website statistics Dueling with Kings: High Stakes, Killer Sharks, and the Get-Rich Promise of Daily Fantasy Sports - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

Dueling with Kings: High Stakes, Killer Sharks, and the Get-Rich Promise of Daily Fantasy Sports

Availability: Ready to download

“Hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the characters, compulsions, and chaos inside the fantasy sports gold rush.” –Jason Gay, author of Little Victories As Bringing Down the House did for card counters and Positively Fifth Street did for poker players, Daniel Barbarisi does for Daily Fantasy Sports fans in this leap down the rabbit hole of America’s latest obsession. Daniel “Hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the characters, compulsions, and chaos inside the fantasy sports gold rush.” –Jason Gay, author of Little Victories As Bringing Down the House did for card counters and Positively Fifth Street did for poker players, Daniel Barbarisi does for Daily Fantasy Sports fans in this leap down the rabbit hole of America’s latest obsession. Daniel Barbarisi quits his job as the New York Yankees beat writer for The Wall Street Journal and begins a quest: to join the top one percent of Daily Fantasy Sports (“DFS”) players, the so-called “sharks,” and figure out whether DFS is on the level—while maybe cashing in along the way. DFS is fantasy sports on steroids. It’s the domain of bitter rivals FanDuel and DraftKings, online juggernauts who turned a legal loophole into a billion-dollar industry by allowing sports fans bet piles of cash constructing fantasy teams. Yet as Barbarisi quickly realized, what should have been a fun companion to casual sports viewing was instead a ferocious environment infested with sharks, a top tier of pros wielding complex algorithms, drafting hundreds of lineups, and wagering six figures daily as they bludgeon unsuspecting amateur “fish.” Barbarisi embeds himself inside the world of DFS, befriending and joining its rogue’s gallery as he tries to beat them at their own game. In a work equal parts adventure and rigorously reported investigation, Barbarisi wades into this chaotic industry at the very moment its existence is threatened by lawmakers sick of its Wild West atmosphere and pushy advertising. All their money made FanDuel and DraftKings seem invincible; but, as Barbarisi reports, they made plenty of dubious—perhaps even scandalous—moves as they vied for market supremacy. In Dueling with Kings, Barbarisi uncovers the tumultuous inside story of DFS, all while capturing its peculiar cast of characters, from wide-eyed newly minted millionaires, to sun-starved math geeks, to bros living an endless frat party of keggers and Playboy Bunnies. Can he outwit them all and make it to the top?


Compare

“Hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the characters, compulsions, and chaos inside the fantasy sports gold rush.” –Jason Gay, author of Little Victories As Bringing Down the House did for card counters and Positively Fifth Street did for poker players, Daniel Barbarisi does for Daily Fantasy Sports fans in this leap down the rabbit hole of America’s latest obsession. Daniel “Hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the characters, compulsions, and chaos inside the fantasy sports gold rush.” –Jason Gay, author of Little Victories As Bringing Down the House did for card counters and Positively Fifth Street did for poker players, Daniel Barbarisi does for Daily Fantasy Sports fans in this leap down the rabbit hole of America’s latest obsession. Daniel Barbarisi quits his job as the New York Yankees beat writer for The Wall Street Journal and begins a quest: to join the top one percent of Daily Fantasy Sports (“DFS”) players, the so-called “sharks,” and figure out whether DFS is on the level—while maybe cashing in along the way. DFS is fantasy sports on steroids. It’s the domain of bitter rivals FanDuel and DraftKings, online juggernauts who turned a legal loophole into a billion-dollar industry by allowing sports fans bet piles of cash constructing fantasy teams. Yet as Barbarisi quickly realized, what should have been a fun companion to casual sports viewing was instead a ferocious environment infested with sharks, a top tier of pros wielding complex algorithms, drafting hundreds of lineups, and wagering six figures daily as they bludgeon unsuspecting amateur “fish.” Barbarisi embeds himself inside the world of DFS, befriending and joining its rogue’s gallery as he tries to beat them at their own game. In a work equal parts adventure and rigorously reported investigation, Barbarisi wades into this chaotic industry at the very moment its existence is threatened by lawmakers sick of its Wild West atmosphere and pushy advertising. All their money made FanDuel and DraftKings seem invincible; but, as Barbarisi reports, they made plenty of dubious—perhaps even scandalous—moves as they vied for market supremacy. In Dueling with Kings, Barbarisi uncovers the tumultuous inside story of DFS, all while capturing its peculiar cast of characters, from wide-eyed newly minted millionaires, to sun-starved math geeks, to bros living an endless frat party of keggers and Playboy Bunnies. Can he outwit them all and make it to the top?

