Thursday, August 1, 2019

comparing opening ranges pt. 1 (?)

i've become a big fan of Sky Matsuhashi's Smart Poker Study podcast. i'm also realizing the need for some form of accountability in poker study so rather than type junk into evernote i'm going to make notes here and try to do some semblance of a coherent write-up.

why do i like his podcast? because it's meta. the best teachers, coaches, and people teach you to become better students, players, and people. Sky does a good job of teaching how to learn poker. His "how to study poker" book is a perfect place to start prior to doing his podcasts. i will warn the gentle reader, though, that you're going to want to read or listen to it twice.

anyway, he encourages accountability and goal setting. i'm going to set the bar low - i want to do 2 of these per month. i'm going to start by talking about recommended opening ranges because i think i'm guilty of opening too many hands from all positions.

we're going to start out with what i believe is my current UTG and UTG+1 range (i currently believe my range is the same for both positions in live cash (what i'd like to get better with) and online low-stakes (what i'm using for practice). note that i plotted this out without looking in my hand history db or looking at the other material, this is supposed to be my tightest range and i would add other hands if the table was super-tight and i was loosening up to counter.

fig. 1: current opening range from utg and utg+1

next i looked at ed miller's recommended opening range advocated in the excellent "the course" and online at his training site, red chip poker (i paid for one of their course, didn't care for it, more on that later). here's that range:

fig. 2: ed miller's "tight" opening range early position vs limpers. note - ignore KJo it's highlighted darker blue for no reason. note that it's a significantly tighter range. i would have expected it NOT to be based on reading the book previously.
this range is much much narrower than my present range - at least what i believe. it's 10.1% vs 7%. further, here's the "loose" range:

fig. 3: ed miller's "loose" range for unopened pots.
this "loose" range is still narrower than my current range - 8.75%. even when you add in semi-bluff/bluff hands like K8s and 76s that may flop well with good implied odds.

ok, i wanted to look at some other recommended opening ranges from utg and early position. for some reason, annie duke's mediocre book (but a good book to serve as a starting point) "decide to play great poker" came to mind first. unfortunately she eschews charts and dictating ranges. she just advocates a super tight borderline nitty range when you are a starting player. she points out (correctly) that most of your opponents are playing too many hands postflop.

jonathan little has written about playing low-stakes cash (which is what i like to play). his two recurring themes are to not be afraid to get out of line in low-stakes cash and to model your play after higher-stakes players to enable you to eventually be able to play higher stakes. here's his suggested opening range in early position:

fig. 4: jonathan little's recommended opening range in early position.
i was surprised by two things looking at this chart - that this is 10.1% of hands (same as my impression of my own range), but that this represents a much stronger set of hands that will also be easier to play post-flop. my personal feeling is that opening 22 and 33 and even 44 is a bad move for online where it's loose/passive and there's lots of limping. i do, however, agree that this is a quality range for live. in general though even at live i detest opening 22 and 33 because of their terrible realized equity.

the goal of this thought-piece is to create my own range for opening utg and utg+1 for both live and online cash and have identical ranges for both. keeping that in mind and having watched and read and studied other poker materials, here's what i've come up with:

well, i use commander flatus as my player name on multiple poker sites, so i'm not going to play face up the rest of my life. let's just say i used the excellent PokerCruncher to create a range of hands I like playing from ep with appropriate frequency for online and live cash. these hands play relatively straightforward post-flop.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

keto/sugar-free beef jerky recipe

I generally hate food blogs. The unctuous writing. The loathsome abundance of worthless content before the actual recipe. I especially dread the Q&A type worthless content - "Is jerky right for me"?

Anyway, I generally didn't like any of the recipes I found online so I decided to wing it and make my own. This is my first attempt at this and I will revise or make a future post if this doesn't come out well.
Food blog-esque high quality pics.

On to the recipe:

1.75 lbs top round, sliced, beaten with a meat tenderizer (a flat one, not a spikey one)
1 cup each Worcester sauce, soy sauce, and Diet Coke
2 Tsp salt
2 Tsp garlic powder 
1 tsp cayenne 
Marinated overnight 

I put them on my pellet grill (I have a Rec-Tec) on the "Low" setting which is about 180F for 2 hours before even checking on them. I recently got a jerky rack thing off Amazon - it's a Traeger brand but fits fine I have a Rec-Tec "Stampede". It would probably be best in the future to load up the rack on a cookie sheet and then put the rack in the grill. Looks like it could hold 3-4 lbs or so. These cooked for a total of 3 hours.

Ici nous avons le jerky du bouef.
 The finished product could use a little more salt and sweet flavor. Spiciness is at the correct level. I'm generally happy with the result.

Friday, July 19, 2019

some miscellaneous thoughts about a recent trip to Thailand

Just returned. Here are some thoughts to share.

As hotels go, the St. Regis is not terribly expensive, is extremely convenient to the BTS, and has wonderful food, service, amenities. Great staff. Property is slightly dated in some common areas - pool and spa. Overall my though is that if it's within your budget it should be your first choice unless you are determined to be near the river.

Many people rave about the Sheraton Royal Orchid (it's a favorite on the flyertalk forums). We spent 2 nights there and it's OK but not great. Larger property. Close to the river and has nice ferry service but hard to get around because you usually have to take the ferry to the BTS stop then proceed on from there.

Grab is the Thai version of Uber. They used to have Uber. Not sure why they got rid of Uber. Grab is convenient and inexpensive. The drivers we used spoke no english or so little that it made things difficult. Don't count on communicating directly.

Google Translate is now useful for Thai. Previously when I had tried it lacked significant functionality vs German or French (for example). That appears to have been fixed.

I've spent probably 3 weeks in aggregate time in Bangkok. I think in the future I only need to go for 2-3 days and then go someplace else - either Chiang Mai or Laos for the next trip. Would like to see Ko Phi Phi also. This isn't because I don't love Bangkok. I do love Bangkok. It's just a big city and there are limited attractions. I like going primarily for good food and shopping at this point.

Lime soda (both home-made at restaurants and the stuff in 7-11's and Family Mart) is delicious and not sweet.

Check the Buddhist calendar as there are now days during the year (1-2 or even 3 day periods) where there are no alcohol sales anywhere but duty-free stores.

Also note (I could not find an answer on the web anywhere) - airport lounges (Thai Air in particular) DOES SERVE BOOZE during these holidays.

Crab yellow curry was my favorite dish this trip. I also continue to love Chiang Mai and Issan sausage.

Cooking schools seem to always offer the same few dishes (or minor variations) - glass noodle salad, some kind of curry, and fish cakes.

Raja's Fashions in Bangkok - make sure you go to the correct one (there's an imposter across the street) - is probably the only tailor I will ever use in the future. Made my 4th (I think) visit there. Lovely people. Lively shop with many returning customers. Reasonable prices. Lovely garments. Click the URL link and take note of what their logo looks like so you don't go to the wrong store.

That's it.