollar. Of the 179 players still technically “alive” in the event, only 128 currently have the $2,000 bankroll required to meet the prize pool qualifier. But the others could run it up in the first game and meet the minimum bet requirement.
  5. More than $3.1 million has been wagered across 260 entries in this contest as of Sunday morning. The biggest bets are yet to come as all 179 left with money are still eligible for the $1 million top prize being handed out today.

1:30 a.m. ET: A look at the leaderboard as Day 2 comes to a close. Only 162 of the original 260 participants still have more than $1 left in their bankroll. Player “rleejr86” leads the field after betting all of his $27,000 on the LA Rams -7 to climb past “gucha” who led most of Saturday despite only placing three bets across the entire contest.

“Nomoreiloveyous” is in second place, while “Opti5624” and “deliveryboy” made huge leads up the leaderboard late Saturday with improbable parlays, both of which paid out more than $36,000.

Keep your browser locked to TheLines.com as we provide complete coverage of the DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship until a champion is crowned on Sunday evening!

11:30 p.m. ET: The Rams-Cowboys game is over and we’re seeing some new names appear in the thick of things leading into Day 3. A player with the screenname “Opti5624” hit a $437 parlay for $35,624 thanks to a big round from Charles Howell at the Sony Open in Hawaii. We will be providing a full round-up video later this evening.

9:30 p.m. ET: BIG parlay bet came in from Sean “psufans2” Newsham who put down $15,000 on the Rams -7 and Edmonton Oilers ML to win $46,500. A win here would likely leave him as the man to catch heading into Day 3.


8:30 p.m. ET: An evening update from Brett Collson and Matt Perrault from the floor of the SBNC. While they were recording the show, the player in fourth place, “rleejr86”, fired his entire bankroll on the LA Rams -7 to jump into first place. If he loses, he joins the other 45-plus players already eliminated from the event.

7:30 p.m. ET: Poker pro Phil Hellmuth, a 15-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, joined us to talk about his progress in the Sports Betting National Championship and how he got involved with DraftKings to participate.

6:35 p.m. ET: Leaderboard update! Thirty players have been eliminated from the competition, leaving 230 still vying for the title. User “rleejr86” climbed into third place after hitting a $1,000 parlay for $27,500, capped off by the Pepperdine Waves covering against the San Diego Toreros.

6:10 p.m. ET: While we wait for the second half and bettors get in their 2H bets, here’s a look at the biggest longshot winners (biggest return on a single wager) in the contest so far:

  1. Parlayed Ohio (+380), Oklahoma State (+215), and Kansas State (+360). Wagered $5 to win $347.75
  2. Parlayed Over 222.5 Points in Nets @ Raptors, Blazers -6.5, Over 218.5 Points in Pacers @ Knicks, Warriors -15.5, Over 223 in Mavs @ Timberwolves, and Rockets -14. Wagered $100 to win $4,804.00
  3. Warriors -14, Jazz -12, Blazers -7, Penguins -2. Wagered $500 to win $17,080

5:55 p.m. ET: We spoke with Sean “psufans2” Newsham, currently in fourth place in the contest, about his big $10K bet on the Chiefs -4.

“I liked Kansas City all week pretty much,” says Newsome, who bought into this event for $10,000. “So my plan was to try to run it up before this game and then unload on this game. I didn’t put down as much as I wanted to but it’s enough to get me to like $25,000 after this game if things go right.”

Newsham doesn’t have a plan in place if he does hit this Chiefs bet. He says he’s more inclined to fire on the NFL where the contest betting limits are higher, but he may decide instead to sit on a top five figure going into the final day.

“It depends what other people are what (bankroll wise), but I know the leader is sitting on his lead til the end of the day. He’s not moving. So if people don’t jump up and $25,000 is in the top five to 10, I might sit on it a little more than I would have otherwise.”

That said, he’s not watching the leaderboard too closely.

“I’m watching the top of the leaderboard. I just want to be in striking distance tomorrow. You can unload $25,000 into $50,000, $50,000 into $100,000 rather easily tomorrow if that’s what you want to do.”

4:55 p.m. ET: Afternoon update from the venue.

4:35 p.m. ET: Five biggest bets on the Colts vs. Chiefs game:

  • psufans2 (4th place) — $10,000 on KC -4
  • gebo19 (64th place) — $5,000 on IND ML
  • mdurand10 (64th place) — $5,000 on IND ML
  • Aganjian (64th place) — $5,000 on OVER (54.5)
  • eordower (64th place) — $5,000 on OVER (54.5)

3:30 p.m. ET: Sweattttttt. The first NFL game hasn’t even started yet and it’s getting loud in here as participants follow the college basketball and NHL games on the big screens.