30 review for Dueling with Kings: High Stakes, Killer Sharks, and the Get-Rich Promise of Daily Fantasy Sports

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    Extremely well written and thorough account of the rise of DFS—and a flat-out interesting story even if you have no idea what DFS stands for.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Touchstone Books

    This book is not just for daily fantasy fans, or even sports fans! It's just a really great read about a fascinating phenomenon and subculture in this country. Thoroughly entertaining. This book is not just for daily fantasy fans, or even sports fans! It's just a really great read about a fascinating phenomenon and subculture in this country. Thoroughly entertaining.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Travis Tucker

    The title pretty much outlines the premise of the book, which depending on your interest in online gambling / online poker (Daily Fantasy Sports ("DFS") traces some roots there), will either entice you or turn you off completely. The most interesting part of the book is following his journey from first time player (i.e. fish) to a full-time player (he quits his job to see if he can make it as a DFS player). Interested to see if the prediction that online sports gambling will eventually be legalize The title pretty much outlines the premise of the book, which depending on your interest in online gambling / online poker (Daily Fantasy Sports ("DFS") traces some roots there), will either entice you or turn you off completely. The most interesting part of the book is following his journey from first time player (i.e. fish) to a full-time player (he quits his job to see if he can make it as a DFS player). Interested to see if the prediction that online sports gambling will eventually be legalized will come to fruition -- and furthermore how that will affect DFS (is it just having it's time in the spotlight before fading away, a la online poker (though that was regulatory-driven). A quick, entertaining read if the subject matter is of interest to you, don't expect it to be a how-to manual, though. An hour spent googling would be of more use.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Edwin Howard

    DUELING WITH KINGS by Daniel Barbarisi provides in-depth insight into the world of DFS, Daily Fantasy Sports, through Barbarisi's detailed research of the history of DFS and at the same time telling his story of becoming a full time "professional" DFS player. The story in infectious; a man bored with his job as a sports journalist stumbles upon a world he never knew of, DFS. He starts cautiously and carefully, researching the history of it and interviewing people involved with DFS, but like a ki DUELING WITH KINGS by Daniel Barbarisi provides in-depth insight into the world of DFS, Daily Fantasy Sports, through Barbarisi's detailed research of the history of DFS and at the same time telling his story of becoming a full time "professional" DFS player. The story in infectious; a man bored with his job as a sports journalist stumbles upon a world he never knew of, DFS. He starts cautiously and carefully, researching the history of it and interviewing people involved with DFS, but like a kid whose discovered a new video game, he eventually can't help himself and almost recklessly jumps in with both feet and almost immediately it becomes part of who is he and what he thinks about daily. Seeing this as a form of gambling, Barbarisi does stop to look inward several times to consider the ramifications of being a gambling addict and whether he is one or will become one. All the while, he is giving us a sorted history of DFS and how the governmental opinion and legal status of the DFS is still evolving and changing. I immediately found myself cheering for Barbarisi and wanting to get to know as many of the characters of DFS as possible, from his teachers, to his fellow competitors, to the DFS gurus who now educate more than play, to his wife, who happily helped him and put up with her former journalist/current fulltime DFS player of a husband through all of his succesSes and failures along the way. The climax of the book, where Barbarisi is trying to win a major DFS tournament, was great; I found myself reading fasting and harder towards the end and even audibly reacting a couple of times. A entertaining book written in a style that anyone can understand and connect to. While I'm not a big hockey fan and that was Barbarisi's sport of choice in the world of DFS, he gave me enough that I understood and followed all of his ups and downs. If you've every played fantasy sports, and most of us in the United States have by now, you will enjoy DUELING WITH KINGS. Thank you to Touchstone, Daniel Barbarisi, and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marina Mangiararina

