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FanDuel Executive: Poker Is Not A Game Of Skill

CFO Of DFS Site Draws The Criticism Of The PPA


King/PBSAn executive for a leading daily fantasy sports site might have ruffled some feathers in the poker community.

In an interview with PBS, the chief financial officer of FanDuel said that poker is not a game of skill, while daily fantasy sports contests are.

The comments drew heat Wednesday from the Poker Players Alliance, a lobbying group on Capitol Hill. “Contrary to FanDuel’s claim, poker is a game of skill and the academic research supports that conclusion almost universally,” PPA Executive Director John Pappas said.

The follow-up question to FanDuel CFO Matt King was, “So you don’t think winning at poker involves skill?” to which he replied: “There is a lot of academic research on this, what’s the skill versus luck kind of spectrum. The reality is within poker, every time you shuffle the deck, it creates an element of luck that trumps it basically to being much more a chance-dominated game than a skill-dominated game.”

Just because a player doesn’t have control over the cards they receive in a single hand (over a long-enough session the starting hands break even) doesn’t mean the game of poker is “chance-dominated.” Courts across the country have agreed, even in FanDuel’s home state of New York.

King went on to say that DFS “is truly a game of skill” like the sports games themselves. “The more you practice [at skill games], the better that you get,” he said. “Many of the forms of regulated gambling are actively constructed so they are games of chance, and that is a very, very different experience than a game of skill, which is what fantasy clearly is.”

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