Before you begin your voyage as a successful daily fantasy player you need to know what types of contests you will be playing. There are two types of contests Cash Games and Guaranteed Prize Pools (tournaments also known as GPPs).
In this article we will be discussing what GPPs are and hopefully you can decide if they are for you.
What is a GPP?
A GPP is a tournament style type of contest where most of the money lies at the very top of the leaderboards. While a GPP is a tournament, not all tournaments are GPPs. In fact, GPP stands for Guaranteed Prize Pool which means these contests are guaranteed to play out regardless of if they fill or not. This differs from a standard 100 man tournament as if the 100 man does not fill, the contest is cancelled.
Tournaments hold higher risk due to the top heavy pay-out structure however they also come with higher rewards. If you do take down a tournament, the ROI (return on investment) for that specific contest will be much larger than winning a cash game.
There are many types of tournaments but it is important to understand the difference between a single-entry and multi-entry contest. Single-entry contests limit everyone to one entry, this keeps the field a little more even since everyone gets one line-up. In multi-entries the players with higher bankrolls typically put upwards of 150 entries in depending on the size and cost of the contest. For newer players that want to play GPPs, single-entry contests are highly recommended.
Standard Tournaments and GPPs are very popular in the DFS community due to the high top prizes and promises of “sports riches”.
When playing tournaments you have to remember what your goal is. Unlike cash games keeping up with the pack doesn’t do you any good. Like the risky nature of the pay-out structure, your looking for your line-up to show some risk as well. You should be willing to sacrifice a floor for a ceiling and your not as concerned with consistency as you are with upside.
In tournaments you may have to take more chances in your line-up than you are comfortable with. You need to be able to recognize who the chalk will be and find solid pivots. Playing chalk plays in cash games are fine because if those players bust, chances are most other people in your cash games have him as well and again you only need to finish with the top half of the pack. This is a different beast and you need to have a line-up build that nobody else has.
You may hear the term contrarian a lot in the DFS community. It has everything to do with finding plays that are “low-owned” in order to get you an advantage on the rest of the field. Be careful not confuse contrarian plays for senseless plays. You want a contrarian play that is still in a good spot, you don’t want to start rostering players ONLY because they are contrarian. Remember if there is one First Baseman that 30% of the field has on a 12 game slate, there are probably a lot of contrarian options but not all of them are good plays.
Contest selection is also extremely important in tournaments. You want to have as fair of an advantage as you possibly can. Playing three-to-five entries in a $3 GPP with a $50,000 top prize is certainly a fun thought, but when your competing against multiple thousands of other line-ups and players who are submitting 150 entries it can almost become a lottery. This is why single-entry GPPs and smaller field tournaments are recommended. Perhaps you came in 1,100th and turned your $3 into $6 in the mega-large GPP, while its still a win that same line-up could have won you $50-200 in a smaller contest.
Remember once you have a bankroll you can afford to take more chances. If you look at some of the top GPP players in the industry and you see their big $50-100K wins, keep in mind a lot of them play in higher dollar, lower field tournaments.
The most important thing is understand about tournaments is that most nights you may lose money. Successful GPPs players are prepared to lose most nights with the expectation that when they do finally win, its a big one that makes up for the other losing days.
Tournaments and GPPs are a ton of fun but don’t carry the safety or consistency that cash games do. The question is which type of contest fits your style. If you like to take big chances, are willing to sacrifice some money and don’t like playing the chalk (popular and obviously plays) then GPPs could be for you. GPPs are fun but very hard to be successful at long-term. It can be done but you have to have really good bankroll management and a lot patience.