Fantasy football is getting bigger and better every year. More football fans than ever are getting involved in one of the biggest hobbies in sports, and they can't seem to get enough of it. For the past five years, players have enjoyed one of the most unique events in celebration of both fantasy football and the sport of pro football. It's the largest high stakes fantasy football contest in the world: The Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC) in Las Vegas, Nevada, whose winner will be awarded a $250,000 grand prize.
The History of the FFPC
The FFPC was launched in 2008 by high stakes fantasy players Alex Kaganovsky and Dave Gerczak who wanted to protect the interests (and prizes) of their fellow players. That's why the FFPC was the first event in the industry to provide a prize guarantee backed by an escrow account. This "players first" mentality made the FFPC an immediate success with high stakes players. Not only did the contest hit the ground running, but the FFPC has grown in size and popularity every year of its existence. The lineup for 2013 is bigger than ever. Here's an inside look:
The Opening Game Viewing Party
The NFL kicks off its 2013 season when the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens visit Mile high to take on the Denver Broncos in last year's AFC Divisional Playoff rematch. FFPC players will be enjoying the game while trying to figure out which Ravens and Broncos players will rise or fall for Main Event drafts the next day based on their stats in Thursday's game. The beer and cocktails will be flowing and there will be no shortage of wings, sliders and other pub grub at the FFPC Opening Game Viewing Party at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. Featuring multiple large screens in which to watch the game, this event is free to all FFPC players, of which hundreds are expected to attend in 2013.
While several high stakes, non-Main Event drafts will have already taken place earlier in the day, after the game ends at about 9 p.m. Pacific Time, two more high stakes drafts will commence, including the $750 Bare Knuckle Challenge. Watch and get your initial taste of a fantasy draft and some current ADP by watching a live, 26-round Draft Experts league that permits no cheat sheets, computer, phones, paper, pens, pencils, or anything that can assist one's draft.
Once the Bare Knuckle is complete, those looking to continue the party can head over to PURE Nightclub at Caesars where FFPC players can enjoy VIP entrance with free admission and a separate expedited line.
Drafts, Drafts, and More Drafts
Friday and Saturday bring more fun, food and drafts all day long, from breakfast and registration before the first big drafts as early as 9 a.m. You can check out more live draft leagues in several formats (including both Draft Experts and Auction formats), with each day featuring two different FFPC Main Event Live Draft times. Check out all the fantasy players and the beautiful venue, as well as the UNLV Cheerleaders, who are the special hostesses of the Friday night and Saturday morning Main Event drafts.
Of course, who can forget the Vegas nightlife? Players will have ample time after the Main Event drafts on both Thursday and Friday (between checking up on any Footballguys news updates, of course) to go out and enjoy all that Sin City has to offer. After all, what would a trip to Las Vegas be without at least one night out on the Strip?
Saturday marks the official close of the FFPC with two more Main Event Live Drafts and also a $10,000 High Society League where only the big boys (and fat wallets) play. Players can soak up the rest of the fantasy draft action before the rest of Week One kicks off on Sunday. One last tour of Las Vegas gets you ready for all the games on Sunday morning along with the epic Monday night doubleheader that closes out the five-day NFL and fantasy football-a-palooza. FFPC veterans and new players will hang out and meet their friends and rivals-both new and old-while they all enjoy both the live NFL action and the rest Las Vegas has to offer.
FFPC Player Testimonials
But enough about us describing the event. Here are some comments from FFPC players. No one tells it like it is better than those who go to play in the FFPC and enjoy the Main Event festivities themselves:
"Simply the best game in the industry. Rapid Payouts. Great players and friends. And most of all, trustworthy! I could say a lot more, but that sums it up." - Ormond Rose / KOTRAX
"The ownership that created the FFPC is players that appreciate the desires and essentials of the high stakes player. They have the vision and foresight to not only provide those essential expectations but surpass them with superior formatting and guaranteed fast payouts. They have the ability to provide a top line product while still taking into consideration each player's individual tastes and concerns. There is a great community feel that begins at the top. Some of us are very vocal about these desires, and we are heard. They are very astute as businessmen and people. As you can tell, I like them but no need to just take my word. We as players do have an input in the quality of the product, from the format to venue, right down to look and feel of the site and leagues themselves. The level of competition here is the best in the world." - Michael Bronte / INVICTUS
"Alex, Dave and Chris have made this a class act. I can't think of a better organization out there.Looking forward to Vegas." - Laurie Chiles and Warren Craven / Horsehead Bookends "For me it was about the level of the competition. I have participated in my local [high stakes fantasy football] home league for nearly 20 years and have become bored with it. I wanted to challenge the best players on earth! The FFPC was where the focus was the players. It was an easy decision for me to join the FFPC.... I'm going nowhere-I'm in this for the long-haul. Dave said it best: "To be the best, you must beat the best." - Ed Haupt / GDF
"I liked what I saw on the FFPC boards regarding a community, as well as a lot of cool innovation coming from the FFPC. I came out to Vegas to experience it first hand and was hooked. Awesome viewing party. Great food. Great group of players smiling, laughing and having fun. Great customer service with an attention to detail. It's now an annual tradition for a few Footballguys staff [members] to make the journey and play in the FFPC." - David Dodds / Footballguys
"[When] Alex and Dave created the FFPC, it couldn't have come at a better time. From year one I decided to give it a shot, and I haven't looked back…I truly look forward to September and my trip to Vegas to see all of my FFPC brothers and sisters. Everyone here respects each other, and I can't say enough about the interaction Dave and Alex have with the players. They are one of us. Let's not forget one of the best moves they made by bringing [FFPC Customer Relations Lead] Chris [Lambert] on board. The three of them have made this the best high stakes experience there is, and I will be loyal to the end. I'm proud to be a charter member and look forward to all of the new additions to our Players Championship." - Les Sandlin / Sandman's Time
"Alex and Dave have created a contest with player friendly rules, innovative ideas, and most importantly in these times, one you can trust. Chris Lambert is amazing and just knows how to make the players here feel special. The message boards-well the boards are something to behold. One thing [is] for certain: The players here love this game." - Glenn Lowy / Glenneration X
"When you start playing in the FFPC, you have so much fun that it becomes in your interest to promote it and spread it to friends and favorite competitors. The genius of Alex's and Dave's set-up is that by creating such a player friendly environment, they convert players to volunteer advertisers and promoters, and all end up profiting by this spontaneous recruitment." - Hudson Kern Reeve / waspguy
"Thanks guys-great service, class outfit!" - Joseph Dellzenero / Baker Boy
More from David Dodds:
The 2014 Perfect Drafts - August 22
Interview with the Head of FanDuel Nigel Eccles - August 20
Perfect Draft - 12 Team PPR - August 18
Interview with ESPN's Matt Berry - August 7
FFPC Interview with Dave Gerczak and Alex Kaganovsky - July 21
High Stakes Interview with Shawn Coots - July 10
High Stakes Interview with Jeff O'Dell - July 8
High Stakes Interview with Dave Asrani - July 8
High Stakes Interview with Billy Wasosky - July 8
Footballguys Magazine Sneak Peek - June 16