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  • rorydamico

    After listening to Stevie and The Seige’s morning podcast, and much time was spent on whether the elimination of late-swap in NBA on DK is better or worse for the “casual player” or the “shark.” My honest take here: it doesn’t matter, and I think it’s high time that we stop comparing the sharks to the casual players.

    There is a constant emphasis in DFS that the playing field should be level, but unless we’re all entering the same amount of money, the playing field will not —AND SHOULD NOT — be level. Why should it be that the guy who comes home from work and makes a $10 LU (like myself) have the same chances for success as a shark who has done research all day and is risking thousands of dollars per night?

    How would you feel if someone came to your job that you’ve worked hard at for years and got the same results as you?

    Face it people, DFS is not a get rich quick scheme and it’s a game of skill. The folks that invest the most time and money will and should do the best. If you think you’re going to wager $5/night and have the same odds of taking down a large tourney as someone multi-entering, keep dreaming. If you truly want an even playing field, play single entry tournaments and move on. But stop talking about DFS like it’s this industry where everyone should have a turn and a chance to win a top prize. That discredits this game of skill and frankly makes the whole industry sound like a Kindergarten class.

  • donkshow

    @rorydamico said...

    Face it people, DFS is not a get rich quick scheme and it’s a game of skill. The folks that invest the most time and money will and should do the best. If you think you’re going to wager $5/night and have the same odds of taking down a large tourney as someone multi-entering, keep dreaming. If you truly want an even playing field, play single entry tournaments and move on. But stop talking about DFS like it’s this industry where everyone should have a turn and a chance to win a top prize. That discredits this game of skill and frankly makes the whole industry sound like a Kindergarten class.

    I like you.

  • jhorst52

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    @donkshow said...

    I like you.

    I like him too.

  • peachfuzz

    • Blogger of the Month

    I like your thoughts, but they presuppose that any sort of gaming industry could keep its doors open if most casual players truly believed they weren’t on a level playing field regardless of the fairness of the game being played.

  • jjwd

    AMEN BROTHER!!!

  • rorydamico

    @Peachfuzz: I think they absolutely could. Some of the major contests would have to be smaller, but the top sharks invest more (and thereby hand over more rake to the sites) in one night than any casual player will in a lifetime. The sites are making their money on the guys playing $1,000+, not the casual players entering the $1-10 contests.

  • Shipmymoney

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    This is one of the best posts I have seen on here in a while

  • peachfuzz

    • Blogger of the Month

    @rorydamico said...

    @Peachfuzz: I think they absolutely could. Some of the major contests would have to be smaller, but the top sharks invest more (and thereby hand over more rake to the sites) in one night than any casual player will in a lifetime. The sites are making their money on the guys playing $1,000+, not the casual players entering the $1-10 contests.

    One-to-one, you’re right, sure. But, you’re not framing it in the context of the industry as a whole as your original argument is doing.

    How many real top “sharks” are there who spend that kind of money per night? A few dozen? Maybe even a couple hundred?

    There is no way that the relatively minuscule amount of players with that type of bankroll could keep even a single site open let alone an entire industry. The truth is that while those guys spend gobs of money each night, these sites need a consistent influx of new fish to keep the lights on. They wouldn’t get able to get that fresh blood if people honestly knew how far they were behind those top players.

    Like I said earlier, it works the same way for any gaming business from slot machines all the way to DFS/poker.

    Joe Blow looks at a contest filled with 100K entrants, and believes that he has a 1/100K shot of winning, just like everyone else. The truth is that he doesn’t realize that his chances are far, far smaller because of the relative skill levels of other players, including sharks. If he honestly realized how far behind he was before he ever put his money on the table, he’d most certainly think twice.

    I agee with pretty much everything you said originally, and I don’t think it should be level either. However, the perception of it being level is what both businesses, and higher skilled players count upon to make their profits.

  • yostradamus

    why don’t the sites offer both………..have games with late swap and games with out…shyt, they have LOL where you can pick video game players, huh? what?

  • rorydamico

    @peachfuzz: I think there are far more people than you think who play over $1,000 per slate, but regardless, do you really think “Joe Blow” would not play a $5 contest if his odds were 1 in 100, 1 in 100,000, or 1 in 1,000,000? It doesn’t actually make a difference. Casual players are playing because the excitement is stellar and there is a small, real shot they could win big money.

