Poker Player Aaron Jones Wins DraftKings Fantasy Football World Championship for $5 Million

Aaron Jones wins DraftKings Fantasy Football World Championship

Aaron Jones displays his DraftKings FFWC oversize novelty check for $5 million, after winning the biggest prize in the history of fantasy sports. (Image: pokernews.com)

Aaron Jones, known to the poker community as top online player “aejones,” has won the biggest daily fantasy sports (DFS) championship of all time, taking home a $5 million first prize.

The DraftKings Fantasy Football World Championship (FFWC) was a monster of a competition, reflecting the explosion in popularity of DFS in 2015. Players spent months trying to qualify for the championship through hundreds of satellites, each hoping for a shot at the $15 million prize pool.   

Only 200 players would qualify for the 15-week championship, however, with each spot worth $75,000. The top ten players at the end of 15 weeks were invited to the live final, held in Los Angeles over the weekend. As far as we can determine, this “live final” involved watching sports on TV, which would make us potential world champions as well. Where do we sign up?

Poker Gave Him an Edge

Of course, all the tough work had been done beforehand and it was just down to results of the weekend’s games.  A strong favorite going into the final was DFS legend “CONDIA,” aka Charles Chon, a man who is so good at predicting the outcomes of football games that other players have accused him of really just being a computer.    

Chon was delivered a bad beat straight off the bat though, when his man, Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, was injured early on against the Cardinals and carted off to the hospital without scoring a single point.

Jones, knowing he had some ground to make up, gambled like a true poker player, drafting heavily from the Cardinals. The team came through for him, beating the Packers 26-20.

“Some of the FFWC finalists come from a similar background as me, but I think I have a slight edge,” he told Fox Sports prior to the event. “My risk tolerance is going to be much higher than almost everyone else’s. I’m extremely used to expected value and not being results oriented.”

New Vocation

As a poker player, Jones has always been hugely respected by his peers and the thousands of players he tutored through his training site, LeggoPoker. But he’s never really had the success in the biggest tournaments that other players of his caliber have had, as he himself acknowledges.

“My friends always joke with me that I’ve never really won all that much in poker even though I’ve played in such high-stakes tournaments,” he said before the final. “There’s a lot of variance involved, but it would be extremely satisfying if I won the FFWC.”

Jones was probably due for an upswing, and DFS is treating him better than his previous vocation.  

“I recommend winning $5 million if you guys have a chance,” he tweeted post-final. “It was fun and I would do it again…”

Philip Conneller
Written by
Philip Conneller
As part of the team that launched Bluff Magazine back in 2004, and then as Editor of Bluff Europe, Philip Conneller has (probably) written thousands of articles about poker and has travelled the globe interviewing the greatest players in the world, not to mention some of the sexiest celebrities known to man in some of the world’s sexiest destinations. The highlight of his career, however, was asking Phil Ivey (as a joke) how to play jacks, and emerging none-the-wiser. Philip once won $20,000 with 7-2 offsuit. He has been told off for unwittingly playing Elton John’s piano on two separate occasions, on different sides of the Atlantic Ocean. He became a writer because he is a lousy pianist. He lives in London where he spends his time agonizing about Arsenal football club, yet in Wenger he trusts.

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