A camaraderie televises gunk into a ton

Been a while since I’ve updated this, so i figured I’d drop by for a little update. I’ve recently been trying to reconnect with everyone, so I’ve been setting up get togethers all over the place to the point where I haven’t been able to keep up with all of it. One of the biggest ones I have set up is that I’m actually going to the Linkin Park concert with my friends Burton, Alina, and Paridhi on Febuary 10th. However, February 10th is on a Thursday, and it’s also the second Thursday of the spring semester, meaning that class schedules may still be an issue. Of course, that’s the reason why I decided to do this so early in advance, so that all of the scheduling conflicts can be put to rest early. But this should be a great show, because Linkin Park is one of my favorite bands, and I hear they do some great shows live! So I can’t wait =]

I’ve also been doing a bunch of fast food research that I want to integrate into something a little more interesting. Now, Pepsi introduced their “Pepsi Challenge” in 1975, where they did a blind taste test with people of the general public to see which soda people preferred more: Pepsi or Coca-Cola, and in 2001, a giant campaign raged across America, with stands everywhere performed the test for people on the street, and handing out free samples of the product. This was a revolutionary idea, despite the test’s simplicity from a statistical standpoint. Blind tests have been performed by statisticians for years in scientific arenas, but this one just had that X factor. And this test was where I drew inspiration for the upcoming food comparisons that I’m going to do.

Now, I obviously can’t do blind taste tests for you all, because I don’t have enough money to afford that many fast food items, and let’s face it, you all are going to know which one is a Whopper and which one is a Big Mac just by looking at it. But what I want to do is throw out some polls to see what foods people like better on a one-on-one basis, like Big Mac vs. Whopper, KFC vs. Popeye’s, etc. Then after getting all of the poll information, I’ll show you all the nutritional values for the two, and see what ingredients or what nutrients stand out in the people’s choice. So if you liked Ben and Jerry’s ice cream over Cold Stone, what is it that makes the difference? Does the less-healthy choice have a tantalizing quality that makes it more popular than its competition? These are the kinds of questions I want to answer. There are going to be a lot of bandwagons on these topics (i.e. “There’s NO FUCKING WAY Ben and Jerry’s is better than Cold Stone!”), but remember, this isn’t going to be a popularity contest but rather a display of the facts in these foods, and what it means for you.

I’ve been getting back into pool again, which is a craft that I really need to hone. Back when I was still at UMBC, pool was my way of escaping the routine and the pressures put forth by the classes, the meetings, the essays, and the tests. I’ve met some of my best friends in the Game Room, considering that I spent a lot of time there, and it was practically the basis of my social life in college since I never had time for anything else. For me to have been away from the game for so long just kinda felt strange, since it had grown to be a part of me over the last four years. I mean, I’ve played games against some really good players like Joe, Obi, Eric, Kyoo, Lai, I’ve played against the World Artistic Pool champion, I’ve won [one] tournament in-house tournament, and I even played pool after the herniated disc in my back, where I was shooting with the rest on every shot (they called me “Handicap” because of it lol). Playing pool was integrated into my college experience, and I really do want to get back to the old ways with it. There’s always room for improvement, and it’s always fun to play, if not for the reminiscent and sentimental value of the game.

I’ve been getting back into the poker habit too, now that the weather’s getting colder, and I’m accident prone when it comes to all of the physical activities I do. I’ve been playing through some Full Tilt Poker Steps tournaments, where you have to finish in the top 2 of a single-table tournament to advance to the next round. I just made it to Round 3 this afternoon, after a really good tournament where I started with 1,500 chips, and finished the round over 8,000. I’m still trying to refine my play, but I know that I’ve always been more of a tournament player at heart. On the cruise last August, I realized that cash games are way different from tournaments, which is something I validated while reading Doyle Brunson’s Super System:

So I studied Johnny [Moss]’s strategy and saw that he didn’t try to win early in the tournament. He just tried to exist, and to keep from losing his money. Now, as you may remember from the earlier part of this section, this is exactly the opposite of my normal strategy in ordinary games. And I had been trying to win the tournament the same way I have always won at ordinary games. That was wrong for tournaments.

I had been jeopardizing my chips on even money situations, which can be a very good strategy in the early stage of an ordinary Poker game, but is not good in a tournament, where you can’t pull another few thousand out of your pocket and buy more chips.

I’ve historically been better at tournament play, where the only money you pay is the buy-in amount, as opposed to cash games, where your own money is on the line. Some plays in cash games just don’t work in tournament play, and tournament tactics usually don’t work in cash games.

I’ve meant to write a lot more, but there’s something small that’s been bothering me, and it’s pretty late. I’ll hopefully be back with more to talk about soon!

– Danny

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