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  • patzer

    I look through the lineups of various cash games from $5 and up, the ones that anybody including DK millionaires can enter, and I see the same lineups, over and over. Not multiples from one username, but lineups from different usernames. There are a few differences here and there, but not a lot. The badges may as well be owned by the same guy, for all the difference there is.

    Okay, I understand that. But then I look in the $1, $2, and $3 cash games, and almost the same exact thing is going on. Lineup after lineup is nearly the same.

    And the people whose lineups AREN’T the same as the lineups of the solvers —- are the lineups that don’t cash. A recreational player doesn’t have a chance.

    Everybody can’t be doing this independently of each other and all come to the same conclusion(s). So there has to be some push button place, free or expensive, where people exclude 2 and run the optimizer. I don’t know where that place is. It’s not here or the other place I subscribe to.

    Any ideas?

  • TomBarrister

    Cash games were “solved” four or more years ago. It’s almost a negative expectancy with optimal play. The place to make money is in GPPs.

    Cash games are all about maximizing your points with as little risk as possible. GPPs are all about getting high scores as often as possible, which involves risk-taking. Since the landscape is always changing on GPP’s, and there are many more ways to take risks than to play safe, GPP’s leave more room to be creative and win.

    If you’re looking for a site that gives you the botted one-click solution for cash games that will get reasonable (not necessarily winning) results, it depends on what sport you play. This site is as good as any for NBA data and analysis, but I don’t know if it will make you money as a one-click. Maybe somebody else will have ideas about MLB.

  • patzer

    I can see that now. In one NBA I was in, there was a 7 way tie for 4th, and every lineup had the exact same players.
    Screw that. I’m not fighting the sharks.

  • TomBarrister

    And they were probably all using the same thing to get their plays.

    I want to compete against these types. All I need to do is find one weak spot in the lineup, do a simple replacement, and I’m now competing with 4-8 copies of the same thing, and all I need to do aginast the lot of them is have my replacement outscore the player I replaced. Sometimes there isn’t a good replacement, and those cash games need to be passed. But some of the time, one of the players is an outright dud, put in to allow salary room for the rest, and many times another low-price can be found with better upside.

  • Smallchimp

    > A recreational player doesn’t have a chance.

    I honestly wonder how the average joe that doesn’t pay for content or do heavy duty homework on the slate survive. Content, paid or not, is the product of almost a decade of people learning how to apply probability and solving the games and going without that is missing so much of the foundation that’s taken for granted. I’m not sure that there’s much of a casual future for DFS given that you can’t brain drain the probabilistic thinking out of the user base.

  • Roma315

    • 620

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #75

      RG Tiered Ranking

    It’s at the point where most cash lines are higher than GPP’s.

  • TomBarrister

    To give you perspective about cash games, I looked at the 4 game night slate. I analyzed 100 $1 Double Ups/50/50’s. This is the lowest buy in for a cash game on DraftKings.

    Pitcher Trevor Bauer figured to be the highest-owned player. In fact, 97.2% of all players —- this in the lowly $1 cash games —- had him. Of all of the players, 95% had badges, and 88% of those had max badges (1,000 entries and meet the big-win qualification). The recreational money got tired of being beat to death and stopped playing. With a rake of up to 13%, you aren’t going to run an optimizer, play the top pick, and win. I doubt that even 10% of all cash players show a season-long profit.

    There’s a reason that this site and almost all others talk exclusively about GPP’s. It’s because that’s the only place where money can be made, and it won’t be made plugging things into an optimizer without any thought or analysis. A firm grasp of concepts and stragegies is necessary. Money can be made, but you have to do it the old-fashioned way: work for it — and you have to be ready for high variance (winning and losing streaks) —- especially in baseball.

    I have my own trick I use in cash games to win, but it’s situational, and I only play about 3 slates per week.

  • Njsum1

    @patzer said...

    I can see that now. In one NBA I was in, there was a 7 way tie for 4th, and every lineup had the exact same players.
    Screw that. I’m not fighting the sharks.

    Well, your fighting the sharks in GPP’s as well. Yet here’s the difference…say I play 5 slates. In 2 of them I make strong lineups and the other 3, I completely whiff.

    Well if I’m playing cash games, I’m losing money. If I’m playing GPP’s I could have lost money if they were min cashes, yet I also could have made 5-1000x my money if one of those lineups climbed to the top 1% or better.

    Cash games aren’t always worth avoiding (even though I don’t play them), there are situations where maybe you pick up on something that you don’t think the optimizers will, or have a certain strategy good for specific situations, where it might make cash games worth selectively playing.

    Yet playing them every night seems like a winning proposition for only a select few.

  • btwice80

    @patzer said...

    So there has to be some push button place, free or expensive, where people exclude 2 and run the optimizer. I don’t know where that place is. It’s not here or the other place I subscribe to.

