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  • Morley

    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.

  • mambaland

    Of course it is or it is a so called hedge fund mentality. i recently was in a $50 50-50 and out of 10 players 6 had same lineup…so i see it too. I wonder if they really get their h2h auto matched at lock as sites claim. What is amazing is most all the entries in games by the same guys are put in the game in exactly the same order…makes me think one person is doing it or the games are pre made with them already in it LOL

    .obviously you know this but some do not..keeping in mind the purpose of DFS is for us to take each others money by any means that we can. Its not a friendly yahoo league its a place where poker pro’s, people with large bank both known and unknown public people. The rake will defeat and destroy more than any single factor in dfs IMO. The age old strategy of using 1 lineup to dominate the board used to be ithe strategy of a couple players then the idea came up that why not take a group of players and dominate the board with lineups so everyone is basically playing vs that group Football allows the biggest chance to escape as it has more players. There is just nothing really that can or will be done about that. Many articles are available showing what a very low percent win.

    Being from poker world you KNOW that about 6 percent win money and do those same ones win each year? If you do win its not only the rake you paid its now taxes that are cutting you deep. I think DFS replaced the gambling desire or vice many people had and they can just not help themselves from playing until something can replace it for them.

    You can find the sharks money wagered and lost on a given weekend in GPP on various twitter postings or other places where the numbers are broken down

  • rausch180

    Surprising that you come from the poker world and have never experienced regs overestimating their own ability leading to bad games, reg heads up battles or just plain fighting for the lobby. All of these explain the situation as well.

    Probably most the high $ heads up games are regs battling each other if we’ve moved in to the realms of just speculation.

  • rausch180

    @Morley said...

    Please convince me I’m wrong and that among the most recognizable names in DFS, some of them are major fish.

    SaahilSud famously took on Condia in NFL and took over $1m off him, then he himself battled in cash vs just about everyone and seemingly lost it all and disappeared.

  • Morley

    @rausch180 said...

    Surprising that you come from the poker world and have never experienced regs overestimating their own ability leading to bad games, reg heads up battles or just plain fighting for the lobby. All of these explain the situation as well.

    Probably most the high $ heads up games are regs battling each other if we’ve moved in to the realms of just speculation.

    regs who overestimate their ability don’t stay regs for very long, these guys are icons of dfs with some real longevity

  • Morley

    @rausch180 said...

    SaahilSud famously took on Condia in NFL and took over $1m off him, then he himself battled in cash vs just about everyone and seemingly lost it all and disappeared.

    and it wouldn’t be famous at all if this were a typical dfs slate occurrence, much like the New York Times won’t report upon the Cheerios my nephew had for breakfast but probably would report it if he murdered a visiting head of state

    thank you for helping inadvertently emphasizing my point

    these guys join every small field cash game regardless of entry fee and yet suddenly above sitting against me, just another anonymous reg. They’ll gladly fight 6 ways for 3 payouts against 4 of the ten best in the world and some random dude than take on lowly me heads up?

    I simply can’t see how they aren’t coordinating it, figured they’ll have a slight edge as a group and share bankrolls for the endeavor to mitigate variance as otherwise, inevitably at least half would lose money on this and wouldn’t continue to do it every day, non stop as the margin would be way too low to ensure profitability on an individual basis.

    It’s not even automated either, it happens on Yahoo too and Yahoo forbids scripting.

  • rausch180

    It was only famous because both players talked about it. The fact that a number of “icons” have disappeared or if you look at the right twitter accounts have cut their action to almost nothing on previous years in the big NFL tournaments probably suggests there is an unsaid churn on top players. There is also a survivor bias as well where the ones we see today compared to 4 years ago or even 2 years ago, could be the elite ones of the group so can deal with the bad games in order to get the good position in the lobby for other games.

    Maybe there is some implicit collusion where players go easier on names they know and fight other new regs trying to break through. That you probably can empathize with given your previous post on the ethics of bumhunting, where you said that you completely stopped joining all of a regs contests even though you knew you were beating them. Effectively inadvertently colluding with another reg in a sense to cover more of the lobby.

    Incidentally you also identified that there was another player you always had near identical lineups with, but said their pivots are usually better than your own. If you improved it sounds a lot like you’d land on the same pivots as that player? Are you now part of the collusion and sharing profits with them or have just converged on the same answer?

