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(For the other side of this argument, please click here: 5 Reasons Why DFS News Shouldn’t Matter to Online Poker Players)

Unless you purposely avoid Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) news, you’ve more than likely heard plenty about the legal online gaming activity in recent weeks.

Mainstream media outlets including CNN, the New York Times, Newsweek, and the Wall Street Journal have published stories on DraftKings content manager Ethan Haskell’s blunder which set the DFS industry ablaze late last month.

Haskell’s actions have sparked heated debate over DFS regulation, the value of having access to percentage-used statistics before lineups are locked, and the fairness of contests offered by both DraftKings and FanDuel, where Haskell won $350,000 the day the info was accidentally posted on social media.

This article isn’t going to focus on debate of that particular incident (there are already dozens of reputable sources you can go to if you’d like to participate in discussion). Instead, here are 5 reasons why online poker players and fans should care about Daily Fantasy Sports news.

DFS is Linked to Online Poker as an Online Gaming Platform

Although DFS and online poker are two separate forms of real money wagering, both take place on the Internet and have attracted large amounts of players over the years. The legislative carve-out that Daily Fantasy Sports enjoys has been a topic that online poker proponents have used recently to promote legalization of virtual poker, especially in the United States.

The latest DFS news has placed the industry at the forefront of online gaming news in the United States, and there are fervent calls for regulation that will likely result in government officials taking a closer look at iGaming in general. This in itself affects online poker.

DFS and Online Poker Player Bases Overlap

Several key veteran members of the online poker community are now heavily involved in Daily Fantasy Sports. Remember Matt Smith (SamENole), who placed runner-up in the 2005 $1,000 buy-in NLHE WSOP event for $98,675 and has over $1 million in career online poker tournament cashes?

Smith isn’t a mainstay on the poker scene anymore, but he is certainly one of the most well-known high stakes DFS players. His current global ranking on DFS affiliate site RotoGrinders is 31, and his current Tournament Player of The Year Ranking on that site is #14.

The same can be said for PartyPoker ambassador and WPT champion Tony Dunst (Bond18), who is an active DFS player who is currently ranked #23 for RotoGrinders’ TPOY under his TonyDWPT screen name. There are numerous other examples of high profile online poker players who have made the transition to DFS, especially those who continue to reside in the United States.

Professional Sports Leagues Are Ingrained in U.S. Pop Culture

The National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and Major League Baseball (MLB) are all heavily ingrained in the American psyche of sports games. Because of this, there is more discussion related to these leagues than online poker, meaning the chances of raising awareness for DFS (and in turn, online gaming) are enormous.

Those who have been involved in the online poker industry since its early boom days likely recall that the NFL opposed the Poker Players Alliance in getting the 2006 UIGEA overturned. At the time, Many still view this stance as a method for limiting competition given DFS’ official legislative exemption.

Online Poker Platforms Are Entering DFS Industry

How many of our readers would have thought before Black Friday that online poker behemoth PokerStars would eventually enter the Daily Fantasy Sports market?

This became a reality in August when PokerStars parent company Amaya Group purchased DFS platform Victiv (since re-branded as StarsDraft).

Other major online poker brands are clamoring to get in on DFS action to add to their existing online casino games and sports betting portfolios.

If you’re an established member of the online poker community who wants to keep up with the game’s potential re-growth and legislative standing, then the DFS industry is definitely worth keeping your eye on.

Online Poker Media Outlets Routinely Cover DFS

It’s likely that all of your favorite poker media outlets have included some form of DFS coverage within their articles. This is no coincidence.

Due to the reasons mentioned above, DFS content has proliferated to become one of the major topics discussed not only on poker media sites, but also on the largest poker forums.

The destiny of Daily Fantasy Sports will likely have a significant effect on virtual poker, which is why online poker players should care about what goes on in the Daily Fantasy Sports segment.

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David Huber

David Huber has been involved in the poker industry for more than a decade: initially as a professional online poker player and later as an editor, consultant, writer, and forum manager. Known as "dhubermex" online, David's poker-related work has been heavily published across numerous websites since 2004.