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Daniel - Poker Journal

A Case for Faith

05 Sep 2008


I became a believer in late 2003 due in large part to a book called "A Case for Christ" written by a former atheist by the name of Lee Strobel. He conducted interviews over a full year examining the the case for Christ, from the resurrection, to the validity of the Bible. After reading that book I felt convinced that there was enough evidence to suggest not only that Christ was a man who existed (few would debate that) but also that he was the son of God.

Of course, there is a necessary leap of Faith and that is an obstacle that often keeps people from being able to believe in God. Lee Strobel has several questions as well that would gnaw at him so he went on another journey, conducting more interviews in the hopes of answering "The Big 8." The 8 most asked questions that turn people away from becoming believers. In no particular order, they are:

1. If there's a loving God, why does this pain-wracked world groan under so much suffering and evil?
2. If the miracles of God contradict science, then how can any rational person believe that they are true?
3. If God really created the universe, why does the persuasive evidence of science compel so many to conclude that the unguided process of evaluation accounts for life?
4. If God is morally pure, how can he sanction the slaughter of innocent children as the Old Testament says he did?
5. If Jesus is the only way to heaven, than what about the millions of people who have never heard of him?
6. If God cares about the people he created, how could he consign so many of them to an eternity of torture in hell just because they didn't believe the right things about him?
7. If God is the ultimate overseer of the church, why has it been rife with hypocrisy and brutality throughout the ages?
8. If I'm still plagued by doubts, then is it still possible to be a Christian?

I'm actually reading the book a second time and taking notes. I was riveted by much of it, specifically the theory of Evolution and Darwinism. I'm not going to get into too much detail about all the specifics of the book, but if you do have doubts, or are even an atheist or an agnostic, I think this book is well worth the read. It certainly couldn't hurt you.

It starts out telling the story of Charles Templetom, a former pastor who became an agnostic because he couldn't answer these questions and it kept him from being able to have faith. He brings up some strong points, but Lee Strobel's journey answered some of those tough questions that Templeton raised.

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Sweden was a quick in and out as I was there doing some promotional work for PokerStars. I also had a chance to talk to Mats Sundin and was thoroughly impressed with him as a man as well as a hockey mind. He cares about Toronto way more than the people in that city realize.. it's a shame management hasn't made the best of decisions over the years...

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PokerVT: we shot some new stuff this week in our new studio that's been built solely to create live content for the site. More and more live videos will be added over the next little while.

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I golfed one day when I returned and obviously didn't hit the ball too well considering the long lay off. While golfing, my buddy Sam, the center of many of our jokes said something that had me rolling on the floor. We talked about playing a house game of Badugi that evening and he mentioned that he noticed PokerStars was going to have Badugi soon. He said, "I went to open up the Badugi tab and it said, 'coming soon' so I waited for like an hour and nothing happened." LOL, he went on to say that he does that ever day for like an hour and it always just says "coming soon." You have to know Sam to know how funny that is.

We did play Badugi that night over at my buddy Ted's house. We would have played at my house, but my house was destroyed while in Sweden. Patty hadn't been at the house while I was gone so when a leak from the sink made it's way to the game room and even the office, there ended up being like a foot of water on the ground. The walls are still drying, but luckily none of my electronics were damaged.
So that night we played a mix of Badugi, 2-7 triple draw, A-5 triple draw, and 5 card draw triple draw, all limit. I didn't win anything and ran pretty bad

The next day is when I shot all the VT stuff. After that we got together for dinner at Bellagio's new restaurant YellowTail. Cool atmosphere, ok food. After that we headed to the poker room where my Korean buddy John Smith was playing $30-$60 hold'em. I said hello, then when he got up from the table I decided to play a round for him. I played two pots and won them both. Hand #1 I raised from the cut off with Qh 6h and the big blind re-raised. The flop was 10-6-2 he bet I called. The turn was a Q and we got 4 bets in. I cracked his AA.
The other hand I played was from under the gun where I raised with 6s 9s. I got a call behind me and the big blind. Flop was 10-5-2 with two spades, I bet and the big blind called. The turn was an ace, she checked and I stole it on the turn.

We hung out in the poker room for a bit, and then I just randomly sat in a guys chair and played a round for him too. He didn't seem to care when he got back as it was all in good fun. The room was buzzing a bit and then I ended up doing some autographs and pictures before heading out to a Karaoke joint in Chinatown.

Karaoke is a blast, especially with Sam because he has to be the worst singer in the world but loves to sing. After a while, John Smith chose a Korean song and since no one was backing him up, I decided to give it a try. It was a remake of a Cyndy Lauper song and I thought I did pretty good. Especially during the rap part, where I did my best impression of a Korean rapper. All there gave me a thumbs up for authenticity in terms of the accent, etc.

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I've got one more day at home until my month long European trip. Today I played in the 5 card draw WCOOP event and got close to the money. It had 1000 players or so and I got down to like 180th before busting after a failed bluff attempt where I tried to represent two pair but all I really had was a busted flush draw. The guy called me with a pair of 88. Good call.

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Politics is getting crazier and crazier and in the forums at Full Contact Poker in my blog section people are blabbing away at each other defending their candidate. It gets pretty heated sometimes, as politics often does, and I usually don't stick with the threads all the way to the end because they get too nutty.
I was appalled with the GOP convention. I was actually warming up to McCain and feeling like he might be a decent guy, but the speeches of Guliani and Palin disgusted me. They were rude, obnoxious, and they not only mocked Obama but essentially mocked and belittled any of his supporters. I hated watching it, I thought it was just awful.
It's always annoyed me that abortion always plays such a large role in many voters minds as to who they'll choose since it's not even a federal issue. There will always be people in this country that are both pro-life and pro-choice, but I think both of those groups should instead focus on their common goal: reducing the number of abortions. That would be a good place to start, IMO. Taking an extreme stance either way doesn't get anything done. Pro-lifers see abortion as murder and have every right to voice their opinion, as do those that aren't religious who feel that allowing a woman the right to choose is the morally correct thing to do. My opinion on the issue is totally irrelevant. The thing is, I also feel like the opinion of the president is only slightly more relevant since they don't have the power to overturn Roe vs Wade.

Oops, I'm getting into politics, abortion, and RELIGION in this blog! Wow, I should know better, seriously :-)

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