By the time the last bucket fell Wednesday, a restaurant manager and daily fantasy sports player from Texas had turned $40 into $4,000 plus a pair of Courtside tickets to the Los Angeles Clippers vs Houston Rockets game next week. David Kaplen, better known as headchopper, was winner in both the High Society and Clippers Courtside games last night at DraftDay.
In addition to both wins, headchopper also placed third with another lineup in High Society, for an extra $500. Amazingly, all three lineups that placed only shared one common player — Kobe Bryant.
We sat down with David for a brief interview.
You placed 1st in the Clippers Courtside as well as 1st and 3rd in the High Society games. What’s going through your head right now?
Right now I am just trying to see if I can clear a few days on my calender to make it to Lob City. I am actually a huge Rockets fan seeing as how I grew up right outside Houston, Texas. Super stoked right now.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in fantasy sports?
I grew up in Galveston, Texas and right around age 18 I moved to San Antonio, Texas (but the Rockets are still my squad). I have been here for about 12 years now and right around the time I first moved here, I started playing seasonal fantasy football leagues. I was looking around on Rotoworld one day and saw an advertisement for “Snapdraft”. Fast forward 4 years and I am owner of some court side seats thanks to daily fantasy basketball.
What was your experience with daily fantasy sports and DraftDay prior to the Clippers Courtside game? What types of games, stakes, etc?
I’ve been around this industry for a while now. I’ve seen the growth that has taken place from the infancy of all these top sites. It’s very impressive the way this thing has grown in recent years. I usually play any stake of salary cap game out there. I will play anywhere from a $400 buy in to a $5 game on any night. I had only played a handful of football games at DraftDay prior to this promo, but this was too good of a deal to pass up. The new sites are phenomenal with trying to outdo each other and reward the players with promotions. You almost HAVE to take advantage of these things when they are put in front of you because you just never know when it’s your night to hit a home run.
The 3 lineups that won you the big money were all different. Why did you choose to mix up your rosters rather than just place the same lineup in both contests?
I was really unfamiliar with the DraftDay interface and site. So I didn’t even know till around an hour before tip off, that there was an “import” lineup feature. I had a pool of players that I liked and on most nights, you only dip into a fraction of that pool. With 5 free entries in the Clippers contest and the 8 teams I played in High Society, you can find a place for every player in your pool on a team.
It looks like the only player on all 3 rosters was Kobe Bryant. What about his matchup did you like so much?
Coming off a loss to Detroit and knowing Kobe has never met a shot he didn’t like. Couple it with Washington’s bad defense and it was a perfect storm. He was a no-brainer to get 35+points in that game.
You’re now $4,000 richer. Will that money be going towards anything specific?
Sure, it will be going towards a little extra daily fantasy bankroll! If you want to sustain yourself in this industry, you need to be able to handle some inevitable rough patches. So I may need that bankroll later.
Coming down the wire, you had several west-coast / late games and were surging up the leaderboard. When did you realize that you had a legitimate shot at winning?
I looked at the scoreboard before that last game (Memphis-Golden State) started and I didn’t think I had much of a chance because the scores were off the charts. Then I glanced back at the scoreboard when New Orleans-Sacramento had about 8 minutes left (right around halftime of the Memphis game) and noticed I was shooting upwards because of Chris Kaman, Marcus Thornton and Rudy Gay. I tuned into the game and saw Kaman lighting it up and knew I had a shot.
I looked back at the scoreboard with about 7 minutes left in the Memphis game. I was leading the High Society and needed a few more out of Gay for the Clippers tickets, but the game was a blowout by now and guys were starting to come out. I thought I was in trouble. When I saw Gay still in the game with 5 minutes to go in a 20+ point blowout, I was loving me some Lionel Hollins. Gay snatched a couple rebounds and then he drained 2 free throws and BAM, now I am off to check out Blake’s perm in person!
Where were you while sweating the game?
I was sitting here at home just watching a re-run of “Swamp People” and “Gold Rush”. I like those goofy shows. It ended just in time for me to see the last portion of the late games. Sometimes though, it is just better not to get your blood pressure worked up that late at night. Makes for some tough sleeping if you lose.
Who will you be bringing with you for the Clippers game?
Hopefully my wife can clear off some meetings she has and we can go out to LA together.
Will you be playing any higher-stakes games now that you have a little extra cash?
Absolutely this will get me jump started over on DraftDay to do some bigger things. Great job by those guys in trying to expand their site with this offer and it worked. No doubt DraftDay will be bigger than before after this experience.