What non-LHE games have you picked up since you moved to LA? What was your motivation for playing them? Rate how good you are on a scale of 1-10 at each of them. Favorite? Least favorite?
To be honest, I have been completely remiss in attempting to learn other games, mainly because they simply don't exist out here. In my current situation I often have occasion to play a few hands of random other games with other casino employees (meaning mostly other professional poker players) and I haven't really been too gung ho to do that. But the total list of games I have played is pretty staggering:
Deuce to Seven Triple Draw
Badonci (invented my MikeL and I)
The list goes on and on and on. Like I said, most of the games have been played short handed with other professionals, and we usually pick one based on how we're feeling and tend to go through phases. For example we used to play a ton of deuce, but got bored and started playing Razzdugi, and are currently in a phase of Chinese (13 card) poker. From a practical point of view I have put almost no effort into improving at any game other than deuce (for which I read some posts, listened to some Death Donkey podcasts, and watched a few videos), and even that has kind of trailed off for now. If I was interested in playing NL I could probably get myself into games more often than I do, but I simply find the game unfathomably boring and slow. The small games I see, however, tend to be filled with just awful players who simply don't understand one or two very basic things, the primary one being that if the blinds are 2-3 and somebody raises to 20, calling with pocket 4s is probably not a good idea when you have $130 in your stack. And that weakness pretty much sums up how I play the $100-$300 buyin (2-3 blind) no limit game. I call plenty of small raises in position (when people raise to like $9, or some such, and get 3 callers) with hands that make monsters, and make larger than standard raises with my premium starting hands. That's about it. I know lots of players who have played lots of nl, and they generally concur that everyone is terrible and that good thinking players can get a lot of bang for their bankroll buck. Many of the props I see basically serve as an existence proof that the games are super soft; there is no way these guys are beating the 20/40 game, so they must be hiding out in the nl games turning a small profit.
Wow OK so that basically turned into me pontificating on nl cash games. To answer your question I am reasonably ok at them (I'm sure I could beat the small games) but hate them. I also really don't like stud games because they have no flow (mentioned previously), also suffer from being slow, and require me to pay lots of attention. I do however find Razzdugi to be a very fun 3 handed game, and in general like the draw games quite a bit (deuce more than badugi) because I think they are actually somewhat rich in (at least to me) interesting decisions and are just plain fun. You get FIVE CARDS and can draw as many as you want THREE TIMES! It's just....fun. Also there's lots more room for creative bluffing, etc. Or maybe it's just all shiny and new to me so I like it, I dunno. While I enjoy these games a lot more than nl, I'm confident I'd have a very easy time putting myself into profitable nl spots while I could have a hard time getting into a deuce game where I wasn't one of the worst players, simply because so many bad players play nl, but anytime a deuce game goes professional seem to flock to it. So I guess I'm not going to answer your question rating myself from 1 to 10 because I'm not really sure what the scale would be based on, but I will say that I'd love to play draw games 40 hours a week but would probably lose my ass, and I'd hate to play nl 40 hours a week but could probably grind out a small profit.