Matthew tells us how he went from professional poker player to DFS business owner, how his love of risk assessment helps him run a business, and why he hopes transparency in both the game and the business leads to good word of mouth.
Today’s guest, Matthew Chatlin, is Founder and President of daily fantasy sports website OwnThePlay. He raised close to $1 million, launched a multitude of new Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) products, and has driven huge growth in OwnThePlay and a new game called WholeCard.
Matthew has a very interesting background. He was a successful stock trader at age 13 and scored an internship with Prudential in Manhattan at 19, which taught him that he did not want to run his own hedge fund. So he made a natural move to a career in poker. Matthew played 6 million hands of poker over the next decade, at one point playing some of the highest cash games on the internet in the world. He won a tournament in Aruba, had a tournament named after him by a top 3 poker company, and owned a charity poker room.
OwnThePlay is looking to grow through positive word of mouth, because it offers the most transparent and fair online gaming experience. They are the only site to display live ownership rates for players in their Salary Cap games, for example. Matthew also invented the new game WholeCard as a way of narrowing the knowledge gap between players.
We’re going to learn how assessing risk relates to both games and business, why community-driven games can have a social positive effect, and how laws around internet services can vary by time and place.
In this episode, you’ll learn from Matthew:
- What it’s like to love risk
- How the Daily Fantasy Sports industry grew out of the game Salary Cap
- How OwnThePlay aims for fairness and transparency – for example, they are the only DFS site to display live ownership rates of players
- How OwnThePlay’s new game Whole Card tries to narrow the knowledge gap in DFS, and reduce frustration
- Why pre-internet laws are a questionable way to regulate post-internet, post-mobile phone services
- Why Matthew believes the statistical assessment of picking players is as much a skill as playing a game
- Why OwnThePlay is valuing search to assess the effect of word of mouth, which they see as their best marketing tool
- That community-driven games can have a social positive effect
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Resources mentioned in this episode:
Answers to Quickfire Q&A:
- If you could chat with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
- “It’s a totally different answer every single day … but today, it’s definitely Sheldon Adelson … by far the loudest voice against internet gaming. I think, given the opportunity of talking with me and knowing that I exist … I’d like to think I can change his mind, because the truth is on my side.”
- Name a tool, app, or website that you can’t live without and why.
- Twitter: “I love what Twitter has brought to present-time reporting.”
- Tell us something unique and interesting about you that not many may know.
- “I’m probably far more calculating than anyone would ever consider me to be.”
- What are the top three skills or characteristics that you look for in people you work with?
- Interest – “You gotta be interested in yourself, and what you do.”
- You have to like sports
- Incredibly skilled
- What is something you believe, but few others agree with you?
- “There’s no reason that American can’t be smart enough to copy what is successful [in regulating internet gaming] with our UK brothers.”
- “If we really started approaching addiction as a problem human beings have with handing our own emotions, we could address addiction.”
How to contact Matthew:
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