  • Morley

    I don’t understand why you are going into personal attacks and red herrings, you can just disagree and state your case.

    You just open up with a condescending attitude and instead of pointing out rational thoughts (like I said this is just a whim, just trying to drive discussion on it – I in no sense have any proof or justification other than I can’t wrap my head around why they would do this unless some of the top high volume guys are fish or there is some collusion involved). I was very clear, I can definitely and most likely am wrong, I’m just trying to understand it. I guess that makes me an asshole huh?

    Instead of engaging, you just talk down to me and point out a bunch of unrelated speculation and non-sense.

    Seriously man, there’s no need for this. You having a bad day or something?

  • rausch180

    Opinion posts on widespread collusion and cheating in DFS that aren’t based on facts are damaging to the game for no real reason, but to damage it and dissuade people from playing. It then becomes popular opinion that the games are fixed, even the huge single entry fields, all ghost accounts and some people believe that and stop playing.

    The post I replied to changed drastically whilst I replied to it as well.

    I stated a case where you converge on the same team whilst having no contact with the other person, which is something you have experienced so it should be at least somewhat relatable. The same reason they don’t play you heads up might be the same reason you don’t play someone you’re beating heads up, which is something you’ve also experienced. Why are these outside the bounds of all possibility for other people and it has to be collusion, yet they are things you both identify as happening to yourself with other regs completely harmlessly?

  • rausch180

    Write a new post, rather than edit a whole bunch of stuff each time 20 minutes later. It makes it impossible where the things people respond to completely change each time.

  • sochoice

    • 2017 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2017 FanDuel WFFC Champion

    Convince me you understand math and the economics of your silly premise.

  • Morley

    I don’t obviously, I stated such pretty clearly, I see something happening, it confuses me so I’m here to seek the wisdom of the crowd. If I understood it, I wouldn’t be asking about it. Hence the discussion, would you care to enlighten us?

  • Trappist1

    I am sure syndicate play and collusion exists in DFS. Can we prove it in every instance ? No. Is that our job ? No. Think it is best to take the matter to the platforms as a game integrity issue and let them deal with it. Posting it in a forum and asking others to convince you is not ideal, as you will end up hearing opinions. Opinions are not facts though. If you believe the platform you are playing at do not take game integrity issue seriously, I will consider stopping playing there and move on.

  • mambaland

    prove it or not there is nothing wrong or against the rules in it…whatever it takes to win is what the rules are

  • Trappist1

    @mambaland said...

    prove it or not there is nothing wrong or against the rules in it…whatever it takes to win is what the rules are

    Wrong! The platforms have clear policies that prohibit collusion/syndicate playe and they should enforce game integrity as the highest priority. If they adapt as you say whatever it takes to win is what the rules are then they will eventually face a class action lawsuit and get shut down. Before you sign up to any platform, take time to read their policies, terms and conditions as that is legally enforceable.

  • jayk123

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    in the situation you’re describing, where say, the first 5 spots from a 6 man are taken by well known strong players, who do you think takes the 6th seat? other regs look at the lineup and say “no thanks”. casual players don’t care who’s in the game, and click into it no worries.

    it’s not collusion – it’s just good business to be one of the early entrants, and get in before the tipping point hits where no-one can rationally enter anymore, leaving space for only irrational entrants. of course, you have to be good enough yourself not to be a weak link in the chain, otherwise the regs will keep clicking in because you’re there.

    as for why people are taking thin edges like that, have you ever tried to get h2h action at decent stakes? i joined DK a few months ago, and even as a new player starting off without an experience badge, i could barely get any action at $50+. you pretty much have to scrap for whatever you can find. so, a lot of people are just trying to conjure up action. and then there are obviously a couple of apex predators per sport that are actually making money even off the other regs.

    really what you’re thinking of as collusion is just oppressive rake. no-one wants to battle anyone else good because 10% rake is too penal on coinflips. so people don’t want to play other good players h2h, but they do want to generate action. so they sit games in the lobby and eventually casual players click in to the wall of death.