3:00 p.m. ET: We arrived at the event venue to see that ‘gucho’ is the new leader of the event after hitting two big soccer bets this morning. Gucho turned $5,000 into $44,482 with only three bets in the first 24 hours of the contest: Washington Wizards for $5,000 on Friday night, Leicester City – Southampton (both teams to score) for $8,900 on Saturday morning, and then Chelsea -Newcastle (Both teams to score) for $17,444.

Overnight leader “johnstorz” is still hovering above $30,000 in second place, while “nomoreiloveyou” climbed into third place.


DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship: 242 Partake On Day 1; 10 Go Broke

Brett Collson January 12, 2019
DK Sports Betting Championship

For one weekend, Jersey City might be considered the hub of the sports betting in the U.S. The inaugural DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship (SBNC) kicked off Friday in the Garden State, drawing hundreds of sports bettors to a first-of-its-kind contest that boasts a $1 million top prize.

Bettors flew in from all over the country to put down the $10,000 entry fee for the event. A total of 242 entries were listed on the DraftKings leaderboard Saturday morning.

Still, participation is well behind pace to hit the $2.5 million guaranteed prize pool. Registration is open until 4:35 p.m. ET on Saturday. Johnny Avello, director of sportsbook operations at DraftKings, told TheLines this week that the company was prepared for the possibility of overlay and was “OK” with that.

Betting action resumes Saturday and continues through Sunday with the conclusion of the Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints game, at which point the first DraftKings SBNC winner will be crowned.

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Day 1 leaderboard

A player under the DraftKings username “johnstorz” led the way after Day 1, turning his original $5,000 bankroll into $30,877.75 on Friday. Johnstorz hit a four-team NBA/NHL parlay for more than $17,000 to take a sizeable lead into Day 2 of the contest. He also nailed a three-team NBA parlay for $7,300.

Meanwhile, 10 players finished the opening day with nothing left in their bankroll. Among those going broke was Alex “Awesemo” Baker, who put his entire $5,000 bankroll on the under in the Atlanta Hawks vs. Philadelphia 76ers game. Baker told TheLines this week: “I think you have to take a very high-variance approach with nearly half the money going to first.” He wasn’t fibbing.

Below is the top 10 on the leaderboard after Day 1. Up-to-the-minute updates can be found here.

DK Leaderboard

Day 2 look-ahead

With Sunday betting for this event limited to only the two NFL playoff games, this expanded Saturday menu of sports and games could be the decider in crowning the first champion of this event. Here’s what bettors will find on the DraftKings Sportsbook app:

Soccer: Seven English Premier League (EPL) games plus four La Liga matches create a juicy soccer slate for bettors. How many contestants were up at the crack of dawn Saturday betting on the West Ham vs Arsenal game? We’ll have updates on that during the Day 2 Live Blog on Saturday.

NFL: Two divisional round games expect to capture the most attention from entrants in the Sports Betting National Championship. No shortage of props and in-game options for these games. The football action kicks off at 4:35 p.m. ET with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Indianapolis Colts. The Rams and Cowboys will follow in Los Angeles at 8:15 p.m. ET.

NBA: Eight NBA games also figure to be popular with bettors. The pro hardwood action starts at 3:30 p.m. ET with the Pistons and Clippers. Bulls/Jazz and Hornets/Kings close out the Saturday schedule at 10 p.m. ET.

NHL: The 12-game NHL schedule starts at 1 p.m. ET with a pair of east coast games in New York and New Jersey. Puckheads have plenty of options to fire on Saturday.

College basketball: Here’s where the sharps could separate themselves. More than 140 Division 1 games are scheduled for Saturday. While not all of them will be on the betting board, regular college hoops bettors could find an edge here. The first games tip off at noon ET.

Golf: The third round of the Sony Open in Hawaii tees off in the afternoon. A wide selection of player props and matchups are available as well as live winner odds.

How the DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship works

  • All participants must be located in New Jersey when placing bets for the contest.
  • The buy-in for the event is $10,000 (more than 80 qualified on DraftKings leading up to the event). Each participant begins with a DK-funded $5,000 bankroll. The remaining portion of the buy-in goes toward the prize pool (minus a $300 contest fee).
  • Bets can be placed on any sport on the DraftKings app Friday or Saturday. However, on Sunday only the two NFL divisional playoff games are available for the championship event. Betting closes upon the kickoff of the second NFL divisional playoff game on Sunday.
  • Players must wager at least $1,000 on Friday and Saturday, and at least $2,000 on Sunday.
  • All types of bets are in play, including straight bets, parlays, teasers, and props.
  • Those requirements must be met in order for participants to retain a spot on the official leaderboard and qualify for the $1,000,000 grand prize, or for the subsequent payouts for lower finishes.
  • The player with the biggest bankroll at the end of the weekend is determined the grand prize winner. Subsequent spots on the leaderboard will also be determined by bankroll size.
  • The prize pool will be at least $2.5 million, with each direct buy-in above 531 entries increasing the prize pool by $4,700 apiece.
  • Only one entry is allowed per person.
  • All players take home the sum total of their bankroll at the end of the weekend. Those who have kept their leaderboard eligibility are also awarded any money they’ve earned through that channel.

