Jan 31, 2016
Aaron Jones: From Poker Pro to $5m DFS Champ
By RTR Dennis
Through his playing career and coaching, Aaron Jones carved out a name for himself in the poker world. However, like some other poker players, Jones recently made a switch to the daily fantasy sports (DFS) world. And this turned out to be an excellent decision since he won the Fantasy Football World Championship (FFWC) along with $5 million. That said, let's track Jones' journey from his early poker days to becoming DFS's biggest-ever winner.
Jones found Online Poker at Butler University
Jones, who plays under the screen name 'aejones,' started playing internet poker while a student at Indianapolis' Butler University. He continued attending Butler, but also traveling back and forth to Las Vegas as his poker career began taking off.
"I've kind of made enough money to not have to worry about going down the internship and job path," Jones told FOX Sports.
By 2009, Jones hit his first big tournament score, collecting $129,210 for a seventh-place finish in the Fiesta al Lago Main Event. Around the same time he also bought Leggo Poker, a training site that helped Aaron become a famous poker authority.
Black Friday forces Jones to play in Canada
Like many other poker pros, Jones was affected by Black Friday (Apr. 15, 2011) and had to move abroad to keep playing at the largest online poker sites.
"In 2011, I started spending half of the year in Toronto so that I could play online poker," he said. "I also spent some time down in Mexico, on the Baja peninsula. Now, I'm living full-time in Toronto."
Moving around was worth it as Aaron racked up over $400,000 in online poker tournaments along with countless profits in cash games. He's also collected $598,332 in live tourneys and has 14 WSOP cashes to his credit. But despite the poker success, recent times have seen Jones move into the DFS world.
Biggest DFS Winner of All Time
Plenty of poker players have found that many of their skills translate well to daily fantasy sports. After all, both games involve analytical skills, bankroll management and dealing with variance. Jones is no different in this regard because he's quickly climbed to the top of the DFS hill.
"For the last 18 months or so, it's been a sliding scale from 100 percent poker to 100 percent daily fantasy sports," he explained.
If there was any doubt that Jones made a good decision by switching to daily fantasy, it was erased when he won the 2016 FFWC. Held in Los Angeles in mid-January, the FFWC featured a $9.4 million prize pool, with $5 million going to first place. The 10-player competition quickly slimmed down to three serious contestants, with Jones getting a big game from Pittsburgh's Martavis Bryant to win the event along with $5m.
Considering that he's now won more money than any other DFS player, it's unlikely that Jones will consider going back to poker. And who knows — maybe he'll be the first to open a DFS training site.