A Grinder's Story - Episode 1 How I got Here
Good Afternoon fellow Grinders! This will be a Blogumentary of my journey to become a full time, profitable DFS player. I have been playing DFS since 2012 and a RG member since 2013. I have always been a fairly successful leader and professional with disposable income that I willingly lost playing DFS. I’ve had my share of wins and profitable periods of time but always lacked the willingness, discipline or need to develop beyond that. Like many others, COVID changed my life. After 21 years traveling and moving with work and family, I left Manhattan in 2020 (my most recent work location) as a single, empty-nester and back to the WV area to reconnect with my extended family. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have children and a family to support or a romantic relationship to mess up. I didn’t actively play DFS for about 6 months as the world was adjusting.
Fast forward to January of this year. I played some DFS over the holidays and in January found myself donating and paying rake at a familiar clip. I was “only” playing $100-150/day and for the first time I started using my premium RG benefits by becoming an active member of the NBA discord chat. At the same time, I became aware that I had very little desire to climb the corporate ladder again. I didn’t need as much income as I had previously in my life but wasn’t going to pay the bills with my looks. On a daily basis, in the discord, I saw screenshots of people winning money in a variety of ways. I was also absorbing valuable lessons about the theory of DFS. As has often been the case in my life, the information that wasn’t new to me was finally getting through to me. I had never used the tools available to me as a premium member but the discord chat actively exposed how useful they could be. My savings were limited which was causing anxiety but what I was doing with DFS was not helping. I either needed to stop playing and get a job or take a different approach.
I took a stand and even though it was scary, I decided I needed to play a higher daily volume so I could also be diversified. On Feb 12th, I started that journey with a commitment to treat it like work and use my knowledge and experience of process improvement. My goal at that point was to become a sustainable, profitable player and never redeposit again.
I started by putting $300-$320/ day in play only on DK to start. The breakdown on that is as follows:
- $200 in cash games with at least 60% in H2Hs
- $107 in 20 entry max (.1, .25,.$1, $4)
- The remainder I entered in SE tourneys
I used the tools to create my cash LU, MME pool, and SE LU.
I was terrified which doesn’t make sense as I was losing on a regular basis at the $100-150/day but seeing $300+ entered as my savings was shrinking did feel scary. For brevity, I remained firm and followed that same structure every day. What happened was shocking. The diversity of contests was flattening my results curve. My losing days were not a complete loss. In fact, I didn’t lose more than half my buy-in amount on any day in the first 2 weeks. I was still learning quite a bit and making some mistakes with the tools but saw many nights where my MME contests had chances to win significant money. I was encouraged and continued on that path with a positive attitude. Even on losing days, I was not as bothered by the results because I wasn’t losing everything. After several weeks, I had not redeposited and had actually grown my bankroll. I began to see a path to sustainable income at increased buy in levels and that became my next goal. Increase the bankroll so I can increase my amount in play.
About a month into the process, on March 15th, I did actually have a $13k winning night but outside of that, I had been able to increase my bankroll by nearly $2k in the month by playing every day. The big takeaway wasn’t that I became better at picking players or building lineups. I was approaching the game in a sustainable, consistent way with diversity that allowed me to continue playing and having the chance to win a GPP. That kind of win may only happen once a year or even not at all and wasn’t the real success. The success was sustainable growth – the win has accelerated my journey allowing me to increase my amount in play.
I experimented with a few ways to increase my daily action to varying degrees of success and failure including higher dollar SE,150 max. and multiple sites. With MLB upon us, I decided to limit my increased action on NBA to primarily additional cash games and H2Hs and 150 max on select slates. I’ve been able to get $500-600/ day in play on NBA that way. I started MLB on opening day and expect the same learning curve as I find my sweet spot on contest selection. That will dominate upcoming posts as I can be more detailed about the approach, results and changes. The addition of MLB will allow my daily buy-ins to increase with significant increased diversity as well. As the NBA season begins to wind down, I am planning to replace that with MLB on FanDuel to maintain the increased buy-ins without compromising diversity. My plan is to continue that process and document the results on this blog which should be more exciting and informative going forward. It was important for me to make sure anyone who reads this knows, I am just a regular grinder just like most of this community. If I can do it without thousands of dollars in a starting bankroll, it can happen for anyone. And hopefully the lessons I learn and document will help accelerate someone’s journey at a discount.
Over a year ago, my employer at the time brought in a third party to do some development training. It was unlike any other training delivered in my career because it was all about how to live your best life. The company leadership was committed to the philosophy that success in your personal life would translate into your professional life. As part of that training, I crafted my life purpose statement as a guiding principle for decisions and direction. This blog is a way for me bring my DFS journey in line with that statement:
“To inspire Hope, to experience Genuine Connection, and be part of something Bigger than Myself”
The Grind continues…