NHL $1,000 to $5,000 Challenge: UPDATE

NHL Challenge Update

I’ve been getting a bunch of messages here on Rotogrinders and on Twitter about when I’m going to be continuing the challenge, so I figured I would take an opportunity here to discuss a few different things and kind of outline what I envision going forward.

DFS / Work / Life Balance

I imagine most of you don’t play DFS full time. What I mean by “full time” is that DFS is your job and primary source of income. I certainly don’t. I work a standard 9-5 (often more like 9-10) job. It can sometimes be a struggle to set aside enough time for proper research and lineup building when you add writing a daily premium article & rankings on top of that. Obviously I have to prioritize work and don’t want my performance at the office to suffer due to me spending too much time on DFS. I also don’t want my DFS performance to suffer due to insufficient time to properly research and construct lineups. Initially, I thought the blog / challenge would be an awesome way to review my process and engage with a bunch of people on the same grind on a daily basis. After writing them for a week, it became quite clear quite quickly that writing a thoughtful blog with regularity is really time consuming. It’s definitely possible that the timing was just bad as I got hit with a crazy busy work week, but I think my original blog plan was definitely too ambitious.

I also started to struggle with the challenge rules and bankroll limits I had laid out. I didn’t want to exceed that % limit I had established, but I also wanted to be able to put the lineups in tournaments that had decent payout structures and substantial returns. This was probably affecting my play adversely. I am not a big tournament player, but when I do play NHL GPPs, I typically run out more than the 2 lineups I was utilizing in the challenge. Also, it’s a bit weird to play lineups in a “challenge” and then have other action on the side, which I found myself doing pretty much every night.

What to do going forward?

I noted some of the things I’ve been struggling with regarding the challenge above, but I also want to take a moment to acknowledge the positives I noticed throughout the first few blogs. First of all, they seemed to be really well received by the community and the level of interaction here and on Twitter was awesome. The DFS community is a highly competitive one, but simultaneously most of the people are quite smart and willing to engage in thoughtful discussion. Also, there is clearly a lot of merit to looking back and reviewing your lineups. This isn’t something I’ve done in a structured way in the past, but forcing myself to do it was beneficial.

I want to find a way to maintain that level of engagement and interest, but to also continue to pressure myself to closely critique my play. I suppose I also want to shed myself of the confines of the daily updates and, perhaps, the restrictive rules of the challenge. What I’m thinking about doing right now is a weekly or bi weekly blog analyzing my play from a recent slate. Given that I lost in every blog I posted already, I think it’s clear that the point of this is to be real and honest and not to be self-aggrandizing. I may post on a winning night or I may post on a losing night, but I hope to achieve the same level of depth with the write-ups.

What do you guys think?

Does this sound like a good plan? Something you will still want to read?

Any alternative ideas?

About the Author

  • nhlwld

    I think this would give us all perspective on how to look at our own lineups and the mistakes we made etc. So yes this would be worth your effort for us to read and would be appreciated.

  • jettyray

    I have the occasion to look at your lineups as well as some others that provide content here (Boggs, Jay, Pepsi, Tony). Win or lose, I would find it interesting to understand the thought process that went into any given lineup. Whether it be pure numbers and research based, a hedge against other lineups you may have, a gut feeling on a play or two, or any combination thereof. If you have the time, I am sure there would be a willing and grateful audience.

  • barry

    I like the idea of not locking yourself into a set schedule for the challenge. Like you said, most of us have to balance work and dfs too. I would be interested to see you include info about that in the blog – basically things like saying why you chose to play a certain slate, how much time you were able to spend on research/lineup building, etc..

  • jpb16

    What I have liked best about your blog so far is that you have had to make choices. It isn’t like some of the other players who seem to simply set exposure levels. I don’t roll out 100 lineups a night — not sure about the other readers here — so I am choosing between a few lines that I think could go off that night instead of creating a big pool of lineups.

    Therefore, I am wondering if it would be easier for you to pick one or two 6+ game slates per week and play a single-entry GPP that is in accord with the challenge / bankroll. You could do all of your research and make the tough choices knowing you only get one lineup, yet that research could aid you in generating the other lineups that would otherwise play in addition (or “on the side” of the challenge). I think this would accomplish using game theory appropriate to whatever the entry limit is for that GPP and the buyin level, so we wouldn’t lose that. I also think that a single entry GPP could still have the upside to get to that 5k mark, and possibly even lower the variance.

    Just an idea. I understand the time constraints, but it may be win-win for all of us. One or two good blog posts a week might be easier for us to take in and study than 4 or 5 that we might otherwise skim through.

  • ThreeZeroThree

    I think you’re smart to realize that your schedule and the challenge constraints don’t fit your life or the way you prefer to play. Personally, I enjoy following these kinds of “X to Y” challenges, but I’m much more interested in getting a little perspective into how people smarter than myself play DFS. I’d love to read a weekly or biweekly blog discussing the slates you played and your approach.

    Best of luck to you and I will look forward to your next blog.

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