The dream is always the same.

Everything I do turns to gold. My lineup of stars and scrubs hits big. I mean really big. I top 400 points and take home first place in the Mega Slam on Fan Duel and win the big money. My life, which is somewhat crappy at the time, is miraculously fixed in one fell swoop. All my struggles will be no longer. The visit to the dentist I’ve needed to make but couldn’t afford is a problem of the past. The arguments with my girlfriend over whether I should get a real job are now just figments of my imagination. Life is good. Life is grand.

And then I wake up.

People probably aren’t going to like this blog because it’s a hard dose of reality. It’s not a fairy tale. It’s what happens to most people who play daily fantasy sports. I’ve gone busto. Top 200 in the Player of the Year race. Top 500 in the NBA. And my DFS accounts are down to the felt. $55 to be precise.

Now to be honest, I’m still up in my DFS play. I’ve taken out more than I put in. But after my last cash out of $1,000 from Fan Duel… to pay bills I needed to pay due to real life work drying up of late… I left myself with a bankroll of $750. Which is now gone.

Why? Variance. Bad bankroll management. Picking the wrong players at the wrong times. Mainly bad bankroll management as I thought I was infallible. I’d never lost more than 1/3 of what I put into play on a given day so I felt like it was okay to put 25% of my bankroll at risk on a daily basis. That worked fine until I ran into a bad day… and another bad day… and another. Suddenly that $750 was down to $255. I put another $100 at risk and went 0-fer. That’s right, I didn’t win a solitary cent. Down to $200, I did it again and the unthinkable happened. I had back-to-back 0-fer’s.


Raging full-blown monkey tilt.

For the first time in four months, I took a day off from DFS. I took the weekend off. And now I sit here writing this telling you about the reality of DFS. Most people are going to lose at this game. The rake is too high. The variance at times impossible to overcome. But mainly people are impetuous and do as I did and make mistakes. I know I’m not alone. It’s just not something people want to admit or discuss openly because it’s not “good for the game.”

Go back to some of the original RotoGrinder podcasts of some of the big names of the time that were interviewed. Look up their recent results – I did. Some will still be doing well but the majority haven’t played in a while. They’ve either moved on to bigger and better things or more likely have gone busto. It’s the inevitable conclusion for most people who will play DFS. And while people hate to make the comparisons to poker it’s usually what happens to most players. In the end, rake wins. It almost always does.

I’m still going to play DFS, starting from scratch once again, but I need to learn from my mistakes. I need to learn to adhere to the bankroll management principles that made me successful when I first started played. No one is infallible in this game and owning up to that is the first step I need to take.

Dreams are dreams.

Reality is reality.

About the Author

  • Aaron Hendrix (thehazyone)

  • Aaron Hendrix is a former professional poker player who made the transition from season long fantasy sports to DFS in October of 2014. He used to cover poker tournaments for a living until stepping into his current role at RotoGrinders. He can be found on Twitter at @aaronhendrix


  • bhdevault

    • Lead Moderator

    • Blogger of the Month

    Wow.. awesome blog but man, I feel awful for you as you were one guy I compared myself too!

    I wasn’t aware you were playing that much though. I sure hope you turn it around and also hope others out there realize how important bankroll management really is.

  • jmo26

    Great post man, definitely something a lot of people could benefit from reading.

  • thehazyone

    RG Contributor

    • Blogger of the Month

    Thanks. Definitely a lesson learned the hard way. I was chasing the big score and didn’t look at the bigger picture. I had ran so well that I didn’t think a losing streak was possible. Obviously I was wrong. I’ll probably redeposit to $500 but am going to stick with 10% rule. I started out that way and was successful but then greed blinded me.

  • hoffs812

    Always like your posts…was wondering why they were missing lately…i tried to play over my means for awhile and it didnt work out…so now i just am playing one lineup or two a day and hoping they hit

  • huitcinq

    Great post man. Sorry to hear it happened of course, but we don’t hear nearly enough of these stories.

    People that win like to talk and share their success, and people that lose stay quiet. It creates a false sense of prosperity that can enchant players into thinking they’re “due” for their big break.

  • kalcashmoney

    Damn hazy that sucks. I was wondering where you were. This happened to be before and I know the feeling. It really blows.

    Hope you have better results this time going around, I’m rooting for you.

    You are absolutely right – DFS Dreams rarely become a reality. More often than not, people cant succeed making this a living. Its nearly impossible with tax/rake

    I treat DFS purely as a hobby and play as if I’m going to lose every night. If I win, its just a bonus. In other words, don’t play with your mortgage money.

  • thehazyone

    RG Contributor

    • Blogger of the Month

    @kalcashmoney said...

    Damn hazy that sucks. I was wondering where you were. This happened to be before and I know the feeling. It really blows.

    Hope you have better results this time going around, I’m rooting for you.

    You are absolutely righ – DFS Dreams rarely become a reality. More often than not, people cant succeed making this a living. Its nearly impossible with tax/rake

    I treat DFS purely as a hobby and play as if I’m going to lose every night. If I win, its just a bonus. In other words, don’t play with your mortgage money.

