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Yahoo Bankroll Challenge, Week 2: Playing with Real Cash

For more information on the Yahoo Bankroll Challenge and to read the recap from each week, click here.

After converting some YSRP into real dollars last week, I now had a bankroll to fire some bullets at contests with cash entry fees. I was riding high -- I turned $0 in $5.80 in one week, and given my DFS experience, I figured I would plow through the QuickMatches and No Veteran contests to double or triple my money in no time. 

Week 2 starting $ balance: $5.80
Week 2 ending $ balance: $4.60
Week 2 starting YSRP balance: 1200
Week 2 ending YSRP balance: 12

Yep, I lost money for the week, but there are a few takeaways. Here are some of the strategies I used this week with advice on how to implement them on other DFS sites:

Strategy #1: Know your strengths and weaknesses

After years of record-keeping, I have a pretty good idea of where I’m profitable in DFS. Usually, my worst sports and slates are the ones where I haven’t invested a ton of effort into researching optimal strategies. Novel concept, right?

And honestly, I couldn’t have started the Yahoo bankroll challenge at a worse time since historically two of my least profitable slate types have been NFL short slates (4 or less games) and NBA (of any size), and that’s all there really was to play for the first two weeks in January. 

Also, I rarely play low-risk contests because of how I think about the game, yet a majority of the “easy targets” in the beginning phase of this challenge are of the low-risk variety. 

Small sample size warning, but here are my results by sport and contest type on Yahoo so far:

NBA Profits: $3.60
NFL Profits: -$3.00
NHL Profits: $4.00

H2H Win %: 33%
50/50 Win %: 28%
GPP ROI: 1000% (just two entries)

How to implement this on FanDuel or DraftKings: Track your results & opponents. Understand which slates fit your strengths, and don’t force action in unfamiliar sports or contest types for significant portions of your bankroll.

Strategy #2: Know the lineup & scoring differences for each site

I was happy to see NHL return on Wednesday, as I could now put a focus on a sport where I’ve been historically profitable. So I create my first lineup and notice 1) this is hard af to make lineups because of the salaries, and 2) wtf you get/lose points for On Ice +/-? 

So while the concepts of the sport remained the same, I had to adjust my strategy for Yahoo specifically by using cheaper stacks and understanding the added risk/reward of stacking due to the +/- category.

How to implement this on FanDuel or DraftKings: Know the scoring and rules! Certain players and strategies may be better fits on one site or the other.

Strategy #3: Avoid big baller syndrome (I didn’t)

When you get a taste of a big score or great lineup,  your brain inevitably thinks I am the greatest DFS player ever, no one can stop me now. You then usually play above the means of your bankroll, almost always lose, then find yourself clicking the deposit button.

As a DFS professional against casual players, I thought for sure I would just run through the competition at above average win rates. So, once $5.80 entered my account, I loaded up on $1 and $2 No Veteran leagues and QuickMatch H2Hs. 

Well, there’s still the problem of I fucking suck at NBA and NFL short slates and H2Hs. Plus, variance and all that jazz. I still have to grind my bankroll and respect the risk of ruin in DFS. 

In my defense, the one issue with this small of a bankroll on Yahoo is that the cheapest No Veteran contests and QuickMatches are $1, so if I want to take advantage of weaker competition (in theory), I need to risk a sizable portion of my bankroll. 

How to implement this on FanDuel or DraftKings: Don’t get too overconfident after a big win / stretch and don’t get too down after a losing streak. Keep a level head and stick to your bankroll plan.

Week 2’s Pivotal Moment

After losing a large portion of my cash bankroll, I was down to 60 cents in my account on NHL opening night. I still had some outs for YSRP, but I really need to build the cash in my account so I can stop calling friends to lure them into my multi-level marketing Yahoo points referral scheme. 

Fortunately, variance hit and I turned 25 cents into $5 in an NHL GPP:

yahoo bankroll nhl week 2

Basically back to where we started the week! 

Next Steps

IGNORE the hell of a sport that is NBA. Focus on NHL high-risk contests where I’ve historically been profitable. Keep losing PGA Free QuickMatches to lower my ranking and gauge the difficulty levels in PGA contests. Don’t go broke. Don’t beg a friend for a referral bonus.

For any questions about the bankroll challenge, hit up Brian on Twitter. For more information on bankroll management, contest selection, and long-term DFS strategy, read our flagship e-book, The Ultimate Guide