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Benny “The Eagle”, Vol. 6: Around and Around with the Round Ball
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Vol.6 – Around and Around with the Round Ball 

Benny “The Eagle”: Vol. 1
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol. 2 – Having Second Thoughts
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol. 3 – The Used
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol. 4 – The Law of Diminishing Returns
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol. 5 – Something Smells Gamey

As the 2016 “Year of the Grim Reaper” winds to a depressing close in the midst of sub -20 temperatures here in the forsaken hinterlands of Canada, I am reminded drearily of a similar fall that I experienced in 1999. Within one week, I lost my two favourite athletes in the world as both Payne Stewart and Walter Payton both met their deaths at far too young an age. I remember the feeling that the world was spinning, that nothing seemed reliable, and that everything that I was sure about was unraveling. It didn’t help that I was in the midst of a semester crammed with philosophy and theology classes designed to unravel my understanding of the world as I knew it. Either way, it was a dark time that I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull out of.

There are also times in the life cycle of a DFS player when things go awry. You go on a losing streak and EVERYTHING seems wrong. Guys are winning contests with players you would never have considered. Players you considered locks for great performances dreadfully underachieve. Every lineup seems like it’s on track to FINALLY get you in the cash again, and then the line just continues to creep higher incrementally in relation to your score. Eventually the sadness and frustration set in and you realize, I WILL NEVER WIN AGAIN EVER. I KNOW NOTHING. EVERYTHING IS AGAINST ME. THERE IS NO HOPE OR JUSTICE. HAPPINESS IS DEAD. THE SKY IS BLACK, THE END IS NEAR!

The term “tilt” gets thrown about far too flippantly in DFS circles. When the mid-tier player you rostered goes through the first five minutes of the game pointless and you get nervous about it, that is not tilt. When like Tuesday night, in the case of the Blazers vs Thunder game, there is an unexpected blowout and the anchors of your lineup disappoint you because of decreased minutes, that is not tilt. These are disappointing and unexpected results that are a part of the DFS game. Tilt is when you let these unexpected disappointments lead you to questioning everything you once held dear and to cause you to start throwing money irrationally at bad players and bad contests. It’s realizing that your NFL lineups are worthless late Sunday afternoon, and deciding that to counteract it you will hastily throw together $30 of bad NBA lineups to try to make up for it. I’m giving this example from a friend of a friend obviously.

Me: My lineups are really tanking. I should probably take a night off and revisit my process Me to Me: You should quickly throw a dozen entries in a high stakes GPP to make up for your losses.

Tilt isn’t so much the questioning of the results, but the questioning of the process. Process is the set of practices you follow in researching and creating lineups for play in contests. It involves which information you consume, what stats you evaluate, which players you consider, and how you then take that all into account in creating your lineup(s). Even the best players out there will have rough patches, and being able to go back and process your process, rather than just your results is usually the difference maker in getting back in the money. The problem is, if you have an unestablished process to begin with, it’s that much easier to question everything.

One of the best books regarding process that I have read is C.D. Carter’s “How to Think Like a Daily Fantasy Football Winner”. Obviously, it pertains more directly to football, but many of the underlying principles are easily transferable. Frankly, it’ll probably be on my holiday reading list again this year as I try to work through developing a sound process for NBA. If you’ve got an extra dollar kicking around this holiday season, it’s certainly worth downloading on your Kindle. Denny may be a socialist, but if being a socialist means that I shouldn’t listen to him, than you can keep your free market economy.

Another great resource on dealing with tilt is a thread that PadrePaul started in the forum this summer. There’s a lot of good advice from other folks there on how they deal with the tough stretches that will certainly come if you play this game for a while. Every personality type will deal with the struggles differently and require different means to help push the reset button, but we can certainly get some helpful input from other’s experiences along the way.

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As for me, I have set out a plan of action to deal with my current struggles:

  1. I have switched to playing GPP’s instead of cash games for a while to be able to spread out my exposure to multiple lineups on any given slate.
  2. I am firing up my long dormant FanDuel account to get a different perspective on price, value, and lineup construction.
  3. I am seeking out advice from more experienced players as to what their process looks like that has brought them success over a sustained period of time.
  4. I am putting down on paper what my NBA process looks like – much like I’ve done for NFL, MLB and CFL – to give me a frame of reference going forward. Once I have something hammered out, I’ll be sure to share it here as well.

So what does your process look like? What do you do to get off the schneid? Answers will be found and a process will be solidified, but in forsaken cold winter days it can be hard to remember the hot streaks.

Bankroll Update

  • Total entry fees this week: $42
  • Total winnings this week: $31.50
  • Net total this week: -$10.50
  • Bankroll: $197.80

It was a week not good for the bankroll, but maybe a bit better for morale. Overall, I only had one night that was a total loss. I still had more losing nights than winning ones that led to the overall loss, but it felt like I was succeeding a bit when I saw at least a little green in the winnings column each night. In the sage like words of Bret Michaels, “Give me something to believe in.” This may be part of the dark psychology of DFS that can lead to bigger losses as I slowly pour my bankroll down the drain while quietly believing I’m still “winning”, but am going to fight through this thing and figure it out. This is helpful in the meantime. If fun is still the main driving force behind playing these games, and it is for me, than I can at least say this kind of losing is indeed more “fun”.

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