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The site was launched in the fall of 2017 by business partners Phil Galfond and Dan Quinn. Galfond is a professional poker player and the owner of training site Run It Once. Quinn is the CEO and the primary impetus behind the development of the new product.
Draftboard is not looking to compete in prize pool wars with industry heavyweights DraftKings and FanDuel. Instead, the startup is taking a unique approach to the marketplace, focusing on the health of the community and the engagement of fans.
The key differentiators are the “Fair Match” system and the “Live” visualization page.
New accounts at Draftboard will receive a free $1 dollar bonus to enter a contest of their choice with no deposit required.
Draftboard contests follow a salary-cap format that should be familiar to seasoned DFS competitors.
Scoring is comparable to mainstream DFS sites. It utilizes a half-point points-per-reception system for NFL receiving stats and there is no late swap.
As for entry limits, Draftboard’s are among the tightest in the industry. Users may submit a maximum of three entries for a given contest.
So far, two sports are available on Draftboard:
Some of the pages on Draftboard’s website have placeholders for MLB and NBA, as well, hinting at the potential for future expansion into those sports.
So far, Draftboard is a web-only platform, although it is optimized for mobile.
The software is well-developed, though. It is simple and visually appealing, and it should be easily navigable for both rookie and veteran DFS users.
Users creating new accounts need only three pieces of information:
Draftboard gives new users $1 free at signup, provided they are in an eligible state.
One of Draftboard’s key differentiators is its Fair Match system, which dictates the way users’ lineups are entered into contests.
Contests are divided into two separate lobbies — Rookie ($1-$5) and Veteran ($10+). Users can only enter contests in one lobby per day, which means the high-stakes players typically won’t be competing in the smaller games.
Rather than enter contests directly, users create lineups that are entered by the Fair Match system at game time. First entries are matched with other first entries to the extent possible, though there are some “Crossover” contests that match entries unevenly.
Users’ first lineups are guaranteed to be entered into a contest. Subsequent lineups will only be entered into contests that can be filled. Any unentered lineups are refunded.
Draftboard users with over 500 contests played or at least $2,500 in gross winnings are indicated by a star icon next to their username. The site’s “Beginner” contests are not open to these players.
Draftboard Live might be the platform’s most enticing feature.
Live is a visualization system for sweating the action during the game. It’s on-par with — and in some cases better than — some of the industry’s leading gamecast-type interfaces.
In the Live section, users are presented with a representation of an NFL field or an NBA court. Players rostered and their point totals appear in a sidebar, but the real action happens in the middle. Fantasy scoring plays are “acted out” in real-time by digital athletes, and point totals are updated graphically.
It is, arguably, the industry’s most engaging platform for sweating games.
Speaking of promotions, Draftboard puts up an ongoing “Record Breaker” prize.
The all-time highest NFL scoring total is displayed in a banner at the top of the page. Any user whose lineup scores more than that number will win a $10,000 bonus and set a new mark for other users. The next time a user breaks that record, he or she wins a $10,000 bonus, too.
All users’ lineups across all contests are eligible for the Record Breaker bonus. Since the site gives away a dollar just for signing up, users can literally freeroll their way to the bonus.
Deposits can be made with a bank account or a credit card, and all transactions are processed through PayPal.
Withdrawals are currently only handled via PayPal.
Draftboard is taking a legally conservative approach to its process of launching in new territories. Contests are currently available to residents of 30 states and Canada.
Here are the 20 states in which you currently cannot play on Draftboard (but make sure to check the sites’ terms and conditions, as new states could be allowed in the near future):
Users are not allowed to add funds to their account or enter contests while present in any of the above states. Lineup edits in existing contests and account withdrawals are permitted.
The minimum age to play is 18 years old in most states; 19 in Nebraska, Alabama, and Canada; 21 in Massachusetts.