A Simple Rule From DFS for Making Pick N Tickets

There was a pretty decent discussion on the twitter last night about making better ticket decisions with your handicapping. There's a school of thought out there that learning to find value is difficult (it is), so newer players would have a super-difficult time with it and go broke faster. IOW, the ITP's of the world's way-to-do-things can cause some trouble. 

I don't really disagree. Learning to play the game is pretty tough and learning to extract value is a life-long pursuit. Plus it goes against the way our minds are built, where we are intrinsically searching for ticket safety. 

For those newer (or older who have trouble with it), however, I think there is a way to get into a mindset that's helpful. And that's from DFS. 

We create and handicap a DFS team very similar to the way we handicap a race sequence. We build one and then we look at it. To the modern DFS tournament player, he or she immediately knows if the team they've built is a proper one. If you've built a chalk laden team you can see it; you just know. And you know you have to adjust. If you don't see it right away, like it's second nature, you probably need to read more and get better at DFS. 

It's really a basic simple rule of DFS play - if your team looks like everyone elses will look, it's a bad team. You can't make money long-term with it. You have to start over. 

It's the same way we think when building a pick 5 ticket. As we go through the sequence it's completely easy to find the most likely winners, but after each leg a little light bulb goes off where we say to ourselves "this ticket looks like everyone elses." This is built in to the way we think as seasoned players. And like in DFS, if this is not easily recognizable to the player, he or she needs to get more experience. 

In DFS, a savvy player will look at his ticket, realize they have to adjust and will dig, using whatever means they have. And also lean on a few simple rules. For example, they may not use the high chalk back-up RB at $7,000, but instead build some teams with the $7,300 RB that no one will use at that level; maybe they'll use the chalk $7,000 RB and then use a lower chalk, higher priced QB-WR tandem. They're handicapping - they're not picking bad players for the sake of it - but they're thinking strategically. 

For the newer player struggling with pick n tickets, I think the exact same strategy is wise. If your ticket looks like everyone else's, punt. Get to work and find something, don't play at all, or throw $10 in with your buddies for an action play and have a beer. 

Once we grasp a simple rule - our ticket can't look exactly like everyone's on TVG does, just like our DFS team can't look like everyone's on twitter does -  we're on our way to figuring out how to get paid better, and perhaps gain a little better ROI at this terribly tough game. 

Have a nice Wednesday everyone. 


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