How did your summer go? Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@HunterCichy), know that I had an incredible run at the WSOP and definitely exceeded my wildest expectations. A combination of hard work and good fortune led to significant results for me this year. This month I’d like to share my success story with you guys and encourage you to come out to the WSOP next year. If you’ve been on the fence about participating, I strongly encourage you to take the leap of faith next year. In the meantime, be sure to start your preparation early. Fine-tune your game and build your bankroll. My commitment to the game has paid off in a huge way and yours can too.
I started my summer early by making the biggest comeback I’ve ever made in a tournament. I lost two huge flips leaving me crippled with 4bb on the stone bubble of the $1,650 Deep Stack Series Main Event at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida. Miraculously, I squeezed my way through with 2.5bb and managed to turn 17K into 1.8M chips in three levels! I parlayed that run into a 5th place finish for $26,100. That subsequently covered all of my buy-ins and expenses at the WSOP this year.
The next day I got on a plane and flew out to Vegas. I jumped into the WPT500 Day 1B, grinded for 14 hours, and bagged 324K from a 15K starting stack. The tournament had a pretty cool structure. There were ten day ones scheduled on days that didn’t conflict with major WSOP events. Each day one paid 12% of the field and played down to 5%. Those who made it down to 5% were paid $800 and told to come back on July 5th. After bagging, I spent the rest of the week bouncing from cash game to cash game trying to find something juicy. I ended up having a couple huge sessions in the uncapped 10/20NL game at Bellagio. Shortly after, I registered for the $1,500 Millionaire Maker Event. After grinding for several days I went out in 71st place for $16,303. Losing AQs to ATo aipf for heaps definitely wasn’t a pleasant experience.
Undeterred, I registered for the $1,500 Split Format Event. They changed the name of the tournament and it resulted in a much smaller field than expected. Last year it was called the $1,500 Mixed Max Event. I took 13th in it last year for $19,912. You can see my hand history review here. This year they changed the structure a bit. Instead of progressing from 9-handed to 6-handed to 4-handed to heads up play, they changed it to progress from 9-handed to 6-handed play down to 32 players. At that point, players were divided into brackets — largest stack playing shortest stack. After two rounds of heads up play, the eight players remaining were seated at the final table. I quickly made it through round one of heads up play before being eliminated in the second round and taking 16th place for $13,081.
After a two week stretch of going deep and losing flips in every event, I finally found my 5th cash of the summer in the $1,111 Little One for the One Drop. I grinded 20 hours and took 323rd for a measly $2,336. Two days later, I deposited $1,000 In my WSOP.com account to play the $1,000 Online Event. It was the first ever online bracelet event. I hope there are many more to come. The site drew 905 entrants without even placing a guarantee on the event! Imagine how big the prize pool could be if poker was legalized throughout the United States! Anyway, the online portion played down to six players. After being fortunate enough to make it that far, WSOP.com sent me an email explaining how the rest of the event would be played live in the Rio. The next day I ended up playing a near perfect ICM game as I laddered through several pay jumps. You can watch all of the final table play here. https://www.wsop.com/videos/?vid=369 Ultimately, I found myself heads up against Anthony Spinella for a bracelet. Unfortunately, he’s a beast and he had a 3.5 to 1 chip lead. I went out in second place while gaining a ton of valuable final table experience and $116,066.
But my weekend wasn’t over! The day after, I came back for day two of the WPT500. After waiting nearly four weeks to finish the tournament, I went on an incredible run turning 324K into 8.1M before play stopped at 18 players. We came back for day three and final table play started after about five levels. I played some of the best poker of my life and took 6th for $60,800. Final tabling the first ever Online Bracelet Event AND a WPT in the same weekend was an incredible experience. It’s gonna be pretty hard for me to top that.
Now I am not writing this to brag or exhibit my expertise. My message is simple: hard work pays off. Fully immerse yourself in the game and you are bound to achieve success. Watch all of the training videos on this site. Read all of the articles. Take notes. Track your wins and losses. Push yourself to play bigger. If you get stuck, fill out the form at the bottom of checkshovepoker.com and I’ll give you all the advice I can. In the meantime, good luck at the tables!
PS. If you want to see my play AND analysis of this tournament, you can get an entire recap here: