Can I Train Myself To Take On More Risk?
I’m an extremely safe person in real life. I’m probably the only Asian person who doesn’t eat sushi because I cannot tolerate the dangers of consuming raw fish. I always get the same ice cream flavors because to deviate from cookies & cream is too risky. I drive at (or below) the speed limit.
Yet the irony is I mainly play tournaments rather than cash games. I believe our personalities are reflected in our DFS lineups. The reason why I’ve probably never taken down a GPP yet is because I don’t have the fortitude to roster a guy like Geronimo Allison in a Millionaire Maker.
I always like to review the winning lineups of the GPPs I play in and ask myself, “Would I have ever gotten there?” The answer many nights is, “No.” Let’s use a real life example. Recently, someone won the DraftKings NBA Four Point Play with a 0.4% owned Jodie Meeks and a 1.2% owned Kyle O’Quinn. I have no idea how he landed on this lineup (maybe he bought it off a lineup seller on Twitter). Even though it was only a $4 buy-in, which is basically the cost of a Starbucks coffee, I don’t think I’d ever have the guts to plug in Jodie Meeks. This guy did and came away with $50,000, enough to buy several Jodie Meeks jerseys.
Some people are born with a YOLO mindset and it works to their advantage in GPPs. And that’s my biggest fault as a tournament player. I can’t get myself to play someone so off the board like Jodie Meeks. My goal as a DFS player is to constantly evaluate myself and my processes, which led me to the question, “Can I train myself to take on more risk?” Can I change my mindset to get to a point where I could submit a lineup with a player like Meeks or Timofey Mozgov or Zaza Pachulia, all of whom have been in the winning lineups of the Four Point Play recently. This is important to me because baseball is just around the corner and baseball is the ultimate variance sport. Some random guy like Cameron Maybin or Andrew Benintendi is going to double dong when you least expect it, and I want to be there for it.
I’ve read that it takes 30 days to form a habit, so I’ve decided to spend the next 30 days in both real life and in DFS to look for opportunities that bring me out of my comfort zone. My hope is that I can start building up my tolerance for risk and work on my willingness to be more contrarian. Keep in mind that risk doesn’t mean doing something stupid or dangerous. I’m not going to run across the freeway or drink spoiled milk – that’s dumb. But maybe instead of cookies & cream, I spin the wheel at the ice cream store and eat whatever flavor it lands on. Maybe I try a piece of sushi and see what the fuss is all about. Maybe I take a different route into work, or order a different type of sandwich than I normally do at the deli. Maybe I build rosters with players listed as questionable in the late games after lineup lock, or roster players that no lineup optimizer would ever consider to be optimal. And in time, maybe I’ll be able to land on Jodie Meeks.
If this post resonates with you as someone who struggles with risk tolerance in DFS, join me in fighting the safety and security that plagues our lineup building. Maybe you too can take steps these next 30 days to stretch outside of your DFS comfort zone.