Bales Goes Deep: Donald Trump and the Qualities of a GPP Player

Bales Goes Deep: Donald Trump and the Qualities of a GPP Player

By Jonathan Bales (Daily Fantasy Expert), last updated Nov 10, 2015

Jonathan Bales's picture

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.

Earlier this year, I made a bet with a friend that Donald Trump would become the next president of our fine country. This is a fairly wealthy buddy, so he was fine giving me 150-to-1 odds on a $500 bet, i.e. I will owe him $500 if Trump loses, but I’ll be $75k richer if Trump wins the election.

I don’t think Donald Trump would be a good president. Do I want him to win the election? Um, yeah, now I do. I will sell out for $75,000, sure.

However, I never thought Trump would actually win the election, nor do I even think that now. I just thought he was a much better bet than 150-to-1. I believed people were underestimating how “antifragile” he really is; whereas other candidates can be dramatically harmed by a single piece of negative information, pretty much everything said about Trump, good or bad, helps him. Oh, Trump is a freaking lunatic? Yeah, we already knew that.

Trump is currently right around 6-to-1 to win the election. I think he’s probably closer to 10-to-1 in reality, which is more or less where I thought he was when I took the bet. So I believe there’s roughly a 10 percent chance of Trump becoming president, whereas the break-even point for the bet I made was just 0.67 percent. If Trump’s probability of becoming president is indeed around 1-in-10, I would make a ton of money if we could play out this bet thousands of times. Maybe we can in parallel universes, who knows?

But here’s the thing: we can’t play out the bet more than once in this universe. So in all likelihood, I’m going to lose $500. My expected value might be through the roof, but the most likely outcome is to lose money.

I think this is one of the problems with viewing decisions purely in terms of EV; yes, EV matters—and it matters a lot—but there needs to be some sort of adjusting for the probability of things actually happening. If I had only $500 to my name and made this bet thinking Trump was 75-to-1, would that have been smart? EV says yes, but in reality, I’d argue no because I’d go broke over 98 percent of the time.

4for4 DFS Subscription Content

There's more, but it's available only for 4for4 DFS subscribers.

Subscribe Now - Get all the 4for4 DFS Content

If you are a current subscriber, please login here

Filed Under: w9, 2015

We are your friend's secret weapon.

  • Get 4 FREE downloads
  • Receive breaking news alerts & analysis.
  • BONUS: Learn how to play DFS.
  • Battle-Tested by 40,000+ fantasy football diehards since 1999.