Staking Bales: My Second Week of Losses in 2013

Staking Bales: My Second Week of Losses in 2013

By Jonathan Bales (Daily Fantasy Expert), last updated Oct 8, 2013

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Jonathan Bales is a DraftKings Pro and the author of the Fantasy Football for Smart People book series. His latest book, How to Win at Daily Fantasy Sports, is a data-driven guide to winning on DraftKings. He is also (unofficially) sponsored by GrubHub.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @BalesFootball.

Prior to Week 5, I told you I’d be taking my shot at a big payday.

I think I’m going to lose money in Week 5. No really, if I could get even money on whether or not I’ll be profitable in Week 5, I think I’d take the ‘no’ side of that bet.

I think my expectation for the week might look something like this:

60% chance of -$100

20% chance of breaking even

20% chance of +$600

The potential outcomes are of course more diversified, but if that’s the general structure, my expectation would be +$60. I’d be profitable over the long run, but I’d lose money most weeks. If you’re the type of person who can’t 1) psychologically deal with losing money most weeks or 2) properly manage your bankroll to absorb consistent losses, then playing a lot of tournaments isn’t the right move for you.

I was wrong. The list of possibilities should have included a 0.0001% chance of losing $162.93, because that’s what happened. Indeed, I should have hedged against a poor week by betting even money. Any takers this week?

In all seriousness, this sort of week is a very real possibility when you play more tournaments than normal. I ended up whiffing on all of my DraftKings tournaments, which isn’t usual for me given their payout structure. In the end, here’s how the week turned out on each site.

 

Site

Start

Finish

Net

FanDuel

1145.18

1157.66

12.48

DraftKings

501.60

374.60

-127.00

StarStreet

420.56

420.56

0

DraftDay

282.39

233.98

-48.41

     

-162.93

 

 

I didn’t play any heads-up matches on StarStreet, instead transferring more money to FanDuel, where I profited only $12.48 this week. I’ve been profitable at FanDuel every single week this year, and this is actually the first time I ended up making less than $71 in a week.

Including DraftDay, I ended up losing $35.93 in heads-up matches this week. When combined with the 0-for in the tournaments, the results weren’t pretty.

 

Bankroll Management

The good news is that my bankroll management appears solid. I placed $127 into tournaments in Week 5—just 5.3 percent of my pre-weekend bankroll of $2,418.63. That’s actually on the low end when you consider 1) I was purposely trying to play aggressively and 2) DraftKings pays out the top quarter of entrants in most tournaments.

So in the worst-possible week for tournaments and a below-average week in heads-up matches, I lost just 6.7 percent of the total bankroll. That’s a good sign that I’m going to be able to stay in the game because most weeks will be much better than this one. I would need 15 straight weeks as poor as this one to go bankrupt (even if I didn’t change the percentage of my bankroll in play each week), and that would never happen.

 

Results to Date

So through five weeks, here’s how I’m looking:

 

Site

Start

Finish

Net

FanDuel

600

1157.66

557.66

DraftKings

600

374.60

-225.40

StarStreet

400

420.56

20.56

DraftDay

400

233.98

-166.02

     

+186.80

 

 

Still up 186.80 on the year—decent, but not really what I was hoping for through five weeks.

These site-specific results are also a good example of why you can’t necessarily look only at the + - on each site. I’m playing almost solely tournaments on DraftKings, for example, so we’d naturally expect much more volatile results. I’ll continue to take my shots there because cashing big is a bit of a black swan event, meaning we’ll see steady small losses before a very large jump in profits.

I’ll detail my Week 6 strategy later in the week after I look over some of the values, but I’ll likely play it a bit more conservatively for a few weeks, grinding out profits before taking some more shots at big cashes down the line.

Filed Under: w6, 2013

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