    The only thing that would change if every one of those players stopped playing is we would not see the mega-tournies like the Sunday Million. But there would still be tons of action from the guys who make their living playing DFS. Remember, most sharks make their money playing high stakes cash games. Due to the volume they play, most of them will win a few tournaments per year, but these are hardly reliable occurances and they lose more than they win just like everyone else.

  • catmando

    I am not so sure skill is as big an issue as you think…even a casual player can use an algorithm or optimizer or even pick a lineup of players.

    the big guys have the advantage by boxing the field with 60 percent of the players available and hoping they can hit the top several spots Its more about buying pots than winning them. Like in poker your stack is bigger than the rest and you just force them out

  • IronMonkey415

    So it is SHARK OR SHARP?

    I see some people spell them both way.

  • jhorst52

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    @catmando said...

    casual player can use an algorithm or optimizer or even pick a lineup of players.

    the big guys have the advantage by boxing the field with 60 percent of the players available and hoping they can hit the top several spots Its more about buying pots than winning them. Like in poker your stack is bigger than the rest and you just force them out

    This mathematically makes zero sense.

  • peachfuzz

    • Blogger of the Month

    @IronMonkey415 said...

    So it is SHARK OR SHARP?

    I see some people spell them both way.

    It’s the same thing. Sharp was originated first, but it became mispronounced over the years to shark.

    No distinction whatsoever.

  • dragon1952

    If they want to make it an even playing field they can make it like the lotto and sell quick pick LU’s and limit it to 5 :^ /

  • bigloser11

    An old man’s opinion here—There has to be a lot of small players to keep the doors open.The truly big winners are spending a lot of time and $$
    to win.In sport betting, the best pros manage to win about 56 % of the time, meaning they also lose 44 % of the time.It takes a lot of $$
    and a strong will to be really good.jm

  • Shipmymoney

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    @catmando said...

    I am not so sure skill is as big an issue as you think…even a casual player can use an algorithm or optimizer or even pick a lineup of players.

    the big guys have the advantage by boxing the field with 60 percent of the players available and hoping they can hit the top several spots Its more about buying pots than winning them. Like in poker your stack is bigger than the rest and you just force them out

    This couldn’t be more wrong

  • TheRyanFlaherty

    It’s about creating the illusion of an even playing field.
    Unfortunately (it would seem) for many here, that results in extreme measures such as getting rid of late-swap, because it’s easier to do that than to get casual players to understand the more nuanced reality of the situation.

    I really liked the Op’s post.
    I’ve said this on here before, the issue is that trying to explain these type of things to certain casual players is a futile endeavor.
    The reason why a casual/losing player will come here and swear it’s all B.S. and luck, is because for them to win it takes B.S. and luck.
    They don’t understand the reasoning, because they don’t see that reasoning…they don’t understand the process and see it as a puzzle in the same way winning players do…if they were able to than they wouldn’t be a casual/losing player.
    So, instead of trying to understand concepts they don’t understand it’s much easier to blame others, say it’s luck, those people only win because they have money and use computers, etc. etc.
    It’s also indicative of the – I want what I want, I want it right now, and I want it in the easiest way possible – mindset that sadly is becoming more and more prevalent in this Country…but that’s an argument onto itself and goes far beyond DFS and a message board…

    I don’t know how you solve that…I don’t know how you solve for those that are uninformed with a resistance to learn and accept the truth….All I know is DraftKings is in the unenviable position of trying to please both extremes, and everyone in between (the in between likely being the majority of people on this site).

  • louiescards

    DK KoTH winner

    @catmando said...

    I am not so sure skill is as big an issue as you think…even a casual player can use an algorithm or optimizer or even pick a lineup of players.

    the big guys have the advantage by boxing the field with 60 percent of the players available and hoping they can hit the top several spots Its more about buying pots than winning them. Like in poker your stack is bigger than the rest and you just force them out

    Hey Catmando, appreciate the feedback but this post is flawed.

    First let’s tackle the “boxing the field” assumption. First of all with the current limits in place even the huge tournaments with hundreds of thousands of entries we have a hard cap at 150 entries. That is hardly enough to get 60% of the players available let alone with the top several spots as you suggest.

    Second your poker analogy is flawed in that we all start with the same salary constraints. Sure they can buy in for more entries but that is not the same as having more poker chips. If they had more cap room the analogy would work but clearly that is not the case.

