It appears that getting caught violating the site’s community guidelines and subsequently stripped of a whopping $1 million top prize in a 105,000-plus player contest is not enough to get someone booted from competing in DraftKings daily fantasy sports contests.
It's fine, he's being "monitored" 🙃 pic.twitter.com/OS2FJKNqI6
— William Bierman (@williambierman) March 12, 2020
You may recall the controversy in early January when former Bachelor contestant Jade Roper-Tolbert finished first in DraftKings’ massive $25 buy-in GPP during the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs. But outcry followed shortly after the contest wrapped when a slew of sleuths found that she and her husband Tanner Tolbert, whom she met during the 2016 Bachelor in Paradise show, had seemingly engaged in prohibited “multi-accounting,” which basically means collaboration to circumvent a rule limiting persons to no more than 150 entries per contest.
After the subsequent DraftKings investigation and very likely a private settlement between the company and the Tolberts, the DFS/sports betting operator announced in a Jan. 25 news dump that it decided to “update the standings” for the contest. Roper-Tolbert was no longer listed as the winner and would not receive a $1 million prize or any prize in connection with that contest.
— DraftKingsNews (@DraftKingsNews) January 25, 2020
DraftKings is ‘closely monitoring’?
But about one month after the Wild Card weekend controversy and again two months later, Tanner Tolbert, who in the past regularly played high-stakes DFS games, apparently has still been allowed to compete in DraftKings contests. This was brought to the public’s attention on Thursday when DFS and sports betting professional William Bierman (see above tweets) discovered that the DraftKings account for Tanner Tolbert was registered for the PGA The Players Millionaire tournament with a $1 million top prize; the PGA later announced the cancellation of the Players Championship, so the DFS contest will likewise not occur.
“I looked it up randomly and saw his name there and couldn’t understand why he’s allowed to still play,” Bierman told US Bets. “So from what I can see, I don’t believe DraftKings ever banned Tanner.”
Terms of any monetary settlement that may or may not have occurred between the Tolberts and DraftKings have not been disclosed. Thus it is also unknown if any agreement allows Tanner or Jade to continue competing in DraftKings contests.
Bierman said that his exchange with “Steven G.” was correspondence via “live customer service,” adding that he didn’t know if Steven really knew or fully appreciated what was happening.
It appears Tolbert’s entry into the since-cancelled PGA contest was not the first time Tanner entered a DraftKings contest following the $1 million prize reversal in January. Take a look:
“I asked one of my friends who keeps track of everyone and their profits/losses if he could look up if Tolbert had played on DraftKings since the NFL incident, and it appears he played at least one time with one entry in a $555 entry NBA contest in February,” Bierman said. “I know he’s been playing on FanDuel a lot, but that may have been it on DraftKings until this PGA tourney.”
DraftKings has not responded to an inquiry about Tanner Tolbert’s ability or permissions to continue playing in contests, or what it means that his account may be “closely monitored.”
Bierman expressed his surprise about the situation.
“People get suspended or banned on DraftKings left and right, for using a second account, someone else’s credit card.”
In fact, ESPN’s David Purdum reported that in August 2019, DraftKings did suspend Jade’s account for such an offense. According to Purdum, the Tolberts satisfactorily complied with requests for documentation and Jade began playing on DraftKings regularly.
Ultimately it is unclear if Tanner Tolbert’s entry into the February NBA contest and this since-cancelled PGA contest was allowed in error, or sanctioned but “closely monitored.” The screencaps show that both of those entries were indeed submitted.
RotoGrinders Director of Media Dan Back said days after the Wild Card Millionaire Maker controversy, “[DraftKings] has always stood by the ‘we investigate things, but we don’t discuss because of privacy reasons or whatnot,’ so we have no idea how many of these other cases they could have even potentially snuffed out, because they don’t tell you that.
“I don’t know if we’re going to get anything non-lawyered from them, but that’s where I stand on it.”
Tolbert’s apparent continued participation on DraftKings is indeed surprising, if not egregious and shocking, to many.
Obviously, there are more important things going on in the U.S. and the world right now, but if DraftKings responds to our queries about this matter, we will update.