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Lesson 3: The Elephant in the Room – Bankroll Management

Justin Van Zuiden (stlcardinals84)

Justin Van Zuiden, aka stlcardinals84, is a popular RotoGrinders contributor and GrindersLive host who routinely finishes in the top 10 of the TPOY race. He’s appeared in numerous live finals and has logged countless six-figure wins in a host of different sports, including five in PGA. Justin is also a main contributor of sports betting picks at ScoresAndOdds

Yes, I know that talking about bankroll management isn’t exactly fun. Nobody wants to talk about being smart with money, much less to hear it from someone else. That being said, there’s definitely some discussion points here, and it’s one of my key points of this course.

With my accounting background, I feel like bankroll management has given me a big edge in DFS and has made the game more viable for me in the long-run.

I come from a background as a 10-year CPA with a full-time accounting job (which I still have). I’m your typical risk-averse accountant, which makes it a bit puzzling that I was drawn to GPP play in DFS, but here we are. The key is that you have to be able to manage your money. With the natural variance that exists in this game, you are going to go through bad stretches.

Variance will hit hard, especially in a sport that is touchdown-dependent like football.

The flip side is that your bankroll is easier to manage with football. We are dealing with 17 weeks plus two or three playoff weeks, if you choose to play those. Basically, it’s a 20 week season. If you play 5% of your starting balance every week, you’re guaranteed not to go broke at least until the final week – and that’s assuming you win no money throughout the year.

While that is an over simplistic example, it’s a good starting point.

Two of the most common questions that gets asked are:

1) How to split play between cash games and GPPs?
2) How much to play each week?

Let’s tackle the first one. This one is simply a matter of personal preference. I haven’t played meaningful amounts of cash games in years. The “80% cash, 20% GPP” rule for building bankroll simply doesn’t ring true anymore.

Everyone is making sharp lineups in cash games, so GPP play is where the money is at. So, the honest answer to that first question is that it depends on YOUR preferred style.

As to the question of how much to play each week, that’s where the fun math comes in. I won’t go through advanced statistical models and the like here, but I generally play 2-4% of my bankroll per slate in the daily sports like NBA and MLB. For the weekly sports like NFL and golf, I will often double that to 4-8%. That gives you a nice combination of upside potential along with limited risk of ruin in the short-term.

The big thing that people often get wrong is with how they define their bankroll. It’s not the amount of money in your checking account. It’s not the amount of money you have in savings. It’s not even your current balance on FanDuel or DraftKings.

The easiest way to define bankroll is the amount of money you would feel comfortable losing over a given time frame.

In other words, if you lost EVERYTHING within this sum of money, you’d still be able to manage your daily life. Define that as your starting bankroll and work from there.

DON’T CHASE LOSSES, either. That is the biggest problem many gamblers have, and it can absolutely ruin you in a hurry in DFS, too. Be smart with your money, and you can be in this for the long haul!

Yes, I know that talking about bankroll management isn’t exactly fun. Nobody wants to talk about being smart with money, much less to hear it from someone else. That being said, there’s definitely some discussion points here, and it’s one of my key points of this course.

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About the Author

  • Justin Van Zuiden (stlcardinals84)

  • Justin Van Zuiden, aka stlcardinals84, is a popular RotoGrinders contributor and GrindersLive host who routinely finishes in the top 10 of the TPOY race. He’s appeared in numerous live finals and has logged countless six-figure wins in a host of different sports, including five in PGA. Justin is also a main contributor of sports betting picks at ScoresAndOdds

Instructor

Justin Van Zuiden, aka stlcardinals84, is a popular RotoGrinders contributor and GrindersLive host who routinely finishes in the top 10 of the TPOY race. He’s appeared in numerous live finals and has logged countless six-figure wins in a host of different sports, including five in PGA. Justin is also a main contributor of sports betting picks at ScoresAndOdds

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