    Are you kidding? More than 10% of the entire field of the $25 DK double up every day is the same exact lineup generated from this same website you’re posting on using the exclude two and optimize that you describe. And there are more very similar lineups that incorporate the same BAT system into an aggregate projection and run that optimal.

  • btwice80

    @TomBarrister said...

    There’s a reason that this site and almost all others talk exclusively about GPP’s. It’s because that’s the only place where money can be made, and it won’t be made plugging things into an optimizer without any thought or analysis.

    The BAT opto bros beg to differ. No thought or analysis needed. It’s why they buy it.

  • TomBarrister

    Now you have your answer, patzer. Use The BAT, and you’re on the road to riches. Or at least on the road to six-way ties for seventh place in 23 entry tournaments.

  • btwice80

    @TomBarrister said...

    Now you have your answer, patzer. Use The BAT, and you’re on the road to riches. Or at least on the road to six-way ties for seventh place in 23 entry tournaments.

    No, not riches, just a moderately positive ROI (and you can get plenty of action in fields much larger than 23). I’m not playing cash games this year because I don’t want to join the opto duplicate train, and those lineups are so good and plentiful, I don’t want most nights hinging on whether I beat it.

  • patzer

    I subscribed to the bat on Tuesday. So far I am about even. I have had 2 days where I won good, 1 that i broke even and 2 that i lost bad. Baseball is a yo yo that way. You could win for a whole week or lose for a whole week. I did see that a lot of people have the same lineup that I do, so maybe the bat is the one that had all of those lineups from before. But I also see other strings of lineups that are using different players. Some of them do good and others bad. There must be a lot of places to subscribe to.

  • bigez952

    @patzer said...

    I subscribed to the bat on Tuesday. So far I am about even. I have had 2 days where I won good, 1 that i broke even and 2 that i lost bad. Baseball is a yo yo that way. You could win for a whole week or lose for a whole week. I did see that a lot of people have the same lineup that I do, so maybe the bat is the one that had all of those lineups from before. But I also see other strings of lineups that are using different players. Some of them do good and others bad. There must be a lot of places to subscribe to.

    Every tout website/ service has optimizer in which people can play the “optimal lineup” they paid for. I used to do it myself just exclude 2 guys who are out and click optimize 5 minutes before lock and actually was profitable doing so for years with The BAT. Nothing life changing but I was winning double ups at a 53-56% rate with no thought. I eventually quit once I had kids and found myself not having free time around lock to get lineups in and the mental drain of playing a high enough volume to grind out a profit enough to justify the cost of the BAT got to be taxing. Now I just play lower dollar GPP’s mainly in PGA which is once a week and I am in a lot better place than living the day to day grind for a yearly profit of a few hundred bucks.

  • depalma13

    Cash games are great only when there is significant overlay.

  • patzer

    I’m in some cash games. Here are the total entrants from a few of them, and the number of people, including me, who all played the default the bat lineup:

    124 19
    100 20
    100 22
    39 9
    40 10
    23 5
    23 4
    62 16
    39 11
    37 10
    39 11
    39 8

    All losers, but oh well.

    At least I found the source of all of the long strings of choices. Unfortunately, I don’t see any way to win if up to 25% of the entrants are doing the same thing.

  • TomBarrister

    I’m not surprised that The Bat is the one with that kind of traffic. Everybody I know who uses it or has used it says that it has excellent projection numbers.

    But you can’t go with the crowd and expect to win. That doesn’t mean you need to abandon The Bat. But you have to use it in a way that others don’t. The simplest way is to just use the second best projected points lineup. Others are probably also doing that, but you can at least avoid the biggest crowd. If you still find a lot of people with the same lineup as 2nd best, go to the 3rd best, or the 4th best, until you get some separation. There ARE ways to do it better, but they require more work. This can be done on the fly.

  • bigez952

    I 100% agree that its nearly impossible to be profitable in 2021 by blindly taking optimal lineup #1 when 20-30% of the double up field are doing that. You’re going to run into a lot of not full 2X payouts due to bubble splits. However it is maddening to make 2 v 2 swaps to be unique only to get beat by that 30% train you swapped away from.

    Honestly that was the reason why I retired from MLB and The BAT. As I hated the trains so always did at least a 2 v 2 swap and was successful in being unique or very minimally duped but I found that I lost to the optimal train more than I beat it so I had my first losing season in my final one of 2018. Nothing was worse than sitting top 15% of a double up with only 1 game left playing when you go to bed only to watch up and see you lost due to a 30% of the field train pass you by 0.5 points to kick you out of the money.

  • TomBarrister

    @bigez952 said...

    However it is maddening to make 2 v 2 swaps to be unique only to get beat by that 30% train you swapped away from.

    (EDITED, because I hit ENTER before the post was complete)

    That’s a valid point. In order to do better than the optimal does, your replacement has to be competitive with the optimal. I don’t know how much difference one projected fantasy point makes over the long run, but I can pose hypothetical situations.

