As part of an event put on by the Vincent Barbarisi Memorial fund, Daniel Barbarisi led a discussion at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library on his new book which explores the world of daily fantasy sports and how he became one of the top gambling sharks.
Barbarisi, 37, was introduced to the world of daily fantasy sports, DFS, in May 2015 by a fellow sportswriter while he was working as a New York Yankees beat reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
“When I was first introduced to DFS, my first reaction was: ‘This is really fun and how is no one talking about this?’” Barbarisi told the Review.
He channeled this fascination into his book, “Dueling with Kings: High Stakes, Killer Sharks, and the Get-Rich Promise of Daily Fantasy Sports,” where he allows the reader to follow his journey from the time he was starting out in the world of Daily Fantasy Sports, DFS, to how he became one of the big sharks in the fantasy world of the NHL.
Daily Fantasy Sports are a particular style of fantasy games that allows users to choose professional sports players, oftentimes for money, to create their own teams based on who they believe will perform best that day.
“When the right idea struck, I felt like this is the way that story needs to be told, [and] this is the right way to tell it,” he said.
Barbarisi began his book in June 2015. By November 2015, he was putting in his resignation at the Wall Street Journal to pursue his book full time.
Barbarisi said he would have preferred to take a leave of absence, but the Wall Street Journal denied his request.
“This was a book where it was important to get it to market as soon as possible,” he said.
Barbarisi went on to explain that the writing process was stressful because things were constantly changing in the DFS world.
“I believed that I had such a good story to tell and that no one else was telling it, and that I had gotten into something that at that point had turned totally crazy,” Barbarisi said.
In 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which banned internet gambling, was signed. This act excluded fantasy sports.
In his book, Barbarisi discusses how Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman was fighting for a ban on DFS in New York state, and how other states like Massachusetts were beginning to follow his lead with their own set of regulations. As of press time, DraftKings is illegal in 10 states, and FanDuel is illegal in 11.
These legal issues made Barbarisi unsure of where the story he was writing was going to end up, because nobody knew when, or if, DFS would be banned as well.
Barbarisi’s book launched in March 2017 and is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Indie.com.
He has been traveling between Boston and New York as part of his book tour. Part of his visit to New York included a trip back Rye Brook, where he grew up.
Barbarisi’s book discussion took place on Sunday, April 23, at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library. He began the event reading an excerpt from the book, and then took questions from the audience regarding his writing process, the contents of the book, and the world of DFS.
The event was hosted by the Vincent Barbarisi Memorial Fund, which was created because Daniel Barbarisi and his mother, Barbara Goodstein, had been looking for a way to honor his late father, Vincent Barbarisi, who passed away in October 2013.
Goodstein, who’s a board member at the library, said that they try to put on two to three events a year through the memorial fund.
Previous events have included a panel discussion of New York Yankees beat reporters from publications like MLB, New York Daily News and ESPN.
A year before the most recent political election, Doug Schoen, a political analyst, came to discuss his predictions on the outcome of the election.
Goodstein also said that one year for Memorial Day, the library brought in a former World War II bomber pilot who spoke on his experiences in the war.
Daniel Barbarisi explained when he was younger, he looked forward to coming to the library every Saturday with his father.
“I’ve had a long connection with the library there,” Barbarisi said.
While living in Rye Brook, he attended Blind Brook High School, where he was a news editor and columnist for his high school paper, and also wrote for Westmore News.
After graduating high school, he went to Tufts University in Massachusetts where he received his B.A. in political science and history.
Barbarisi said that until recently, he had never dreamed of writing a book. As for what book is next, he doesn’t know yet. “It’s really just what would be exciting and what could keep my interest,” he said.