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Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 80: Going for Value with Matt Hunt

Matt Hunt
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  • A new "Hold'em with Holloway" highlights an interesting aces hand with Matt @MGHpoker Hunt.

  • Hand analysis: @MGHpoker has pocket aces versus @sdaviespoker at the MSPT Venetian Main Event.

Having live reported for the better part of a decade, I've become pretty good at spotting talent, players who I expect to break out in a big way in the years to come. One such player is the UK's Matt Hunt, who now grinds in Las Vegas.

Hunt has amassed $250,692 in live tournament earnings including a career-best $159,532 for finishing runner-up to Mario Prats Garcia in this summer's 2018 WSOP Event #45: $1,000 NLH Big Blind Ante. More recently, Hunt won the DeepStack Extravaganza III Event #3: $340 NLH DoubleStack for $26,671.

In addition to playing, Hunt is a coach with Tournament Poker Edge and Solve for Why Academy alongside Matt Berkey, Jordan Young, and others. At the bottom of this article you can find a sample from one of Hunt's instructional videos.

I had the opportunity to watch Hunt in action earlier this month in the $1,100 Mid-States Poker Tour Venetian Main Event, including seeing him get involved in an interesting hand on Day 1A during Level 9 (500/1,000/1,000). With about 40 players remaining in the flight, 2014 World Series of Poker Asia Pacific Main Event champion Scott Davies opened for 2,300 under the gun and Hunt three-bet to 6,800 from the button.

Both blinds folded, Davies called, and the flop fell {9-Hearts}{j-Clubs}{a-Spades}. Davies check-called a bet of 4,500 and then both players checked the {9-Diamonds} turn.

Hunt: "I'm not going to get a lot of value a lot of the time."

"I had aces in that hand," Hunt admitted on a break, meaning he'd flopped top set and improved to a full house on the turn.

"It was a weird spot because I recognized there was a low likelihood of me getting paid a substantial amount. On the flop, it was a pretty straightforward decision. I have to bet to get value. There are a lot of hands he has that interact with that board in a significant way," he surmised.

"I didn't think there was much chance of me getting check-raised, but with his stack I thought if he had {Q-}{10-} or something like that maybe he jams if I bet quite small," Hunt continued. "On the turn when I boat up he's going to give me most of his chips with a nine anyway, so I can check back fairly easily and allow him to realize some equity if he has {k-}{q-} or something."

When the {10-Diamonds} completed the board on the river, Davies checked for the third time and Hunt bet 15,000. Davies, who had 20,000 behind, wasted little time in folding while Hunt chipped up to 60,000.

"On the river, it was kind of annoying," said Hunt. "On that board when he checks to me I'm not going to get a lot of value a lot of the time, but I figured if he did check a nine twice, maybe with {8-}{9-}-suited, and checked it on the river, I don't think he's going to fold it and I want to get max value if he does have it. I recognized most of the time he'd have something like {q-}{j-} and can't find any bluffs in my range so will fold."

"It was a board where it's really hard to get value from top boat unless he happens to river a straight or something. It was an interesting hand but probably a little more interesting if I don't have aces," Hunt concluded.

For more on Hunt, follow him on Twitter @MGHpoker. Meanwhile, here's that sample from an instructional video featuring Hunt below:

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