    For example, assume that one projected fantasy point gives the optimal a 4 point edge, or 52% to 48% in games where one lineup beats the other.

    I’m playing in a 39 player $1 double-up. 17 spots are paid. In this example, I’m using The Bat X, and (from Patzer’s data), I figure that nine people will be using the optimal lineup. If I play optimal, there will be ten of us. In this game, we’re in the most relevant situation regarding this comparison. We’re on the bubble, where the optimal train ties for 14th (through 23rd). If I play optimal, the 10 of us split the 4 remaining $2 payouts and get (8 / 10) 80 cents each. Our EV is 0.80.

    Now assume I play the second lineup.

    52% of the time, the bubble finishes ahead of me and is in a nine-way tie for 14th, and they split $8 / 9, or (rounded up in all cases) 89 cents each. I finish behind the bubble in 23rd and get nothing.

    48% of the time, I do better than the bubble. I finish 14th and get the full $2. They finish in a nine-way tie for 15th, split three prizes, and get ($2 * 3 / 9) or 0.67 cents each.

    Their expected value is (0.89 * .52) + (0.67 * .48) or .7844, about 78.5 cents.

    My expected value is: (0 * .52) + ($2 * 0.48) or 96 cents.

    Of course, this is just one example, and it makes several assumptions, but it illustrates the value of avoiding the crowd, if what you use is competitive with what the crowd uses. It didn’t include ties, and it’s only one situation. Perhaps some statistician can tell us what the exact breakdown is and exactly how competitive a lineup needs to be to combat the crowd-train. The point I’m making is that someone who can come up with a competitive lineup to the optimal —- it doesn’t have to be better or even completely equal —- can get away from the crowd and probably do better.

    Naturally, the way to avoid all of the hypothetical situations is to only play in Head to Head (H2H) games. That way, you can use the optimal and if the other person also uses it, you tie. That may be the best way to go, but if you do, you should make note of who is also using the optimal, so that you can avoid each other in the future. H2H are also the lowest-raked, tied with 50/50’s at 10%. Double-ups rake about 13%, but they also tend to draw more recreational players somewhat negating the rake.

  • patzer

    Too many chiefs and not enough Indians.
    Too many bloodsuckers, and not enough blood.
    Too many sharks, and not enough fish.
    Too many hunters, and not enough ducks.
    Too many parasites, and not enough hosts.
    Too many bandwagons, and not enough voters.

    No automatically picked optimizer wins at cash games, in my opinion. Anybody winning at them does their own picking. I don’t kmow about GPP because I don’t play them. Maybe I need to change to them.

  • TomBarrister

    Now you understand what I’ve been saying. Cash games are dead. One day the top chain will be PlateIQ, another day The Bat, a different day Awesemo, Fantasy Cruncher, etc. The two points are that1) There’s always a chain of many followers for each, and 2) The same one doesn’t win every day. I doubt that anybody excluding two and running the optimizer is winning in cash games.

    Before you go to GPP be sure that you understand the strategies. It’s a whole different world than cash games. There’s plenty of help for that online here and elsewhere.

  • btwice80

    @bigez952 said...

    I 100% agree that its nearly impossible to be profitable in 2021 by blindly taking optimal lineup #1 when 20-30% of the double up field are doing that.

    And yet they are (though it’s not 20-30% of the field). But maybe the opto will go cold in the second half and they’ll lose the profits they’ve banked so far.

  • jimfred82

    • Blogger of the Month

    So along these same lines, since I’m guessing most of us started as cash game players who figured out how to be successful at some point: How do new people survive? Or is it just a constantly replenishing pool of new people flushing money away?

  • TomBarrister

    Likely 70% of all entrants in cash games are using some subsrcription service.

    One of the reasons cash game traffic has slowed is because a lot of recreational players are tired of of being beaten up night after night, and many have gone to the sportsbook side of the DFS site to bet the games and props. They figure they have a better chance, which of course is folly. If you want to make money in any form of gambling, you either need to buy shares of “the house” or do some of your own work and selectively play where you can get an advantage.

  • jimfred82

    • Blogger of the Month

    @TomBarrister said...

    Likely 70% of all entrants in cash games are using some subsrcription service.

    One of the reasons cash game traffic has slowed is because a lot of recreational players are tired of of being beaten up night after night, and many have gone to the sportsbook side of the DFS site to bet the games and props. They figure they have a better chance, which of course is folly. If you want to make money in any form of gambling, you either need to buy shares of “the house” or do some of your own work and selectively play where you can get an advantage.

    I will admit some of the promotions I hear for the gambling side are pretty appealing; I live in NE where we can’t (yet?), but, whenever I go on a run, my phone has no idea where I am for some reason (despite tracking me) and I get ads for all kind of states where it IS legal and some of the “bet $5, win $200” type bets just seem too good to pass up, even if it is in site credit!

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