Despite spending a couple of days stuck in airports (did you know Houston could have blizzards? Yeah, neither did I. Too bad that was a filthy lie and the entire airport shut down for six hours because of a whopping 1 inch of snow), I did wind up making it to the meeting I wrote about last time. I can't really write much about it because the stuff that I think is fair to make public is also pretty boring, but here's the bottom line: there's a very good chance California gets legalized online poker within the next year. The state has huge budget deficits, needs money from any available source, and there's a good drive to get a bill going this year, so the end result is that there will be a push made to get an intrastate bill through the legislature - and it's got a good chance of passing. I'll be writing much more about this proposal in the next few months, but for now, if you have good (read: "no multitabling" is not good) suggestions on how to implement something like that, send them my way.
My laptop is still in the shop, but after getting back from Cali, I've been playing, putting in a Sunday's worth of donkaments (results: two deep runs = up $5 on the day, heh) and, following LearnedfromTV's posts, quite a bit of 10/20 badugi (in principle, anyway, since I had to one table it). In less than a thousand hands, I managed to have an $1800 upswing *and* a $1700 downswing (meaning 90BB in both directions - not bad), discovered that it tilts me more than any other game I've ever sat down for in my life whether I win or lose, and quickly stopped playing it while I could still claim to be a winner. I can't really say how good I am (read: it's plain that I suck, but not as plain whether I suck less than a lot of other people playing), but there's a badugi tracker out there that, even in that very limited sample size, has given me some interesting insights into this game. One fun one: in a loose aggro game like that one where people frequently do things like coldcall 3 bets OOP and then draw two, any pat K or Q badugi that you can't break and even bad pat J's seem to be net losers in EP and to significant action, simply because when you are OOP in multiway pots, your actions are predetermined (bet until you're raised and then sighfold or sighcall) while multiway opponents will all either run you down, control how much $ they put in, or bluff at a near optimal frequency. In addition, the fact that you start off pat means your badugi is, on average, pretty mediocre, so your opponents recognize this and never fold even with mediocre one card draws themselves. This makes decent pat badugis (anything T or down, or good three card hands with a K or Q that can be kept or discarded depending on action) very good earners, but means that it seems best to outright fold something like a pat KJ UTG and even ditch JT98r when the pot looks to be multiway. I may be wrong because of sample size, etc., but when every pot is guaranteed to be 3 handed and most are 4 handed to the first draw, I don't think I am. Conversely, any starting three to a six or better is enormously more valuable, especially in position.
Incidentally, the badugi tracker already shows there *is* a "correct" VPIP for this type of badugi game, +-5%. Every winner and breakeven player I have in my DB plays about the same number of hands. Big losers all play more, and some small losers play less, but in 6-8 handed games, the sweet spot seems to be right around 33%. That isn't to say you couldn't beat the game playing less hands or even more, but given how LAGgy it is right now and all the 4 handed pots where people are drawing 3, one third of hands (obviously far more on the button than UTG) looks like the way to go.