PACKHAM'S PUNCH: CASH GAME NIGHTLY DILEMMA
This is a weekly article to discuss my thoughts regarding playing cash games. Cash games are generally considered to be Head to Head, Double Ups, 50/50’s, Triple-ups, as well as small multi-player (3-20 players) games where your chances of cashing are 33% or higher. In previous articles we have discussed how to choose your cash game contest as well as how to build that lineup each night.
Cash Lineup Strategy…Studs and Duds vs. Balanced Lineup?
I have been thinking about this subject since I started playing DFS over a year ago. I remember last year, every time Russell Westbrook was on the slate, I would agonize over this decision all day long. I would build lineups with and without him. I was putting in 3K players that I hadn’t even heard of but saw that they may have an edge that night and it made my lineup work.
I have a 13-year old daughter, Kylee, that would love to meet Little Jimmy someday. (I say when she’s much older as I don’t trust that boy for a second). Anyhow… she told me over the weekend that she has a science project due next month and handed me the paper and instructions. Ugh. However, this gave me an idea…
Why don’t we conduct our own DFS science fair project? Subject: Studs/Duds vs. Balanced.
Steps of the Scientific Method:
1. Observe a Problem. Our problem is trying to find a pattern to which type of lineup construction is most profitable, most consistently, slate dependent.
2. Hypothesis. My initial hypothesis, based on opinions I’ve read from several “experts” in the industry, is that balanced lineups are better on large slates and Studs/Duds are more effective on smaller slates.
3. Conduct the Experiment. Over the next 30 main slates, I will build 2 main cash lineups for each night. I will enter both lineups into a large double up contest on DraftKings to decrease variance and try to get in a stable cash line. I will also enter these two lineups in single entry tournaments. I will measure my standard deviation from cash line for each lineup. Further, I will deem each slate as either small (2-5 games), medium (6-9 games) or large (10+ games).
4. Analyze Data and Draw Conclusion. Once the data is all collected and analyzed I will have a follow up article in early January that will hopefully help us all become more profitable cash players.
Many of you may not know my “day job” is as a Physician Assistant in a very busy Orthopedic Clinic near Salt Lake City, Utah. Over the past decade or so… there has been a push to practice medicine with what is termed an “Evidence-based” approach. This means, try not to do a procedure, or prescribe a medicine, or treatment, unless the approach has been thoroughly vetted through studies and research.
Now I know that DFS is not practicing medicine… but I often wonder if performing some “evidence-based” research to help us become more successful players… even more successful research-based players wouldn’t help all of us out. So, I’m going to use some of the same principles used to conduct a successful medical study to my DFS study.
Trust “The Process”
When conducting an experiment, you need to take out variance as much as possible.
So… for each slate, I will pick 5 “core” players priced between $4500-$7500 dk dollars to leave around $20K DK dollars for the last 3 spots. These 5 players will be used in both lineups and they are the controls. (or control group per se) The remainder of each lineup will provide the variables which form the experimental group from the scientific method.
Example from Thursday November 30th Lineups:
Core Players (31.3K)
1. L Williams 7.3K
2. R Rubio 5.7K
3. D Saric 4.9K
4. A Horford 6.8K
5. D Favors 6.6K
Studs/Duds (18.3) Balanced (18.6)
6. Giannis 11.1K 6. G Harris 5.6K
7. A Johnson 3.8K 7. Bledsoe 6.8K
8. Bayless 3.4K 8. R Covington 6.2K
I will use players that I personally would feel are the best plays of the day from a “cash” perspective. Even though I will enter a single-entry tournament as well for data collection purposes.
I would very much like your input into this process as I move forward for it and any suggestions in the slack channel to @cpackham007 would be awesome.
Good luck Everybody and wish me luck on my experiment. As they used to say on the “X-Files” … the answer is out there!
If there are any other studies, you would like me to pursue in the future please reach out to me.
Next Week I will explore the best DK contests to enter. Is it best for a cash player to just play a bunch of Head to Heads or are large field double-ups better? Maybe 3-man or 10-player or 40-players? We will dive into that next week on Packham’s Punch.