FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship 2011

I’m taking a small break from my technology posts to blog about an event I was privileged (and lucky) to attend in December. It was the FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship which took place in Las Vegas. Anyone that knows me knows that besides my family, my biggest interests are sports, classic movies, and programming, not necessarily in that order. So it should come as no surprise that I play fantasy sports. I’ve been playing in traditional fantasy football leagues for years, but last year I discovered weekly/daily fantasy via FanDuel.com. These are salary cap games, where you ‘buy’ players for your team and need to stay under a salary cap while filling out an entire roster. Just like other fantasy games you accrue points when your player scores or accumulates other stats that are significant in the fantasy game. The unique aspect of these games is that they are daily (or weekly depending on the sport), so almost any day of the year you can compete in a fantasy sports game. And because of the current state of gambling laws, fantasy sports is not considered gambling, so you can enter pay games and win real money.

That being said, I don’t play every day, but I follow football and hockey closely enough that I always think I can enter a roster and win. Guess what? I did, and more than once. Week 1 of the NFL season, I came in first place in one of the FanDuel football tournaments. That earned me enough funds to be able to enter other tournaments for the rest of the NFL season, and I ended up coming in first place in the Week 11 Qualifier of the Fantasy Football (FFFC) Championship. The prize for that was a trip to Las Vegas and an entry into a Championship Fantasy tournament with 11 other finalists. How cool is that?! (Here’s my interview with FanDuel.)

Well, I have got to say, that trip to Las Vegas and the entire FFFC Championship was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. I got to bring my husband, and we left a day early, just to have a little more time to enjoy ourselves. The representatives from FanDuel were incredible hosts, and the other qualifiers and their guests were super nice.

The championship contest itself was nail-biting. I was in first place through a lot of the early afternoon games, but could tell I would probably slip in the late games. (All of my players, except 1, were playing in the early games.) Lucky for me, I didn’t slip that far. I finished the day in 3rd place!! Not bad for the only girl in the final. My NFL thanks go to Rob Gronkowski who had a big fantasy day and to the Green Bay coaching staff that pulled Aaron Rodgers in the 2nd half of the Packers game. (I didn’t have him and others did, so I would have slipped further.) And my jeers go to Michael Turner who had one of the best potential matchups of his season but had an awful game (stats-wise).  I should have gone with MJD Winking smile.

Enough football… This was such a fun event that I aspire to reach the finals again next year. And now I’m even more hooked on fantasy sports. I’ve noticed that more and more of these daily fantasy sites are popping up, and it seems to be a growing industry. If you’re into sports or fantasy sports, you might like to give this stuff a try.

Lastly, if you’re curious, this is the final leaderboard: http://www.fanduel.com/FFFClive.

And this is a video that FanDuel produced about the final: http://www.fanduel.com/insider/2012/01/17/a-look-back-at-the-2011-fffc-and-looking-ahead-to-2012/.

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