Follow TheLines for updates

Our team will be on site Saturday and Sunday to cover the remainder of the DraftKings Sports Betting Championship. Follow the live blog here at TheLines for leaderboard updates, player interviews, photos and videos from the event, and more. And be sure to follow TheLines on Twitter for frequent updates all weekend.

Top DFS And Handicapping Minds Talk DraftKings’ Sports Betting National Championship

Juan Carlos Blanco January 11, 2019
DK Sports Betting Championship

Much like the company hosting the event, there are plenty of participants in this coming weekend’s DraftKings’ Sports Betting National Championship looking to replicate their daily fantasy sports (DFS) success in the sports betting realm.

The most prominent might well be Alex Baker, much better known in DFS circles as “Awesemo.”

Baker currently has the ranking of No. 1 DFS player in the world, by industry site RotoGrinders.

Therefore, he’s no stranger to live, high-stakes bashes, which DraftKings’ Sports Betting Championship promises to be. Last month, Baker held three seats in DraftKings’ DFS NFL Live Final.

Just a couple of months prior, he was a four-time qualifier in the site’s MLB Live Final. That was the second time he’d accomplished the feat; Baker snagged the same number of seats for the NBA season-ending extravaganza last spring as well.

Baker boasted a similarly prolific body of work in the prior two years, too.

His DFS success across multiple sports — he also currently ranks in the top five in PGA and NHL, and in the top 75 in MMA — should serve him well in an event where contestants will be free to wager on a wide variety of games until Sunday when the event draws to a close.

That same day, contest participants must plunk down at least $2,000 on markets for the Chargers versus Patriots, and Eagles versus Saints during NFL’s divisional round. None of the other sporting events unfolding that day qualify with respect to the contest’s leaderboard.

An aggressive approach will be key

Given his overall success, the fact that Baker holds a seat to the single-entry event is far from shocking. He won his way in through a $225 NFL qualifier contest this fall. If that wouldn’t have worked out, he was ready to foot the $10,000 direct buy-in to get in on the action.

In a conversation with TheLines.com, Baker elaborated on his overall outlook heading into the first-of-its-kind event.

Naturally, he wasn’t overly revealing when it comes to the more granular aspects of his planned strategy.

But, Baker did affirm his belief that anything resembling a cautious approach simply ain’t gonna cut it with regards to securing the $1 million grand prize — the amount awarded to the participant with the largest bankroll by weekend’s end.

“I think you have to take a very high-variance approach with nearly half the money going to first,” Baker said. “You also have to place as many bets as possible to increase your bankroll exponentially.”

Given that all bet types, live betting and cash-outs are considered eligible wagers as per DraftKings’ official rules, there’s no shortage of options through which to achieve that goal.

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Will DFS skills play a role?

How much can Baker’s DFS talent help in this weekend’s sports betting-focused event? In his view, there’s a certain degree of overlap; yet, there are also enough differences to make it an unchartered territory.

Granted, he’s not a sports betting novice by any stretch. Baker concedes to having “dabbled some” in sportsbooks in the past. There’s also plenty of synergy with DFS when it comes to the type of research involved before decision-making.

Much like in DFS, “everyone will be using the best estimation of what happened in the past to try and predict what will happen in the future,” said Baker.

Having built player models for DFS purposes with success for multiple years, Baker is beyond well-equipped in this regard.

However, there’s naturally a gulf between assessing potential individual production as opposed to attempting to predict a team-centered outcome. Then, figuring out whether a point spread or projected total is exploitable is an even more precise practice.

The area where DFS acumen could move the needle the most may be in individual player props. An expert statistical modeler, the caliber of Baker, could certainly leverage his or her skills in predicting individual performance to achieve substantial success with such bet types.

Regarding contest structure, Baker is very much on board with the aforementioned rule that all Sunday wagering is exclusive to NFL’s divisional playoff games.

In fact, the long-tenured DFS live final participant thinks the structure could allow the Sports Betting National Championship to trump those events in terms of last-minute fireworks.

