Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lowball draw musings

I've played a couple of thousand hands of triple draw now, at 25c/50c and 50c/$1, and I'm roughly break-even. Given my badugi record, and the similarities between the two games, I thought I'd do better than that, but it hasn't panned out that way. Just like in badugi, I see what appears to be poor play, but unlike in badugi I seem unable to capitalise. Maybe my sample size is too small to draw any reasonable conclusions, but I'm sure I have a few leaks that need patching up. Certainly I can't hand-read as well in triple draw as I can in badugi.

I've read some discussion on forums about the comparative variance of triple draw and badugi. The swings seem more brutal in triple draw, although I've done no statistical analysis of my hands to back this up. A couple of reasons why triple draw might be more "swingy":
  1. Triple draw hands run closer in equity, particularly on the last draw; for instance 8763 is a 44% shot against 7432 with one draw remaining. Compare that to 652 in badugi, which is about a 4-to-1 underdog to 32A on the last draw.
  2. When you're up against a pat hand in badugi and you've missed the first two draws, it's likely you won't have the odds to continue, so you can (and should) pull the plug at that stage unless the stand-pat person has a propensity to snow. In triple draw you generally have more outs to complete your hand and can therefore see all three draws. So in triple draw a bad run of missed monster draws will cost you considerably more than in badugi.

In addition to those factors, you play more hands per hour at triple draw than badugi (because the tables are smaller) so your ups and downs seem more pronounced.

My current overall profit has just nudged over US$6000, including (of course) that tournament success back in May. If and when it reaches $6100, I'll cash out all but $600, which I'll use to play single draw as well as badugi (and maybe low-stakes triple draw too).

I managed to convert some of my frequent player points into tournament money, and I'll use $22 of that to buy into tomorrow morning's turbo WCOOP badugi satellite, starting at 7:30. The turbo aspect doesn't appeal - if you don't hit a few hands early you'll be out - but I'll give it a go anyway. After that I've got a busy day: a WINZ appointment at 10:30, the WRAP (mental health) course between 1 and 3pm, teaching fractions in Browns Bay a little later, then the men's group in the evening.

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