    My final though is that we have seen a rise in lower max entry tournaments (3-max being the most popular) I would encourage you to check the results in these contest and it might just surprise you to see that some of the heavy entry guys are also doing quite well in the single entry and 3-max as well.

    Skill game? Absolutely.

  • Ppannl

    @louiescards said...

    Skill game? Absolutely.

    Everything you do before the game starts can be classified as skill. Your research or projections could put you in a better spot or increase your chances to win. However the results of all the skill work you do is based off the luck of the performance (which you can’t control). Is their skill involved? sure one could make the case but your results are determined based off luck.

  • kpquick24

    @louiescards said...

    Hey Catmando, appreciate the feedback but this post is flawed.

    First let’s tackle the “boxing the field” assumption. First of all with the current limits in place even the huge tournaments with hundreds of thousands of entries we have a hard cap at 150 entries. That is hardly enough to get 60% of the players available let alone with the top several spots as you suggest.

    Second your poker analogy is flawed in that we all start with the same salary constraints. Sure they can buy in for more entries but that is not the same as having more poker chips. If they had more cap room the analogy would work but clearly that is not the case.

    My final though is that we have seen a rise in lower max entry tournaments (3-max being the most popular) I would encourage you to check the results in these contest and it might just surprise you to see that some of the heavy entry guys are also doing quite well in the single entry and 3-max as well.

    Skill game? Absolutely.

    Very good post!

  • bhdevault

    • Lead Moderator

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    @Ppannl said...

    Everything you do before the game starts can be classified as skill. Your research or projections could put you in a better spot or increase your chances to win. However the results of all the skill work you do is based off the luck of the performance (which you can’t control). Is their skill involved? sure one could make the case but your results are determined based off luck.

    Maybe over short term, but not long term.

    If you keep putting yourself in the right spot to win, over and over, the results will show, eventually. It’s called Variance. This is a huge thing some of the non-winning players simply cannot comprehend.

  • Ppannl

    @bhdevault said...

    Maybe over short term, but not long term.

    If you keep putting yourself in the right spot to win, over and over, the results will show, eventually. It’s called Variance. This is a huge thing some of the non-winning players simply cannot comprehend.

    Variance has many different meanings and can be used in many different contexts.

    Regardless of short term or long term you still can’t control the performance of the players you select based off your skill.

    Your point that in the long term more skilled players will put themsleves in the right spot to win is not factoring in an equal amount of entries for each side.

    As the data shows single entry contests show a latter percentage of variance of winners as compared to multi entry.

  • rorydamico

    If you ever need to remind yourself that this is game of skill, have an experienced DFS player make a lineup for a given slate and then have a knowledgable sports fan make a LU.

    I guarantee the experienced DFS will have a lineup of mid-priced guys with great upside in good spots, while the sports fan spent a large chunk of their salary on 3 or 4 studs and filled in the rest of the lineup with players they consider sleepers, but who really just are not good plays.

    Then, see who wins, and I’d give the odds 99 times out of 100 to the balanced, value-centric, not-so-flashy LU of the DFS player. The sports fan will deem the results luck, but in reality the DFS player simply identified more of the correct value, high upside plays for the evening, ignoring the star names that headline ESPN on a daily basis.

  • karsenm

    @rorydamico said...

    If you ever need to remind yourself that this is game of skill, have an experienced DFS player make a lineup for a given slate and then have a knowledgable sports fan make a LU.

    I guarantee the experienced DFS will have a lineup of mid-priced guys with great upside in good spots, while the sports fan spent a large chunk of their salary on 3 or 4 studs and filled in the rest of the lineup with players they consider sleepers, but who really just are not good plays.

    Then, see who wins, and I’d give the odds 99 times out of 100 to the balanced, value-centric, not-so-flashy LU of the DFS player. The sports fan will deem the results luck, but in reality the DFS player simply identified more of the correct value, high upside plays for the evening, ignoring the star names that headline ESPN on a daily basis.

    An experienced DFS player could have a stars and scrubs lineup too if that was the optimal lineup. I don’t think you’re looking at it the right way. A DFS player is just going to be purely better at lineup construction and making sure he is getting the most value. Which I think is what you were trying to get at in a way.

  • cvalenti

    i believe the term for a card player is sharp…..

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