    I’ve never played with money needed to pay the bills, so I’ve at least done that part right. :)

    Just a reality check – one I needed tbh.

    Thanks Kal!

  • ldmariodl28

    • Blogger of the Month

    Great blog with reality. I agree that in the end it’s a losing game

  • labo12

    It’s a disease man, be careful making a mother big deposit. Listen to your own words…why not take the high road and move on knowing in the long run we will all probably lose?

  • walterg55

    Reality can suck at times. Hate seeing what happened. We all have our dreams. In my opinion, DFS is a fun thing but turns into bitterness when you expect too much out it. For me, it’s fun but I am at no lifestyle risk and lightning can strike. Keep your head up, move forward and “Illegitami non Carborundum”. (Don’t let the Bastards Grind You Down”. Would miss your insight and posts.

  • Thetruth34

    Hey hazy I left you a personal message in your inbox

  • Reidis4music

    In all facets of life we can easily stand up and say I am the reason for success. It is the reality of the great balance to this concept that most can’t grasp. There has to be a reason, karma, bad luck, the Gods, other people, cursed etc that I am failing….when in reality it is our very own action that leads to any varying degree of demise. I’ve learned this lesson outside of DFS and I’ve learned to first check me before I check every other box. I’m again going to learn from this post, it’s fantastic. A lesson in honest and humility. I play lightly…and have had light success but mostly just breaking even..I need to learn all I can and especially from posts like this because I too like everyone else simply want to “hit it big”…thanks man

  • thehazyone

    RG Contributor

    • Blogger of the Month

    Appreciate the comments guys. Even at my advanced age (I’m in my 40’s), I find that I still make mistakes and need to learn from them on an almost daily basis. I will learn from this and hopefully improve as a DFS player because of it.

  • Lando241

    Good read man. It’s a blind reality that I feel a lot of us(myself included) fail to see at times. We win big and feel invincible, which often times leads to poor decisions and increased loses. Definitely play tight with your bankroll if you keep playing, and maybe try fewer lineups with cash games. Best of luck!

  • Turn2gold

    Sorry to see you Bust Hazy ….Here’s hoping all your dreams Turn2gold …Mine too of course

    Don’t worry Hazy you will be back on top before you know it

  • MrMet1984

    Sounds like you’ve got a good head on your shoulders. Never like to hear someone struggle, but being able to step back and assess the situation is so important in these environments. Good luck going forward dude! It’s obvious, even though I’m a rookie, that everyone has a ton of respect for you.

  • rysportguy

    Great blog…I was living the dream last year and was up $7000 and took out $2000 for savings and now a year later I have lost all of the other $5000 due to bad bankroll management and the competition just getting harder and harder. The great news is you can win 1 gpp all year and be profitable. Now I just gotta go win a gpp sometime soon.

  • STLkid335

    Yep. People get greedy and complacent and out of pure boredom, they up their stakes on a given night for a few nights in a row. Things like this are going to happen then. The downward spiral to ZERO! Bankroll management is far and away the most important thing when it comes to DFS. If you don’t adhere to your own rules, then there is no hope. Any profit is a good profit!

  • benwell311

    Great article, and I bet this rings true with many of us (definitely does for me).

  • justdoneit

    Damn, That was great to hear, the honesty that is. You’ll be back up there, where you haven proven you belong.
    Peace and placing Bro.

  • uncleberms

    • 524

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #81

      RG Tiered Ranking

    I had this very conversation this weekend with a buddy who dropped out of the DFS world recently due to (a) it taking up too much time, (b) it taking up too much money, © the inaccurate perception that having a keen knowledge of the sport and its players puts you at an advantage over other DFS players, and (d) the last minute hysteria between 6-7PM EST of having to adjust lineups on the fly. When you put all of this together, the beautiful thing that is DFS becomes quite frustrating and insurmountable.


    man 10 % percent is recommended for cash.. i heard mcjester say he does a half percent a night as u can go on a 2 week losing streak.. gl in the future

  • kaetorade

    • 2013 DraftStreet DSBBC Finalist

    Damn man. Much respect to you. It must have been real tough to put those thoughts down for everyone to read. I wish you nothing but the best. Good luck moving forward!

  • realdeals

    Great read and best of luck to you! Getmoney, a very small % is in same position as mcjester. 6 fig roll and no other income coming in. If you have a 1000 BR playing $5 or $10 is silly unless your only goal is to never deposit again. Lastly, McJester didn’t get to 6 figs that way playing .5% of his roll. If I had 1000 roll and didnt have the funds to deposit again, I’d play 1 slam a day.

  • jonconnington

    Sorry to hear the situation. Good luck to you moving forward. I am in a similar situation where I just started watching and playing NBA this December. I went an a beginners luck run and won a couple thousand, thought I was great, and reality struck. I lost it all in about 1.5 months and have been playing between $50-$150 every night and losing around 85% on average. So I am in re-evaluate mode now. It sucks, but I know the risk I take playing GPP only.

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