It's that time again! Time for March Madness. The 68 teams to participate in the NCAA college basketball tournament will be selected this Sunday. This means that pretty soon, someone in your office is bound to print and pass out tournament brackets for you to fill out. In some cases the prize is money, other times it's just for bragging rights.
Online however, it's a different story. Each year, fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings both host March Madness Tournaments of their own, with grand prizes of $40,000 and $20,000, respectively, in 2015. That's a lot more than the maybe $100 you can win in the office.
But here's where the two worlds differ. At the office, someone in accounting may make their picks based on which team has the more awesome mascot, or which city they would rather live in. But online it's much different, and much more one-sided and uses a lot more math.
A new report from Bloomberg Business has found that fantasy sports sites like FanDuel an DraftKings heavily favor the fantasy pros, like Cory Albertson, who won more than $200,000 in just one year of playing fantasy sports online - and he's not the only one.
Take the players with the screen name "sox22" for instance. He's being referred to as the "the Tom Brady of the daily fantasy sports college basketball world," and is also known as a "shark" or very sophisticated player.
Better yet "sox22" is shrouded in mystery. He's not on Twitter or Facebook, and doesn't brag about his winnings on the forums like most of the other sharks. In fact, he's so good, nobody knows how much he has won, except for him.
On top of that, Jonathan Schiller, "the unofficial mayor of the community," told Bloomberg that he estimates that there are around 10 to 15 different players that simply dominate the daily tournaments. They do this with sophisticated algorithms that go through hundreds of thousands of stats to pick the ideal roster.
As Bloomgberg puts it:
"For most of the college basketball season, sox22 and other sharks circle one another, passing money back and forth. They also feed on a strange breed of deep-pocketed entrant who can’t resist picking rosters loaded with players from their favorite teams."
And when you throw the March Madness tournament into the mix, that adds hundreds of thousands more people playing, which means more money for the "sharks."
So if you're' thinking about joining one of these sites for the NCAA Tournament, you might just want to stick to the office pool - you have a better chance of winning.