    This book reads like fiction, but is actual reality. Bringing the gaudiest of American promise, this book opens as an examination of a new type of game. Daily Fantasy Sports is very new to the mainstream American sports scene, yet has exploded into a ubiquitous presence. However, international readers will recognize that at the heart of this is United States law. Sports gambling is illegal, and straight up gambling is limited to certain municipalities. States' rights allow for various different This book reads like fiction, but is actual reality. Bringing the gaudiest of American promise, this book opens as an examination of a new type of game. Daily Fantasy Sports is very new to the mainstream American sports scene, yet has exploded into a ubiquitous presence. However, international readers will recognize that at the heart of this is United States law. Sports gambling is illegal, and straight up gambling is limited to certain municipalities. States' rights allow for various different interpretations of gambling law. Onto the scene comes daily fantasy sports, resulting in a push-back from conservative elements of USA politics. Daily Fantasy Sports was flush with venture capital early, with FanDuel and DraftKings being run as a tech company might be. This provided the opportunity for someone to get rich quick. But once the money became harder to come by and the techniques for winning became more advanced, the barrier for entry became greater and greater. This is where the author steps in. Daniel Barbarisi, a weary sports writer, aspires to find out whether the average Joe/Jane can make money playing Daily Fantasy. But Barbarisi quickly finds his venture turn into a drastic career change. Due to Barbarisi's mess of connections, he is quickly able to rise to the top of the Daily Fantasy world, providing insight that only a select few could provide. But Barbarisi does spend a good portion of the book losing money (and assumedly jobless), so it's not as if he doesn't understand the average player's plight for a time. In the end, the author reaches the conclusion that daily fantasy will develop rules to make it fair, effectively leveling the playing field and making it less ruinous, like gambling. However, the book's psychological examination of gambling was strategically placed after the book's highest high of daily fantasy sports gambling. And that psychological examination of gambling spoke volumes as to why daily fantasy sports probably has all of the same problems that regular impulse gambling does. This book resonated with me a bit as I'm a sports writer who has recently found themselves out of work. It was cool to have Barbarisi pursue my dream of making money on sports betting. And now I know that I should probably just stick to studying other stuff. I hope Barbarisi writes a follow up book someday, as the industry and his Daily Fantasy Sports career continue to evolve.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Travis Jones

    Great read As someone who enjoys dfs I couldn’t put the book down and it taught me so much about the industry

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mad Hab

    An amazing book. Not just for the sports gambling enthusiasts but also for a general public. A very good overview of how the daily fantasy sports industry worked and operated.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Midge

    Great book – couldn’t put it down. I’m not a fan of DFS – actually I did not know anything about it. A friend recommended that I read Dueling with Kings and I am so glad that she did. It is really a very engaging story of a young man setting a challenge and taking us all along on his DFS adventure. We learn about the industry, but really we share his experience of diving into a whole new world. One need not know or even care about DFS to enjoy the ups, downs, and craziness of this undertaking. D Great book – couldn’t put it down. I’m not a fan of DFS – actually I did not know anything about it. A friend recommended that I read Dueling with Kings and I am so glad that she did. It is really a very engaging story of a young man setting a challenge and taking us all along on his DFS adventure. We learn about the industry, but really we share his experience of diving into a whole new world. One need not know or even care about DFS to enjoy the ups, downs, and craziness of this undertaking. Daniel’s writing style is easy to read and very engaging. What a wonderful first book – I can’t wait to read his next one.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Steve Peifer

    Tulips, internet stocks, FL real estate: bubbles are bubbles. The trick is to make it interesting which he doesn't quite accomplish. The other trick is to make the protagonist likable, and wow is that an abject failure. You kind of have to assume that his editor hated his guts, which is totally understandable. If you are a sports fantasy nut, you can overlook the odious author. Anyone else: stay clear. Tulips, internet stocks, FL real estate: bubbles are bubbles. The trick is to make it interesting which he doesn't quite accomplish. The other trick is to make the protagonist likable, and wow is that an abject failure. You kind of have to assume that his editor hated his guts, which is totally understandable. If you are a sports fantasy nut, you can overlook the odious author. Anyone else: stay clear.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tena

    I won this in a GOODREADS giveaway. thank you.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chris Jaffe

    Barbarisi is (well, was) a sportswriter for the Wall Street Journal who got hooked on daily fantasy sports and decided to quit his job and make a living playing on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings. I can't fully tell if the original plan was to just write a book about it or if he was gung ho to make a living on it from day one - but it ended up being the latter. Early chapters explore the seedy side of the business, as it was set up without any internal checks against corruption and early on abo Barbarisi is (well, was) a sportswriter for the Wall Street Journal who got hooked on daily fantasy sports and decided to quit his job and make a living playing on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings. I can't fully tell if the original plan was to just write a book about it or if he was gung ho to make a living on it from day one - but it ended up being the latter. Early chapters explore the seedy side of the business, as it was set up without any internal checks against corruption and early on about 1% of the players earned 80-90% of the profits. Barbarisi is able to win the trust of some sharks in daily fantasy sports (DFS) and become good at it. When he first played DFS, he thought very lowly of the sharks, but as he got to know them, he came to see them as decent guys who were just good at math, who were playing the system presented to them. Barbarisi believes the system was badly flawed - but notes that several internal reforms were done to eliminate the worst of the problems (though under duress - the prospect of being wiped out in New York and other states if they didn't). Barbarisi even wins a big Live tournament for hockey - a sport he barely knew anything about a few months earlier - and takes home a check for $100,000. It's a generally positive view of the industry rather than a muckraking account. The seediness is in there, but was being cleaned up (albeit after suffering a massive backlash and losing a lot of trust by the public). He does include a brief chapter on gambling addiction and how that can play a role in this. It's a decent and engrossing tale of a guy getting engrossed in DFS.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Geoff

