June 22, 2022

Poker player accused of hiding COVID-19 from opponents in WSOP Spat

Posted on: Nov 9, 2021, 4:25 a.m.

Last update on: November 9, 2021, 04:48 a.m.

After the virtual tournaments caused by the pandemic and the “hybrid” Main Event last year, the World Series of Poker is in full swing at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Chris “Big Huni” Hunichen, pictured at a recent WPT event, recovered from COVID-19 and quickly defended himself against allegations from a professional colleague. (Image: WPT)

Well, that’s trying.

The series adapts to life in a world in the midst of a pandemic. This is no small feat for an event that involves gathering thousands of people in one room, albeit very large, to swap cards and tokens back and forth.

Worryingly, after touching these tokens, some of these players are also touching their mouths or noses. They can’t help it. It’s unintentional. This is called a tell.

It’s no surprise, then, that some of that nervousness spills over into the Twittersphere, where three-time bracelet winner Justin Bonomo has accused another high-stakes professional of breaking health and safety rules.

Pro Bonomo

Bonomo did not name the player who he said exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 while playing at the same table as him for two days. But he was motivated to complain after learning that the same player “tested positive for COVID immediately after the tournament.”

Players negotiating the new WSOP landscape are understandably a little nervous, especially about the guy in Seat 3 who’s wheezing and sneezing. Proof of vaccination is required for participants this year. But masks aren’t, at least when players are seated, although face covers have obvious advantages at the poker table.

Back in the Twittersphere, poker fans didn’t have to wait long to find out who Bonomo was talking about. That’s because the accused player, Chris “Big Huni” Hunichen, stood out.

Justin is talking about me here! Hunichen chirped. “First, it’s very dramatic and over the top. I didn’t know I had Covid before the 50k [event]. After playing, I spent time with 7-8 of my best friends, as well as my wife and cousin. I smoked hookah, blunts, joints, etc. with everyone.

“Each of my friends / wife / kids / cousin tested negative for the next two days. I bought 40 rapid tests, and everyone was testing constantly. If only one of them tested positive, then I understand. the point here. But if all are negative, there is no way anyone in the 50k could be infected with me.

“I was also very fucking COVID and focused on staying alive and out of the hospital. Looking back, I probably should have said something, ”he added.

Big Huni’s big bet

Hunichen sparked immediate controversy in April 2020. He offered to bet his Twitter followers that more than 100,000 people would die from COVID-19 in the United States by the following September.

He comfortably won the $ 10,000 bet he said he hoped he would lose. Hunichen said Los Angeles weather at the time, he was asthmatic, with a weak respiratory system, and was particularly vulnerable to the disease. It probably also means that he has to watch out for “hookahs, blunts, joints, etc.”

Hunichen said he just wanted to educate people who he said didn’t take him seriously enough about COVID-19.

The United States reached 100,000 deaths at the end of May 2020. To date, there have been more than 777,000.

Thankfully, Hunichen has recovered from his nasty fight with COVID-19 and has not become a statistic in his own twisted bet.