  • mambaland

    Morley or anyone…. i have a question that maybe poker player could help with..is there anyway to combat the high taxes on winning…rake is bad but taxes make long term gain impossible. any suggestions or tips

  • mambaland

    @Trappist1 said...

    Wrong! The platforms have clear policies that prohibit collusion/syndicate playe and they should enforce game integrity as the highest priority. If they adapt as you say whatever it takes to win is what the rules are then they will eventually face a class action lawsuit and get shut down. Before you sign up to any platform, take time to read their policies, terms and conditions as that is legally enforceable.

    rules evidently do not apply or are not applied so i suggest to that degree there is nothing wrong as syndicate is obvious…the same guys for 5 years with same lineups speaks to that

  • Trappist1

    It is hard to prove it, same lineups is not enough by itself alone. If there is slate with obvious chalky plays or the ‘free squares’ as they are called and we end up with similar builds. If the platforms collect enough evidence there are syndicates who are colluding, no reason for them not to take action. They could be transparent and explain actions they have taken, but we do not know what litigation they are involved in as well. On a personal level, I will move away from a platform if i see they do not care about game integrity.

  • timusbr

    I am a skeptic and I believe….
    where a significant amount of money is to be had, a few people will work together to better their relative position vs the others.

    I dont think that this applies to everyone… or to all slates/sports/contests.

    I do believe that if you look at the top players, You will notice they all have played in or regularly play in all The DK and FD events that bring them together in a hotel for an extended weekend. I believe that they have an opportunity to get to know one another and perhaps take the time to talk to one another. While the people are just names to you and I. They are competition, friends, or acquaintances to each other.

    proving it….never will happen. I just say the opportunity exists. They all know the landscape of DFS. They all are experts. It wouldn’t be surprising that some of them, work the numbers and the angles.

    LOL, working angles isnt against any DFS rules. One reason is….If it is questioned, they can deny and DK/FD will roll over, because they are a significant source of income to the service providers. It is in the service providers interest to keep them playing. More so them then me and perhaps you.

  • kcroyalty29

    I can’t speak for Fan Dual because I don’t play there – but there is 1000000% collusion going on with around 8 high stakes players on Draft Kings. I have been playing $109 H2H and 50/50’s (several each Sunday) for three years now and keep lineups each week of competitors so I know which to target and which to try and fade. Let’s just say, several ALWAYS are in the same 50/50 (literally around 92% of time) and have the identical lineup or only one player different in an astounding 68% of cases (out of 23 weeks).

    The good thing is, if you are a good DFS player, it makes it very easy to win, because their plays become very obvious each week. It gets to the point on short slates where I can predict within 1-2 players in their 9 person lineup. That’s a MAJOR advantage.

    So, it’s not all bad. And in cash games, get to know your opponent as much as the team you field. It helps you understand why things do and don’t work, yes, but also gives you an idea of which sharks are actually fish.

  • bhdevault

    • Lead Moderator

    • Blogger of the Month

    Keep in mind the actual policy. It’s not colluding when building a lineup with another person. It’s colluding when you circumvent the 150 limit by teaming with another individual.

    https://www.draftkings.com/lp/community-guidelines

  • dolphinkick182

    @Trappist1 said...

    Wrong! The platforms have clear policies that prohibit collusion

    Actually FD has no rules against collusion beyond their employees.

  • Trappist1

    @dolphinkick182 said...

    Actually FD has no rules against collusion beyond their employees.

    Okay, then they asking for troubles ahead. It make sense to have clear policies beyond their employees.

  • Morley

    @mambaland said...

    Morley or anyone…. i have a question that maybe poker player could help with..is there anyway to combat the high taxes on winning…rake is bad but taxes make long term gain impossible. any suggestions or tips

    There’s a number of ways, you can probably find them discussed on 2+2 but main avoidance is living abroad

  • Morley

    @bhdevault said...

    Keep in mind the actual policy. It’s not colluding when building a lineup with another person. It’s colluding when you circumvent the 150 limit by teaming with another individual.

    https://www.draftkings.com/lp/community-guidelines

    yeah but the discussion wasn’t if they shared lineups but rather if they were pooling financial resources (which is also how you’d circumvent the 150 limit by working as a team as well, no point in splitting 300 lineups 2 ways if the winnings aren’t shared as well)

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