I am by no means an elite player – especially so after stakes and volume are factored in, yet the top guys are familiar enough with me to never sit my h2hs, I don’t sit them either.
Furthermore, it’s pretty clear these guys don’t sit each other for h2h as well, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many available games in the lobby at all times. They are clearly demonstrating careful game selection.
So then why is it in a small cash group (like 10 or less), these same guys will occupy more seats than there are payouts? Not just like 6 seats out of 10 but just about every time I see a 50/50 with on spot left and see who is in there, it’s 9 familiar screen names.
I’m assuming they never take all the seats, leaving one open for overlay/fun players. I understand that one single fun player can cover the rake, but then there is always a chance he cashes and even if he doesn’t, you’re still facing a field of very strong lineups. Is it simply for hope of overlay via the unfilled spot or a fun player joining? In that case then wouldn’t it be implied that you guys own pieces of each other.
For simplicity, let’s say it’s a $10 6 man 50/50 and all the regs are of equal skill.
If they fill all six slots then they will lose $1 or 10% per slate.
If one spot is unfilled they have a positive expected value of $.80 or 8% per slate
If a fun player joins, even if he’s half as likely to cash (very unlikely to be that bad), they still have a negative value
I could spend some time assuming fun player win rates, etc to figure out how often they need the overlay to be profitable but these usually fill and it’d be pretty presumptive of me to both assume it’s always a fun player and what their win rate is.
However, for the life of me, I only see two possibilities here.
1. Some of the top players people write about and often admire lose hundreds of thousands per week
2. Collusion – ie as a group they have a slight edge and they pool that 1-2% etc profit, covering those who fall behind – otherwise why join a 6 man 50/50 when 4 seats are already taken up by top 10 players, if you felt you had the edge you’d just play them heads up wouldn’t you?
Frankly, I lean towards #2 because I don’t imagine if scenario 1 is true that there are that many who could afford to continue this for too long. The mega fish in poker never lasted very long or played infrequently, they didn’t dominate every single slate for several years running.
I come from the poker world, lately been spending more time on DFS. I get it, I’ve been at those tables where all but one seat are regs trying to take turns getting money off the fish but on the same token, they are still playing each other and not simply sitting it out. I’m also familiar with sharing action, owning pieces of other players, but in poker if a group of regs decided to occupy all but one seat and pool winnings that’s not swapping action, that’s downright collusion.
This is just speculation. Please convince me I’m wrong and that among the most recognizable names in DFS, some of them are major fish.