It’s the game where statistics and a bit of dumb luck are more important than the player’s athletic prowess. And to those who play, it’s serious business.
Fantasy sports leagues, once played with pen and paper, have exploded with the technology that provides live updates on laptops. Players make virtual rosters of real players and then compete based on the statistics of the players in real games. These days, leagues use websites that do much of the number-crunching and record-keeping, allowing users to easily keep track of points from their computer while they are watching the real games on TV.
Kevin Miller of Cary believes Fantasy Postseason, a commissioner service for fantasy leagues that he co-founded with two friends, is the only site of its kind that deals exclusively in the postseason. It charges for league services, providing online leagues with live drafts, flexible scoring and other features tailored specifically for the postseason.
“We don’t take bets from individuals,” he said. “A lot of times people think it’s a gambling site.”
Miller said the pricing model has evolved over the years, moving from an advertising-run site to charging leagues a small fee to participate.
“Our site is different in that we provide fantasy-like games for playoffs and postseason,” he said. “The majority of leagues are people who play regular-season fantasy and then they have a group who want to continue to play postseason. … People go through fantasy withdrawal.
“In some cases, like baseball, the regular season can be rather long. When you have other things going on in your life, managing a team in the regular season might be too much.”
Miller said he has been playing since his high school days in New Jersey in the 1990s, before the popularity of fantasy hit its stride. In 2008, with backgrounds in computer science, he partnered with Bill Hudson and Frank Ziemba to create a website. Miller and Ziemba, who lives in Minnesota, have been friends since grade school. Miller met Hudson about 15 years ago when they worked together at Cisco; both live in Cary.
“We took it casually and built it piece by piece,” Miller said of their business.
Today, Fantasy Postseason has more than 100,000 users and is growing nearly 20 percent annually. Hockey season, in particular, draws interest worldwide.
“The NHL playoffs are dominated by Europe and Canada,” he said. “That’s where most of our traffic is coming from.”
Fantasy Postseason offers games for all of the major postseasons, including NCAA football and basketball.
Fantasy Postseason also deals in real-world sports. It sponsors two baseball teams for the Town of Cary, where Miller coached for several years.
“We have fun. It’s good for us from the perspective that we love technology and we love sports.”
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