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March 28, 2014

Daily League Strategy

Managing Your Bankroll

by Paul Sporer

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Earlier this week, I covered some of the basics of daily gaming—four of the first things I would tell anyone playing their first daily match. Let’s dive a little deeper and discuss bankroll management today. This is obviously a very important aspect of daily gaming, too; perhaps even more than stats you should look at when picking a roster. Heck, you’d be better off throwing darts for your player picks or sticking with only your favorite players than mismanaging your bankroll. Your bankroll should dictate the kinds of contests you’re entering on a nightly basis (or however frequently you decide to play).

Large-Entry Guaranteed Prizes

These bigger contests are the most enticing because of their high payouts. Those four tournaments featured above from DraftStreet offer 27, 55, 272, and 350 times your buy-in as the top prize. Of course you also have remarkably long odds of winning that top prize whether you enter just once or take advantage of the full complement of allotted entries (10, 20, 25, and 10, respectively for those tourneys). Now, don’t take that to mean that you shouldn’t play them, but I would frown upon playing them exclusively, particularly if you don’t have a massive bankroll.

50/50 Double Ups

I call these “bankroll managers.” These are simple pools in which the top-half scorers double-up by winning the bottom half’s money. Say your lineup was solid-but-unspectacular for the night and you bubble (finish in the first spot that doesn’t get money) in the big $20,000 Guaranteed (it pays 300 spots, you finish 301), but you also joined the $22 Double-Up and that same score easily puts you in the top 40, you haven’t come out ahead for the night, but you didn’t hemorrhage any money, either. Playing the 50/50s can be a means to keep you funded to continue to take the big shot in the larger tourneys.

Others may opt to leverage the 50/50s as a more deliberate means of building your bankroll by regularly playing a handful of entries (either with the same lineup or mixing it up) in these while taking more calculated shots at the big hit in the larger guaranteed pools. It can be fun to go H2H against your best buddy in a matchup, but it’s more profitable to essentially go H2H against a large pool and only have to thwart half of them to double your money. Speaking of…

H2H

You can opt to go heads up against someone for as much as $420 or as low as $5. Some folks simply prefer the thrill of a one-on-one battle. From a bankroll management standpoint, this is a volatile play for the obvious reasons: you’re playing against just one person in one evening and you don’t really know the quality of your opponent. Thus, it’s a format I would often recommend as a primary means of building said bankroll, as you would just be better off playing the double-ups instead.

Deciding Your Ideal Buy-In
You’ve seen the game types and potential costs of each offered, but now you have to decide what you should play. The primary consideration here is of course what you have for a bankroll. For the sake of ease, let’s work within the confines of what you deposit initially. I realize you might run out and reload, but for now we’re just dealing with what you have on hand.

Let me take this opportunity to note that you can get a 100% deposit bonus if you’re new to Draft Street, details here. Bonus cash is always helpful, so I highly recommend you take advantage of it if you are new and looking to play at DS.

Let’s say that you’re starting with a cool $100. Most handicappers will land somewhere in the 1-5 percent range with how much you should risk on every play. Overzealous deployment of the bankroll is the quickest to deplete your funds. You might not even be a bad player, but losing (meaning not cashing) four straight tournaments over the course of a season isn’t at all out of the norm, and if you happen to do so with your first four $22 entries, you’re down to $12 before you can blink.

If you’re looking to be a long-term player over the course of the 2014 season and you want to start with $100, your focus should be on the $2-5 events. Obviously you can expand as your bankroll grows, but the toughest thing to do is to stay disciplined within the confines of your bankroll as opposed to just going for the big hit in a high-dollar tournament. And it’s not like the $2-5 range eliminates you from the big hit events, either, so you still have the chance to expand your bankroll significantly in one fell swoop. I want to reiterate that doing so shouldn’t be your only objective, though, or else you’re going to burn through money quickly barring some great fortune out of the gate.

***

Opening Day is right around the corner. On Monday, I’ll offer some lineup suggestions for both the day- and night-game slates, as well perhaps delve into some more tips for picking your lineups on a day-to-day basis.

On March 24, 2014, Baseball Prospectus entered into a partnership with Draftstreet.com. Get all the details and learn how you can join in on the action here!

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Paul Sporer is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Paul's other articles. You can contact Paul by clicking here

Related Content:  Fantasy,  DraftStreet,  Daily Leagues

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Premium Article Prospectus Preview: NL... (03/27)
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Fantasy Article Daily League Strategy:... (03/25)
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Daily League Strategy:... (03/31)
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