Several years ago, I played poker professionally. I did it full-time for about a year, but then found out my wife was pregnant with our first kid and the swings in poker was not something I wanted to endure with a kid on the way. Needless to say, it was a fun year.
A big key to surviving the grind (whether in poker or DFS), aside from being a good player, is bankroll management. For those who are not aware of what this means, let me explain: your bankroll is the amount of money you are willing to put into play. This is not the amount that you have in your DraftKings or FanDuel account, I will reiterate, it is the amount of money you are willing to put into play. For instance, if you have $500 on whatever site you play on but are only willing to put $300 of it into play, then you bankroll is $300, not $500. It is as simple as that.
WHAT’S YOUR GOAL?
First and foremost, what is your goal for the season? Are your intentions to deposit a specific amount and make it last through the entire season, or are you planning on depositing a set amount each week (if needed), playing that sum of money weekly? For example, are you depositing $500 Week 1 and making that last through the season or are you willing to deposit $500 each week and put that into play? Be honest with yourself about your intentions and set your goals before playing because these are important things you need to know, as it allows you to plan properly.
WHAT TYPE OF PLAYER ARE YOU?
There are players that like to play cash games, others that like to play tournaments, and those that play both. Each of those contests are different and have a different approach, so knowing what type of player you are puts you in a position to make wise choices as to what games to play. If you are risk-averse you do not want to lose all of your money or any money, so you might choose to play the games that will not earn you life changing money, but your chances of cashing are much higher (cash games). If you have a higher risk tolerance, then you might be more interested in taking more chances with tournaments because some of these do have big payouts, but these also come with more variance. Figuring out what type of player you are and what your strengths are is also important.
HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU PUT IN PLAY?
This is the question that is asked the most by those who are starting to play or even those who have been playing for a while, but might be trying to get better with bankroll management. Personally, I do not like investing more than 20 percent of my bankroll on average. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule and some weeks where I am willing to invest more than 20 percent, while there are other times where I might not invest more than 10 percent.
Each week in DFS is a different week when it comes to football. There are going to be slates where you feel strongly about your lineup and feel like you have a bigger edge that week than others because of pricing, roster construction, or any other reason you might have. This is the week you want to invest a little bit more than 20 percent. Other weeks, pricing is stiff, the slate does not offer the best games, and/or the available contests on the site you play on are not that great. When this occurs, it could be in your best interest to put in play a little less than you normally do. Remember, the season is 17 weeks long so there is no need to force yourself to invest a ton on weeks where you just don’t feel good about a slate. Save it for the following week where you might feel awesome about the games.
Of the 20 percent that you are putting in play, you should be allocating at least 70 percent of it in cash games and 30 in tournaments. Of course this can vary on a weekly basis, but the goal should always be to invest more in cash games because it is the game with the least variance. The cash games to target are 50/50s and double-ups. These are offered in multi-entry and single-entry, both are viable options, but going the single-entry method should be the first option as you would be avoiding all the sharp players maxing out in the multi-entry cash games.
Of the 30 percent you put in play for tournaments, consider playing single-entries, three-max, and smaller field with most of it, and of course, if you want to toss a small percentage of the 30 percent into a large field huge guarantee, feel free to. That said, limit the amount you invest into these because they are high variance and you can burn through your bankroll chasing that big payout. The same can be said about qualifiers.
The allocation of the money you are investing each week is as important as the amount you put in play. Putting your money in the best possible return on invest situation is the best way to keep your bankroll growing and making it last.
Take advantage of any bonuses or promotions that some of these sites offer. At times it is free money and this can help you beef up your bankroll. On DraftKings they offer crowns which can be converted into tickets. Make sure you check before you register into your contests what the daily “mission” is because at times they offer plenty of crowns depending on how much you buy in for. For example, sometimes they offer 900 crowns if you buy into a tournament of at least $50.
Sometimes contests do not fill for whatever reason and there is an overlay. This does not happen all the time, but when it does happen it is something you should be taking advantage of because this is a solid way to beef up the bankroll. For example, if there is a $20,000 guaranteed prize pool for a $50 tournament and only 300 people are registered very close to lock, you may want to jump into it so long as it is within your bankroll. You see, that means that there are only $15,000 in buy-ins, but the site still has to payout $20,000 and you do not have to face as many players as you normally would.
Who does not like free money? If you are not raising your hands right now or pointing both thumbs at yourself, saying “this guy” or “this girl,” I don’t believe you. Most sites offer free rolls every week and even though the payouts are small, and the fields are huge, at the end of the day it is free money, so take advantage of these and join them.
PLEASE DO NOT!
Ok so I am saving the best for last because this is something that is very important. Chances are if you are part of the #EliteMafia you will have a strong week. It is going to feel awesome, you will be sweating as the final game is near the end, and you will be celebrating your score. Just because you win though, do not, and I repeat DO NOT, automatically jump into higher stakes, start playing different games, or play a larger percentage of your bankroll than you initially planned on.
Be smart my people, it is important that you stick to your plan and focus on your goals. It is easy to lose sight of that and start playing games with tougher competition, above your bankroll, and that do not go hand-in-hand with your strengths. This could lead to major dents to your bankroll. Keep playing the contests you were playing and maybe just add a little more volume.
Remember, when you hit a nice score do not forget to reward yourself. Cash some of that money out and leave only the amount you are willing to put in play the rest of the way.
#EliteMafia I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions, you can always find me on the Twitter machine @Armando_Marsal