Perhaps invoking Jimmy Carter while in the midst of a DFS funk is not the best way of appealing to the overlords of fortune. I vaguely recall Jimmy Carter’s (in)famous “Crisis of Confidence” speech playing in the background in one of the scenes in “Miracle”— so a hockey connection is there. The speech was put in there to serve as a reminder of the malaise of the time and how the surprising victory of USA men’s hockey team was one of the few bright spots.
Anyway — for the third straight year, I have made an effort to carve out a small fortune playing the NHL cash game. 50/50s exclusively. For the third straight year, I have ridden a wave of invincibility to a small profit, inspiring hope of riches to come, only to come crashing down once firmly invested. I built up my $25 investment to $250, now I’m down to $89 and, disillusioned with the cash game, just entered the $27 1k Dangle. Not the best bankroll management but I’ve seen worse.
This time around, I took it upon myself to record my 50/50 results night in and night out. DraftKings makes no effort to put one’s record in presentable form. Over 30 nights (or slates) I have won 18 times (or come out ahead) while losing 12 times (three of these losing nights were split nights). Moreover, I have also kept track of how well I have done against the pros, whom I compete with practically every night at all stakes. Over 21 nights, I am 11 and 10 against Testosterown — meaning 11 out of our 21 meetings I finished higher in a contest than he did. Over 26 meetings, I am .500 with SaahilSud. Ditto, PetrGibbons. Lowkey has one win on me. And it goes on. All things considered, over this (small or small-ish) sample, I am pretty much .500 against the pros. Not to say the pros aren’t placing in the 50/50s at a better clip than I am but if we were playing H2H “presumably” I would be breaking even with them.
I don’t know where I should go from here. Should I keep at it or is, in a high variance sport like hockey, cash an egregious waste of time? Well, maybe my words are too strong, rather: time could be better allocated playing GPP or contests with top heavy prizes?
To be honest, I love the process. When it comes time to building my lineup, I steal away to a local coffeeshop with my computer. Put my iTunes on shuffle. Position each browser tab in a particular way. Until the puck drops, my gaze is fasted to the computer screen like a fat indolent youth playing World of Warcraft.
What I love about 50/50s is they are like a puzzle. This player is a puzzle piece which must go here. It all makes sense in the lineup building phase but then the games begin and everything is wrecked. It’s like you’re building a puzzle of the London Bridge then by night’s end you find you were expected to build a three dimensional elephant comprised of glued pieces.
The capricious sport of hockey has a way of stanching the flow of your analytic juices. Like among the 10 teams playing in the 5-game slate last night, the Flames were the team I paid the least amount of attention to. In fact, to underscore how little I focused on the Flames, I didn’t even know of Johnny Hockey’s return until the first roster freeze (not that I would have been inclined to use him at $6400). As for that particular game, I wound up using Vatanen with the amount of money I had leftover. The Flames came in pacing the NHL in minor penalties and sporting the third worst penalty kill (not a good combination). It inspired me to get a piece of the Ducks PP1. I used the same logic with the Hawks against the oft-penalized Jets. Neither Kane nor Keith carried their investment.
When it came to my goaltender selection, I turned my back to advanced statistics and followed Vegas. I chose Halak. The Isles had knocked off the defending champs then, as an encore, to everyone’s surprise, shutout the Caps the next night. Carrying all this momentum and Halak fresh off of a masterful performance, notwithstanding their standing of next to worst in the NHL in expected goals against, I thought the Islanders were in play against a much softer foe on a B2B. Vegas corroborated the building narrative by projecting the Wings to score the fewest goals of any team on the night. I knew Dubnyk was the best goalie on the better team but alas I went with Halak and it cost me every 50/50.
Anyway, I don’t want to rattle on all day. I must get to work for tonight. I guess, for starters, I should buy the NHL package some of the guys here put together. In the interim, any advice would be greatly appreciated. There is more to say but it would require the expenditure of many keystrokes.
Any direction for me and my $60-something bankroll (which I hope is a lot more later) would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for reading in any case!