While some DFS leaders are reportedly scaling back their operations due to increasing pressure from state attorneys general, others are just now getting into the game. Poker legend Phil Ivey announced this week that he will launch his own DFS site, PhilIveyDFS, on the iTEAM network in February.
Considered one of the top poker players in the world, Ivey boasts 10 WSOP gold bracelets and has won over $10.4 million online, along with an additional $23.8 million in live tournaments. The poker pro is also a huge sports fan and has been looking to invest in the daily fantasy industry for some time le viagra 50 mg.
“Over the past few years I’ve been looking for more ways to share with fans my perspective on daily fantasy sports,” said Ivey in a release. “I was honored to have multiple options but iTEAM Network’s focus on compliance and the core technology, along with the leadership of Gabe Hunterton, ultimately made it a pretty easy decision.”
A turnkey solution
ITEAM provides operators with a turnkey DFS solution and handles all customer service, payment processing and software upgrades. The company employs 50 staffers who “live and breathe daily fantasy sports.” Since the start of the 2015 NFL season, the company has launched its platform in partnership with five brands.
Leveraging Ivey’s brand
With minimal setup costs, the partnership with iTEAM will allow Ivey to leverage his personal brand and recruit new DFS players to the site. Working with iTEAM will also make it easier to build bigger player pools, as players from each separate iTEAM brand are networked together into the same bucket.
Ivey will also benefit from the fact that there is a large crossover between poker players and daily fantasy users. In fact, several pro poker players have successfully made the switch to playing DFS full-time.
iTEAM CEO Gabe Hunterton believes that the mystique surrounding the media-shy Ivey will be a big draw for potential DFS users. “Adding the Phil Ivey brand will substantially increase network-wide player liquidity and prize pools,” said Hunterton. “We have already started an aggressive marketing and execution plan in which PhilIveyDFS users will be able to compete immediately for more than $20,000 in weekly pro basketball contests and interact directly with Phil.”
The fight for DFS
iTEAM touts that it software was built with regulation in mind, and can easily comply with any future DFS legislation.
The announcement comes at an awkward time for daily fantasy. Attorneys general and gaming officials in several states have declared DFS to be either illegal, or will require sites to obtain a gambling license to continue operation. On the other hand, momentum is growing for regulation in the industry, with lawmakers in many states introducing legislation to make DFS explicitly legal.
Such action by lawmakers is seemingly already having an effect on operators. Yesterday it was reported that FanDuel executives had laid off a portion of the company’s employees. FanDuel denies the claim, however.
Phil Ivey’s empire
This isn’t Ivey’s only investment in the gaming sphere. The poker pro was one of the original team members of Full Tilt Poker, and bought poker training site Leggo Poker in 2013, which has since been rebranded as IveyPoker.