WSOP Pro Jonathan Aguiar Says Poker and Fantasy Sports Betting Skills Related

January 2nd, 2015 | by Brian Corlisse
Jonathan Aguiar poker and DFS links

Jonathan Aguiar claims that success in poker can help DFS bettors. (Image:

Jonathan Aguiar, the former professional poker player and WSOP bracelet holder, says people who play poker and those who enjoy fantasy sports betting have a lot in common.

Aguiar recently hosted an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on reddit to explain his new life in the world of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS).

Having given up his full-time occupation as a poker player, Aguiar is now director of customer experience at leading DFS site DraftKings, possibly explaining why he has found such a compelling connection between the two seemingly unrelated activities.

Although no longer a grinder, Aguiar is still a popular voice in the poker community, and throughout his AMA thread he was asked a number of questions about the similarities between DFS and poker. Although betting on sports and pushing out successful three-bets aren’t directly related, Aguiar was adamant that strong poker players can actually make great DFS bettors.

Poker’s Crossover Skills

In line with most things in the gambling world, bankroll management was at the top of Aguiar’s list of attributes that poker players can successfully use to transition into the world of DFS.

“Poker players are used to variance, bankroll management, and all of the ‘soft’ money skills that are necessary for simply managing the swings of playing the game,” wrote Aguiar.

Another interesting crossover between the two activities is the ability to spot an edge that can be exploited for profit. Although his example of football tactics might be alien to those who aren’t too familiar with the sport, Aguiar insists that it’s possible to gain an edge in DFS if you’re able to adopt the same mindset that breeds success at the poker table.

“Poker players approach games from an exploitative perspective and ask themselves the question ‘In what way can I use the rules of this game to provide myself with an edge over my competition’. Things like pairing your WR to your QB and looking for high ceiling plays in GPPs tend to come more naturally to this mindset,” Aguiar explained.

Could Poker and DFS Combine Forces?

Although poker and DFS are currently sitting on different sides of the gambling spectrum, 2015 could see some operators dabble in the industry. And while DraftKings and Fan Duel currently dominate the market, the likes of PokerStars could certainly shake things up if it decides to take a punt and offer Daily Fantasy Sports.

In fact, although it hasn’t directly stated that it’s interested in DFS, PokerStars CEO David Baazov has hinted that in addition to casino games, sports betting could soon be available via PokerStars’ poker platform. Moreover, New Jersey is currently in the middle of a battle to legalize sports betting within its state boundaries and one of the main areas lawmakers are focusing on is DFS.

Monmouth Park Race Track in New Jersey is being touted as potential outlet for DFS and, if this plan comes to fruition, it could allow the State’s online sites to begin offering such provisions through their virtual portals.

For now, however, DFS and poker remain two separate entities. However, if you’re inclined to agree with Jonathan Aguiar, then success in the latter could easily result in some healthy profits in the former if you put your mind to it.


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