Tonight, Poker After Dark returns to PokerGO with “$25k Elevator Week” featuring Matt Berkey, Justin Young, Jared Jaffee, Anthony Alberto, and first-timers Adrian Attenborough, Sean Winter, Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen. On the day of the lineup announcement, we spoke to an excited and confident Hunichen about making his debut in one of poker’s most iconic televised games.
Having been in poker for nearly 15 years, as Hunichen made a name for himself in the online poker world, the Costa Rica based pro was also a big fan of the show he’s able to play on for the very first time today.
“I don’t think there is much as far as televised shows that I have missed,” Hunichen said, admittedly a big fan of the likes of Phil Ivey.
“I’ve always enjoyed watching poker on tv and used to love watching Ivey on Poker After Dark! I don’t think TV poker will ever be the same as those days with Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Gus Hansen.”
Looking ahead at the lineup that Hunichen’s facing, he only gone up against Matt Berkey, Jared Jaffee, and Sean Winter before on the international tournament scene.
“Everyone in the lineup has had success in poker, so I think it’s a fun lineup and it should be a good time for everyone.”
Hunichen’s road to the top might not be as much in the spotlights as other pros that have had similar success. Sporting $11.6 million in online tournament earnings to go along with $4.3 million in live results, Hunichen’s one of the most successful grinders out there but only recently did he start dabbling in the biggest buy-ins.
“I was a hardcore grinder for over a decade and I was always looking to take it to the highest level and try to compete with the best of the best the game has to offer and so far I’ve done decently well in them. To me, the high rollers are way more fun than any other poker tournaments I’ve ever played aside from the WSOP Main Event.”
Finishing fourth in the PCA $100,000 Super High Roller for $627,340 two weeks ago marked Hunichen’s biggest live score, coming just a month after finishing third in the Bellagio $100,000 for $592,000. Tackling the biggest buy-ins has put “Huni” on the radar with more casual fans, but for him, it’s just a natural progression and something he feels completely ready for.
“The bigger buy-ins make it a bit easier to hit bigger scores, although at those stakes I am playing with the best of the best in the world. It’s a bit crazy because although I am one of the most accomplished overall MTT players over the last 10-15 years when I play the high rollers I am definitely looked at as an underdog.”
“Usually I would be entering the tournament and people would look at me as a favorite, so I’ve really enjoyed being viewed by the rest of the high rollers as an underdog. I think that actually given me an advantage because these guys don’t know how hard I’ve worked behind the scenes, all the film I’ve studied watching all the high roller live streams.”
Looking forward at what’s to come, the father of two puts his family first and will take 2019 as it comes, but he has his eyes set on hitting a few of the biggest events of the year.
“As far as my schedule I’ll probably play the U.S. Poker Open because that’s coming up soon. I have two kids now and it makes it a lot more difficult to travel so it’s hard for me to decide up until the week or so before each series whether or not I’ll be attending. I would really like to get in the Super High Roller Bowl in December though, as that’s one of the most prestigious tournaments of all-time.”