As you may have heard, DraftKings is starting a series of survivor tournaments today that will be running over the course of the next few weeks and awarding huge sums of money for those who survive and advance. The first of those tournaments kicks off today with the $250K Medium Strikeout with $30,000 to first place and a $27 buy in. You can join that tournament here:
1. What is a Survivor Tournament
A survivor tournament is a grueling four day event where roughly half the field is eliminated each day. Players enter their lineups and either suvive and advance, or get knocked out. The top 5,000 entries here will move on to day 2. After day 2, that number will be cut in half again to 2,500. After day 3, only 1,000 will remain and on day 4 those 1,000 will play for the top prizes.
2. When do I make money?
Everyone who survives until day 3 will be in the money. The big money comes on the final day when the tournament basically turns into a GPP payout structure in which you want to be one of the top scoring rosters on the final day to make more cash.
3. How do I play it?
If you look at the tournament structure, day 1 and day 2 are basically like any multiple entry 50/50 you would play on a regular normal one day slate. You want to build a safe, comfortable cash game style lineup that gets you into the top 50%. The idea on day one and two is just to be on the right side of that cash line so you can move on to the next day. It doesn’t matter if you are 1st or 4999th, you still get to play again tomorrow. Trying to win day 1 and day 2 of a survivor really doesn’t help you much, other than moving on.
4. How should I play day 3?
Day 3 is a whole different animal. Only 40% of the field moves on in day 3, so you need to be a little more aggressive and make sure you get into that top part of the tournament. While a regular cash game lineup works on day 1 and day 2, by the time you get to day 3, you need to get a little more out of your comfort zone and look for upside. Only 40% of the remaining players will be moving on after the third day, so it’s less of a field and tougher competition.
5. What about day 4?
Day 4 is the money round. The fourth day changes a lot. It’s no longer about trying to be a safe top 50% roster. You want to give yourself the most upside on day 4 because your finishing place on the final day will determine how much cash you bring home. The good thing about that is by day 4 you are guaranteed money, so even if you go for upside and miss badly, you will still bring in a nice return.
6. What are some strategies I can use?
Running a Train is the most commonly used strategy in a survivor tournament, especially for round 1. What that means is, you make a lineup you like and enter that lineup multiple times in order to have a lot of live entries after day 1 if you put them in the top half. It’s tough to be right four days in a row. The idea of running a train is to give yourself many avenue’s to get to the final day with multiple rosters still alive. If you are lucky enough to sneak your train through to the second day, you can then split those entries into two or three separate lineups and hope that one or two of those groupings gets through to day 3. With what you have left on day 3, you can again take multiple avenues and make multiple rosters, which gives you more than one way to sneak one into the final rounds. Some guys will run their trains all the way until day 4 hoping to have five or ten live lineups at then end, so they can make multiple stacks or take multiple pitcher combinations and try to win the whole tournament on day 4.
Multiple entries – Many players will take multiple entries and make completely uncorrelated lineups with little to no overlap. The idea being that if you take a few entries and spread them around, the ones that do well will move on and the others won’t. By spreading the risk to multiple lineups though, you basically raise your odds of getting some through, but also raise the chances of some falling flat. When you employ this type of strategy daily in a survivor tournament, you are more likely to have a lineup alive on the last day, but are highly unlikely to have many of them still left. It’s a good way to make sure you have at least one bullet left on the final day, but requires a large outlay of cash upfront to get it done. If you do not get a big cash on the final day, you likely may not recover the cost of all those lineups you made along the way that missed.
DraftKings is running two other survivor tournaments at the $5 and $300 price points. The $5 one will be next week and the $300 buy-in will start on July 6th. You can enter satellites in the lobby now in order to pick up some more tickets to these events for a discount, so start trying to get them now. As you can see here, it is an advantage to have many entries in a survivor tournament, as it opens up a lot more avenues to the final day and the big money.