Porters, Poker and Penn State

This past weekend I got to combine three of my favorite things – well, four if you want to be exact. I went up to Penn State, enjoyed myself at a beer festival and then played in a poker tournament. The fourth thing? I got to play around with my camera a bit, too.

The weekend began with the trip up to Penn State – a much shorter and faster trip than I remembered, thanks to the tons of new construction. When we got there, we were met by a large group of other Theta Delts at the Cafe. We made quite a ruckus there before heading over to an old favorite – Zeno’s. It was there that I got into trouble, switching from Yuengling Lager to Chimay and Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. Both were delicious but added to my light-headedness.

It was a cool place to be, though, since they were sponsoring the BrewFest the next day – and there were a lot of brewers and beer afficianados in attendance to drink from Zeno’s 29 taps and over 200 different beers (and you’d be hard pressed to find anything brewed by the Big 3. Along the way, I met Matt from Stoudt’s Brewery, a good guy to talk beer with. We reviewed our favorites, talked about his work and he gave me a bit of a lesson on some of the styles that I’m less familiar with, as well as inviting me to stop by the next day.

As the night went on, I realized that I just can’t drink like I used to – but I can still kick butt in darts, winning 3 of 4 games. After the performance (and much trash-talking), everyone then headed back to the house where I quickly found my long work week catching up to me.

Dear Ol’ State

I got up early on Saturday morning to enjoy the beginning of the day and run up to campus to take some pictures. I have always wanted to get some shots of the highlights of campus, and this was going to be my chance, now that I have my new Nikon D70 camera. I have to say that I was impressed and amazed by the number of changes on campus. There aren’t only new buildings, there are entire new sections of the campus. The technology center, the fact that Shortlidge is no longer a car-accessible road (instead being a pedestrian mall in between two wings of the huge Science Classroom Building, the new HUB. It’s all changed so much, and one of the actives at the house was telling me that East Halls – familiarly known as The Tundra in my day – was intended to one day be near the center of campus. Penn State is growing.

But as much as it is growing and getting newer, there are things which still stand and point to the origins of the place. The walking malls are still there, lined with grass and begging squirrels. And there is still Old Main and the Nittany Lion Shrine, my destinations for the day. Below are some of the pictures I got:

Old Main Old Main Tower Old Main Through the Sculpture Hail to the Lions Nittany Lion Shrine The Lion Stands Alone II

State College Microbrewery Exposition 2005

To follow up on a picture-perfect (no pun intended) morning, I was met by the other members of the entourage heading to the BrewFest outside of town. There were only five of us since most people were going to play golf (can’t figure that one out), and we were eager to try the wares of the various brewers and distributors. The $35 entrance fee included the obligatory tasting glass, access to all the beer you could drink (although that defeats the purpose) and a buffet. So, we headed in and went to start sampling brews from all over the world, with a focus on the Pennsylvania region. My scorecard:

  • Affligem Blond » 7
  • Ayinger Celebrator Doublebock » 8.5
  • Chimay Cinq Cents » 9
    Good as usual, but it tasted as though the lines were a little funky.
  • Dogfish Head Aprihop » 6.5
  • Duvel » 8.5
  • Hoegaarden » 8.5
  • KClinger’s Brown » 3
  • Lancaster Brewing Milk Stout » 7
    I think I actually like this one better in bottle – the tapped version tasted a bit too smoky.
  • Lancaster Brewing Strawberry Wheat » 7.5
  • Rodenbach » 8
    To be honest, I like the Monk’s version better
  • Stoudt’s Trippel » 7.5
  • Stoudt’s Weizen » 7
  • Troeg’s Troegenator» 6.5
  • Unibroue Maudite » 8
  • Unibroue Terrible » 9
  • Unibroue La Fin Du Monde » 8.5
  • Unibroue Edition 2005 » 10
    Absolutely outstanding beer. I got two others hooked on this – I’ll be getting it soon.
  • Victory Whirlwind Wit » 8
  • Woodchuck Pear » 7.5
    A bit too fruity for me, but not bad
  • Young’s Oatmeal Stout » 8
  • Young’s Double Chocolate Stout » 9

And Mr. and Mrs. Jerky were making some fine jerky styles, too.

World Series of Poker, Theta Delta Chi Style

Then came the big event – the poker tournament. 39 people were supposed to play, but only 29 showed up – still a great showing with lots of guys that I haven’t seen in a while – in some cases, almost a decade. Web did a fantastic job at getting everything organized and started on time. I played well, although not as well as I did at the last tournament. In the end, I made it to the final table, where I spent my first dozen or so hands getting only 2 face cards total. Makes it hard to play when you can’t even stay in. So, my measly pot kept dwindling and dwindling in the face of the antes and blinds until I took a chance (“Columbus took a chance…”) – a chance with J-3 in the hole against a K-something. I started out well, getting a 3 on the flop, but a king showed up on the turn, and it was all over. I was out, finishing 9th place. Still, not too bad – I played for 4+ hours and took out some of the guys I thought would be there until the end.

Everyone had a good time, and my buddy Tony took the whole thing (I taught him well, it seems). It was a lot of fun for the weekend – although I was bushed on Sunday (and today).


A bunch of beers, poker and seeing old friends – all made for a great time. We’re already planning for next year’s tournament.

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3 Responses to “Porters, Poker and Penn State

  • Wow, I was just checking out the pictures of the doggies swimming, Miles is doing great now. I think Yogi wants a shot at that swan…

  • Bring them over – I’m sure they would love the company.

  • Marty great site! – Chuck

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