“In DFS live finals, everyone sets their lineup before lock, and then you wait it out,” remarked Baker. “This will be a fluid situation with all the bets that can be placed as the games go on.”

Prominent handicapper offers his view

Having obtained the valued perspective of the DFS industry’s most successful pro — one that also happens to be one of the event’s participants — TheLines.com reached out to a professional handicapper for his take on the Sports Betting National Championship.

Jon Price, of Sports Information Traders, has been a prominent name in sports betting for many years. He’s hit on several six- and seven-figure wagers in multiple sports while also heading up his renowned “sports investment service.”

While the Sports Betting National Championship has been the recipient of some social media flack, Price lauds the event as a positive that sets up as a formidable test to its participants’ sports betting skills.

“Specifically, this will require more than general knowledge in handicapping, but also the DK fantasy props will provide a challenge to those contestants who don’t normally play fantasy and vice versa for those adept at individual player props,” Price said.

“Also, the idea that all sports are included will definitely create some opportunities (for) professional handicappers who have their niche sport. This is one event that truly does require thought, skill and most importantly, bankroll preparation and execution.”

Will Potential Overlay Entice Bettors To Enter DraftKings’ Sports Betting National Championship?

Juan Carlos Blanco January 8, 2019
DraftKings Sports Betting

DraftKings entered the sports betting realm back on Aug. 1 and hasn’t looked back.

The daily fantasy sports (DFS) industry leader —that early on made its intentions of exerting similar dominance in due time over the betting space — is currently operating its DraftKings Sportsbook online in New Jersey.

In early October, DraftKings announced the first-of-its-kind Sports Betting National Championship. The event unfolds this week in the Garden State over the NFL’s divisional playoff weekend.

The championship offers a $1 million grand prize, and DraftKings is guaranteeing a $2.5 million prize pool.

Significant overlay with days to go

The company has gotten plenty of well-deserved positive press for the event, which seemingly seeks to replicate some of the same electricity that DraftKings has been able to generate with its DFS live finals over the past several years.

But as much early momentum as the Sports Betting National Championship enjoyed, DraftKings’ Senior Product Manager Jon Aguiar chimed in with the following on Twitter late last week:

DraftKings updated that number to 140 entries on Monday following a busy weekend of online qualifiers during the NFL playoffs. That still leaves them well short of the total to meet the $2.5 million guarantee.

For those who are already well-versed in the DFS space, the word “overlay” is typically brings glee. To put it succinctly, overlay, depending on how large, is one heck of an odds booster for the player and a proverbial bath for the operator.

When the guaranteed contests fail to fill, the portion of the prize pool those absent entries would have subsidized then ends up on the company’s tab.

Given Aguiar’s announcement, that bath is looking more like a deluge. With a Jan. 11 kick-off date, there is still plenty of time for some of those empty seats to be filled.

The event has a $10,000 direct buy-in. Therefore, it’s not just exclusive to those that punched their tickets through qualifiers during NFL season or the first quarter-plus of the NBA campaign.

Given the well-timed announcement, it’s the last-minute sales pitch that likely will bring some high rollers to the table. After all, the edge is undeniably magnetizing for those who can afford the buy-in fee and have a degree of confidence in their sports betting acumen.

Unique format sets up an intriguing challenge

The Sports Betting National Championship sports a unique format that promises to test several important sports betting skills in its participants, including multisport knowledge, bankroll management and prudent line selection.

Some of the nuts and bolts of the event are as follows:

  • Each participant begins the contest Friday with a DraftKings-funded $5,000 bankroll.
  • Players must wager at least $1,000 on Friday and Saturday, and at least $2,000 on Sunday.
  • Wagers can be placed on any sports on Friday or Saturday. However, all wagers placed Sunday must exclusively involve the two NFL divisional playoff games unfolding that day.
  • Participants must meet the requirements to retain a spot on the official leaderboard and qualify for the $1,000,000 grand prize, or for the subsequent payouts for lower finishes.
  • All types of bets are in play, including straight bets, parlays and fantasy props. However, betting closes upon the kickoff of the second NFL divisional playoff game on Sunday.
  • The player with the biggest bankroll at the end of the weekend becomes the grand prize winner. Bankroll size determines subsequent qualifying spots.
  • DraftKings is guaranteeing a prize pool of $2.5 million. Each direct buy-in above 531 entries will increase the prize pool by $4,700 apiece.
  • The contest is single entry. The event will have a maximum of 1,000 entrants.
  • All players take home the total of their bankroll at the end of the weekend. Those who have kept their leaderboard eligibility are also awarded any money they’ve earned through that channel.

TheLines will be in Jersey City providing coverage of the DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship. Follow our Twitter account for updates from the event!

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