    This book gets 5 stars under the assumption that you are reading it because you, like I, want to gain further insight in to the world of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). If that's what you are looking for you get all you could want. The writer is a reporter and you can see that in the writing style of this book. It's like one long report. It's good though and for the most part engaging. The author covers the history of DFS as well as the present issues it is facing and how things have changed. He also This book gets 5 stars under the assumption that you are reading it because you, like I, want to gain further insight in to the world of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). If that's what you are looking for you get all you could want. The writer is a reporter and you can see that in the writing style of this book. It's like one long report. It's good though and for the most part engaging. The author covers the history of DFS as well as the present issues it is facing and how things have changed. He also includes a very good insight in to how the movers and shakers in the game play and an overview of what strategies they used, which is interesting as he was able to employ some of these tactics, in particular stacking in NHL games, to very effective use. After I finished this book I have come away with a pretty good feeling of what the Daily Fantasy Sports world is like and even an idea of what can happen if you get too caught up in it. The author's own experiences with diving in, trying to be a pro, are revealing in a good way as one can envision that happening to many people. A 5-star read for anyone wanting to know more about DFS or just with a general interest in gambling (despite the claim that it is a skill sport, like poker, in my opinion if you are wagering money or anything for that matter on an outcome it is a form of gambling) you will enjoy this book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Langert

    This is the true story of a daring move by a Wall Street Journal sports reporter named Daniel Barbarisi. Daniel quits his job to immerse himself in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) business. He decides to become a DFS competitor himself and befriends some of the top fantasy players in North America to learn the tricks of the trade. At the same time, he follows the development of the two main DFS sites: Fan Duel and the new emerging competitor, Draft Kings. I was frankly expecting this to be a somew This is the true story of a daring move by a Wall Street Journal sports reporter named Daniel Barbarisi. Daniel quits his job to immerse himself in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) business. He decides to become a DFS competitor himself and befriends some of the top fantasy players in North America to learn the tricks of the trade. At the same time, he follows the development of the two main DFS sites: Fan Duel and the new emerging competitor, Draft Kings. I was frankly expecting this to be a somewhat dry chronology of how these companies raised money, spent it wildly and then fought to survive against anti-gambling laws. Instead, this read like a thrilling novel as the fate of both the author’s own attempts to be a strong DFS competitor and the industry’s fight for survival were being determined.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Danny

    Very entertaining and informative look at the meteoric rise of Daily Fantasy Sports through late 2015, the battle at the top between DraftKings and FanDuel, and the subsequent legal issues across the US as states one-by-one either banned play or passed laws to legalize it. Barbarisi tells this history gonzo style as he quits his newspaper job and tries to play DFS professionally for a year, while getting to know other pros, lawmakers, reps at the big companies, etc. His own journey (which I won' Very entertaining and informative look at the meteoric rise of Daily Fantasy Sports through late 2015, the battle at the top between DraftKings and FanDuel, and the subsequent legal issues across the US as states one-by-one either banned play or passed laws to legalize it. Barbarisi tells this history gonzo style as he quits his newspaper job and tries to play DFS professionally for a year, while getting to know other pros, lawmakers, reps at the big companies, etc. His own journey (which I won't spoil) as a professional hockey DFS player is surprisingly thrilling. It reminded me a bit of Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis. If you're a fan of Lewis' style of non-fiction, I think you'll really enjoy this.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Terry Pellegrino

    Very interesting book on the rise of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). Daniel Barbarisi documents how DFS received a carve out of the law that effectively banned Online Poker. He quit his job at the Wall Street journal and immersed himself in DFS riding many highs and lows. He walks the reader through understanding Pro DFS players and the culture within the culture. Also, Barbarisi documents how an industry goes from being an enemy of the State to a Partner with near Monopoly power through the Legisla Very interesting book on the rise of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). Daniel Barbarisi documents how DFS received a carve out of the law that effectively banned Online Poker. He quit his job at the Wall Street journal and immersed himself in DFS riding many highs and lows. He walks the reader through understanding Pro DFS players and the culture within the culture. Also, Barbarisi documents how an industry goes from being an enemy of the State to a Partner with near Monopoly power through the Legislative and Regulatory powers.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Danny Knobler

