December 29, 2010

Wine & Whine O' the Week (v. 1.16)—When The Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Surly

Over the holiday weekend, I played a session of 1/3 NLHE at the Horseshoe in Council Bluffs. I happened to be seated at a brand new table that opened as players busted out of the Sunday noon tournament.  The player seated to my immediate right was a young guy wearing the de rigueur baseball cap and hoodie, as well as a sullen frown; let's call him "Young Einstein".  Within minutes of the game starting, another young hoodie-wearing kid stopped by to inquire how Young Einstein busted out of the tournament, which led to this diatribe:

I had Ace-King suited on the button.  Some lady [well, a different word for a woman was used] raised to 400 from under the gun.  Blinds were only 100/200, so it wasn't much of a raise.  I made it 1400 to go, and she called. Flop was all rags, she checked, I bet 2000, and she min-raised.  I couldn't see how she could've hit the flop, so I pushed for like 12,000.  She called me and showed Seven-Deuce suited, for a pair of twos.  Seven-Deuce!  Can you believe that [expletive] [expletive]?!?  What a [expletive] [expletive] call!!

Yes, yes, I can see how someone calling with a better hand is a terrible play.  Wow, she was horrible to commit her stack with the best hand.  If it weren't for donkeys getting lucky like that, the good players would win 'em all.  It sucks that geniuses like Young Einstein have players like that lady keeping him down.

Now, within the next orbit or two, a hand came up where there were several limpers to Young Einstein who was in the small blind.  Young Einstein raised to $15, a bit on the high side for the table.  I was in the big blind and looked down to find Seven-Deuce of spades—the Velvet Hammer.  Given Young Einstein's tilt factor, I figured it was worth taking a gander at the flop.  Sure enough, the flop came out all rags, with a deuce.  Young Einstein bet, and I called.  Turn was another rag.  Young Einstein bet, and I min-raised.  Young Einstein muttered, but called.  The river was another rag. Young Einstein checked, I bet big, and Young Einstein agonized a long while before folding.

Young Einstein asked, "Jacks?  Tens?"  I smiled and said, "No, I got a monster" and rolled over my hand.  Young Einstein jerked back, then started muttering darkly about the usual, "How can you play that trash?" and "Twice in one [expletive] day."  Apparently, he failed to appreciate the irony of the situation.  Within a few hands, he had pushed preflop with a suited Ace-rag and busted out, whining all the way out of the poker room.

Our surly Young Einstein immediately reminded me of the faux-bounty given to me by Drizz after my WPBT fiasco—a bottle of Surly "Darkness" Russian Imperial Stout.

Surly Darkness is an exceptional example of the Russian Imperial Stout style of beer, with a very dark (almost black) color, strong molasses and espresso aroma, creamy head, and high alcohol content.  The flavors are dark chocolate, caramel, coffee, and sweet dark fruits—mainly raisins and figs, with a hint of blackberries and plums—with a definite bite of spice on the finish.  The hops are noticeable in the background, but they don't interfere with the smooth, easy drinking character of the beer.  Surly Darkness is an amazingly tasty, refreshing beer for those of you who aren't afraid of the dark.


  1. I don't think Surly distributes outside of Minnesota, do they? I've also heard good things about their Abrasive Ale (even though they can it instead of going with the 750ml bottle for some reason). If they distributed in Iowa I'd be going to get Abrasive and Darkness tonight.

  2. I prefer to drink this in the winter since it matches the color of the dirty snow and my black heart.

    I'll be giving a recap on the wine as soon as grilling season starts again :)

    Jughead - no, they do not distribute to Iowa, Minnesota is the only state that gets cans/bombers. And the Abrasive is awesome again this year.

  3. Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout is quite tasty and pretty widely available. (Their Oatmeal Stout and English Pale Ale are also solid choices.) Nice post, btw. I always enjoy the W/hine of the Week and have even used the oenological recommendations to show up with some well-received hostess gifts.