11-7-05 [poker]The Superstars semifinals was indeed very interesting. Mortensen and Nguyen both played so badly I can't even comment on them. Scotty played his usual game, trying to be way too tricky, always trying to trap, he doesn't push when he's ahead and he lets his opponents catch up, and then he pushes weak hands in big bluffs. In fact, Scotty seems to bet exactly the opposite of how you should - he bets (bluffs) his weak hands and checks (traps) his good hands. That might work against morons, but not against solid players. You might say heads up is very random, blah blah blah, but the blinds here were quite small, 10k/20k with stacks of 1 million - that's an M of 33, quite enough to make normal size raises and lay down hands that aren't that strong (like A8, Carlos).
Watching Johny Chan play heads up was the highlight of the show. Johny plays a very straightforward game, just like me. I think he makes a few mistakes, but they're small mistakes, just when he decides to get a little tricky and limps some big hands. Other than that he just plays very straight up and makes good decisions. Actually I think Johny's last decision calling all-in with the QT was a mistake. He correctly knows Scotty isn't on a very good hand, but that doesn't make QT good enough to call with. Based on the chip stacks, I think you need like A8 or KJ or better to call there. Even more importantly, he was dominating Scotty in play, so there's no need to take a big gamble there (note that it would be different if he was the aggressor - I have no problem being the aggressor with QT).