I've spent the last few months pretty much not playing live poker. By not playing live poker I mean not more then once a month if that. Bourbonators has pretty much been my only live poker since sometime last spring. Before this hiatus, I had played at least one night a week for 4 years. Maybe I was a little burned out. Maybe. I had reached a point though, I was getting bored playing online only. There's only so many online hours you can spend before you long to just splash some chips around.
Last Friday night, we had our monthly meeting. Our host's wife is spitting out a baby ANY day now, so it was a little dicey about whether he was gonna host or not. He had picked up a bottle of Aberlour Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (aged 12 years). We think we've tried this one before, but we've lost the list. Nice huh? Oh well, if I keep this up and post every month. There's always a chance, we might just get the official web site going.
On with the booze!
According to the package, this single malt has been aged in traditional oak casks and finest Sherry Casks. Double casking was developed in distillers in Scotland. The British would sell them their used sherry casks and after aging the whiskey for a while in the traditional vessels, they would move the spirits into the sherry casks for a little more maturation. Interesting idea.
The tasting notes on this package described the color as a golden amber with hints of rub red. You can see that in my first picture. I have noticed that the darker/redder the liquid, the more likely it is to either be sweeter or comprised of more complex flavors. Sweeter for me in a whisky is not always a good thing. (Sorry Canadians)
The nose is described as "soft and round with fruity notes of red apple". I have no idea what round is supposed to smell like. Any clues? But it was definitely pleasant fruity. The palate was listed as "sherried character and fruity flavours balanced with a rich chocolate, toffee and cinnamon and ginger spiciness." My perception was definitely a richer flavor than many scotches I've tried. It really was a warm, deeply comforting flavor that I found quite enjoyable. So many of the scotches I've tried have either been very smoky or very peaty. This was neither. Just smooth, a tiny touch of sweet and very relaxing. The finish was also as described, "warm and lingering with some smoky notes and gentle pepperiness."
A drink well done.
It very well could have been this spirit or the fact that we had a short table of 6 runners, but I found myself in a strange place. I really wanted to play poker and had a lot of fun playing it. So incredibly weird. The host had also purchased the nummy and delicious 312 beer from the Goose Island Brewery.
The 6 guys that were there were 6 guys I've played many times. The more I think of it, the more I realize that many of them actually read this blog and I probably shouldn't go babbling on and on about what kind of tells, habits, tendencies I've noticed. Maybe just recap a hand or two that seemed fun or somehow caught my attention.
The first hand was something I've really sucked at for a while. Some people might wonder how the hell you could screw it up but I think others will definitely recognize just what a challenge it can be. In this first hand, I held AA. Yep, I suck at playing this hand, especially from very early position.
Now how the hell can you suck at playing aces, I mean really. Well, for the longest time, I've been consistently winning the smallest of pots with it. Annoying as hell. Taking the blinds is not my goal, but it seemed to be my modus operandi.
On this night, I played them different. I normally 3 BB raise everything, but I also tend to be the tightest guy at the table. My guess is, the 3 BB raise from EP would probably just look like aces when I do it. I had spent more time also playing against my usual tight image. I had been a down right bully a few times and play a bit more pots then usual.
I opened from under the gun with just a min raise. With the table short handed, I hoped this might generate a little action, if I could get a few callers, there was more the one guy here that would take a stab at a squeeze play.
Two guys did indeed limp and the button did a reraise. A nice sized one too. The blinds quickly folded and back to me. I realized this might be a really good time for a really big over bet. I had bullied this player earlier and if he's got a hand that's trying to clear out the deadwood, like a big ace, he just might defend his raise. My bet was almost all of my stack and sure enough, he moved it all in over the top. Gin!
He tables AQs, this was exactly the type of hand I thought he might have. It's also a hand that's almost a 9:1 underdog to pocket aces, all I would need to do is dodge the remaining 50 spades in the deck (that's a joke, but doesn't it seem like when this happens, every card turned over is a spade...just sayin) I dodged them all and doubled up with aces.Whew!
.Since it was 6 handed, I really did figure it was time to be very active and more aggressive. The weird thing was, the 6 of us were taking way longer to finish a sng then we ever took when there was twice this many players. It probably was the scotch.
The night did produce a fair amount of drama. In the hand pictured below, the flop was laid out from right to left. Yes, the 87 had flopped the straight and two cards later, the A2o hits the bigger straight. The sick part was the 87o was a big stack, and the A2o was a little stack we were trying to bust from the tournament. Poker can be so cruel.
I believe this was one hand later, same two players. KJ was the big stack again, and got rivered for the chop. Sigh.
I went away from the night with a smile on my face. I finished 2nd in the 2nd sng, so the whole night cost me my $5 for the booze. Well worth it. I felt good about the way I played and had a blast doing it. Hopefully, these keeps with me to December. Which is taking it's sweet ass time, don't you think?