Online poker and daily fantasy sports (DFS) are popular among the same crowds because they both involve skill. And because of this, people can become pros at both DFS and online poker. But which game involves more skill and gives good players more of an edge? Let’s discuss the matter below by looking at a couple of major points.
Online Poker Pros stick to Higher Stakes
Much is made about the poker ecology, where sharks move up the stakes to continue eating bigger fish. That said, you’re not going to find Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom or Dan ‘w00ki3z’ Cates grinding in $0.25/$0.50 Hold’em games. Sure, there are still some good players at low-stakes tables. But generally speaking, the tougher competition moves up the ladder.
Research performed by writers Ed Miller and Daniel Singer suggests that the top DFS players’ reach extends to both low and high stakes. During the first half of the 2015 MLB season, the top 1.3% of players paid 40% of the overall entry fees. Perhaps even more amazing is that this same elite group accounted for 91% of the winnings.
As the numbers suggest, skilled DFS players are reaping most of the profits everywhere from $1.10 to $10,600 buy-in games. And the big reason why is because, unlike poker, players don’t have to spend much time in low buy-in tournaments or cash games. Instead, they can quickly create lineups throughout a variety of stakes.
The DFS Salary Cap gives Bad Players a Chance
Professional DFS players win through a combination of skill and creating many different lineups. So the odds are definitely stacked against the average sports fan who’s merely hoping to win a little money. But if there’s one thing that amateurs having going for them, it’s the fact that the salary cap minimizes skill to a degree.
Famed poker pro Andy Frankenberger explained this perfectly when chatting with CNBC. “A daily fantasy pro’s competitive edge over a beginner is nothing compared to the edge of a poker pro versus a first-time poker player,” Frankenberger said. “Your decisions in daily fantasy can’t be that bad when players’ prices are efficiently set by the sites.”
Compare this to online poker, where there’s no limit to the amount of poor decisions that players can make. For instance, if you go all-in preflop with 7-5 offsuit from early position, the software won’t stop you. But in DFS, if you and the absolute best players are both dealing with a $100,000 salary cap, then you’ve always got a fighting chance.
It’s Hard to tell if Online Poker or DFS features More Skill
As you can see, there are points on both sides of the debate about DFS and iPoker’s skill level. One one hand you have online poker pros, who hold a bigger edge over their less-skilled counterparts. But with DFS, the professionals invade all stakes and create numerous entries. So it’s hard to say if a pro or amateur is better off with iPoker or DFS. However, one thing that’s clear is that anybody can make a living through either game when they’re good enough.