    A great read I really should have read this book right when it came out, because Dan Barbarisi is a friend. I guess I did the next best thing, by reading it cover to cover in less than a week. I didn’t plan it that way, but Dan did such a great job telling the story that I couldn’t put it down. I’ve never had an interest in fantasy sports, and I’ve never been tempted to play DFS, but I loved reading about the business and the people in it, and especially about Dan’s own journey. Outstanding.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    A pretty interesting window into the easily addicting, strangely unregulated world of daily fantasy sports. The author, a baseball writer married to a hockey writer, throws himself into the high stakes world of daily hockey fantasy for a year with no previous expertise to see whether the system really is rigged or not. Short answer, it's not rigged and real people really can win big money. Of course, many, many others lose homes, cars, and relationships in the process. A pretty interesting window into the easily addicting, strangely unregulated world of daily fantasy sports. The author, a baseball writer married to a hockey writer, throws himself into the high stakes world of daily hockey fantasy for a year with no previous expertise to see whether the system really is rigged or not. Short answer, it's not rigged and real people really can win big money. Of course, many, many others lose homes, cars, and relationships in the process.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alex Ferguson

    This book gave a great insider perspective into the life of Daily Fantasy Sports. I found it fascinating that there are so many people who do this as their jobs. I found the chapters where Daniel talked about the legal aspects of DFS to be a little dry, but I can see why they were needed. I would recommend this book to any sports lovers, and anyone who wants to learn more about the rapid rise and fall of DFS.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    I am glad that someone finally wrote a book on this topic, and it is an exciting first-hand tale. It documents a lot of the major Daily Fantasy Sports news that has happened in the last ten years or so. It seems to get stuck at certain points in the storytelling and repeats itself a few times before finally moving on to the next track. Overall not bad, hopefully more books will be written on this subject soon.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Steve Gross

    I read this book because I like gambling and the Internet and wanted to learn what Fantasy Sports betting is all about. The author doesn't begin to describe it until halfway through the book! Lots of tedious political descriptions and the colorful gamblers are really not the colorful. The author is timid. I read this book because I like gambling and the Internet and wanted to learn what Fantasy Sports betting is all about. The author doesn't begin to describe it until halfway through the book! Lots of tedious political descriptions and the colorful gamblers are really not the colorful. The author is timid.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ellison

    A baseball writer discover Daily Fantasy Sports and decides to get involved. He goes to a 'Boot Camp' to learn all about it. He goes to Canada and learns from a pro about...HOCKEY! Occasional insight, at other times too much inside data. Examines the legalities and possible addiction. Swearing. A baseball writer discover Daily Fantasy Sports and decides to get involved. He goes to a 'Boot Camp' to learn all about it. He goes to Canada and learns from a pro about...HOCKEY! Occasional insight, at other times too much inside data. Examines the legalities and possible addiction. Swearing.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Quick, sometimes entertaining read on the daily sports betting industry. Like any good business book it's best when the personalities that sprung the industry come to life. Not much else here except a guy who gets good at Daily Fantasy and wins a tournament. Quick, sometimes entertaining read on the daily sports betting industry. Like any good business book it's best when the personalities that sprung the industry come to life. Not much else here except a guy who gets good at Daily Fantasy and wins a tournament.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Interesting in that it provides a good background in the dfs industry, not interesting in that this guy decides to write about fantasy like it’s a football game: too many play by plays of games that they’re watching. Really struggled to finish. Probably a sign that I don’t like sports books.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Not bad. Was really into fantasy sports, but never into Daily Fantasy Sports (thankfully!). Pretty good investigation into how it plays and how it sets up the sharks to win.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Perry

    Excellent narrative of the protean rise of DFS with just the right amount of personal story.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dan Cotter

    This is a very entertaining and informative peak into the world of Daily Fantasy Sports and its emergence and challenges as it grows. Gives a first hand glimpse into this industry.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alvery Stevens

    Great book! Interesting and entertaining.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sam Klepinger

    Interesting look at the history and players of DFS.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Barry H.

    3.75 stars rounded up.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andrienne

    Easy recommendation for those who like a dose of how things work and something for the curious.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.