What’s up guys? I’m Hunter Cichy and @HunterCichy on Twitter. Feel free to follow me to keep up with my interesting experiences and live poker hand analysis. If you’re looking for some one-on-one coaching, just DM me and we can discuss ways for you to improve. Anyway, this is my first article for RedChipPoker.com so I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself.
I started playing play money poker when I was twelve. I thought it was really interesting so I started to put some serious thought into it. I began reading poker books, watching poker videos, and reading poker articles. By the time I turned 18, Black Friday had already happened, and I wanted to take a shot at playing poker for real money. I did some research and learned that the legal gambling age in Minnesota was 18. I also learned that there was a casino 20 minutes from my house called Running Aces Harness Park.
The weekend after my 18th birthday I drove over to the casino, with $500 of Christmas money in my pocket, and sat down in a $1-$2 NLHE game. I quickly learned that I was a winning player. In the summer after high school I umpired baseball games all day, played poker all night, and slowly built my bankroll. I was accepted into the Century College Paramedic Program that fall and began studying to get an associate’s degree and a paramedic license during the week while still playing poker on the weekends.
Fast-forward two years, now I have an AAS in Paramedicine with an active paramedic license. The only problem is that I’m making more money (and having way more fun) playing poker than I would as a paramedic. That’s why I decided to take the leap of faith and move from Minnesota to Florida to become a professional live poker player. I’ve played in a lot of different casinos but it seems like Florida has the biggest and wildest games, not to mention all of the beaches and beautiful women. Anyway, I’m regularly playing $2/$5 NLHE with 2K buy-ins and a lot of straddling and re-straddling. Otherwise, I’m playing straight $5/$10 NLHE. I’m also preparing for my first WSOP. It’s a lot of work reviewing tourney structures, finding backers, selling action, booking flights, and finding a room, but I digress.
…it seems like Florida has the biggest and wildest games
There are a couple reasons why I decided to partner with RedChipPoker.com. Firstly, I’m studying poker 1-2 two hours a day. I might as well put my thoughts on paper (or in a video) and share them with you guys. They say you haven’t really mastered something until you can teach it. I hope that the effort that I put into this website will cause me to think about poker on a deeper level and hopefully improve. I heard Andrew “BalugaWhale” Seidman say that as long as you focus on improving, the money will take care of itself. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last three years and I’d say that advice is accurate.
To jump into the actual strategy content of this article, I’m going to be making a 4-5 video series on 3-betting. The videos will be coupled with articles like these that will elaborate on the content of the videos. I want to be as comprehensive as possible. Since poker is constantly evolving, I think it’s important to understand the theory behind why you’re deciding to 3-bet. The first video is going to cover leveling. That’s so crucial. Many players constantly get confused by the whole, “He thinks that I think that he thinks that I’m going to do this; therefore, I should do this and hopefully that will give me an edge.” I’m going to debunk that thought process and help you understand how different opponents process information. Leveling isn’t about the levels 0-5 with a bunch of 2+2 posts telling you to think one level ahead or two levels below your opponent. I’m not saying that it’s wrong. I’m saying that there is an easier way to understand it. Really, it’s more about where your opponent is consolidating his thoughts.
The second video will deal with the evolution of poker. Poker is an ever-shifting game of new hand ranges and new bet-sizing. Every exploitative decision that you make has an exploitable counterpart. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just hard to crush people when you only use optimal hand ranges because optimal poker attempts to prevent your opponents from exploiting you. It’s a defensive strategy that you use when you lack information on your opponents. Chess is a perfect example. There are plenty of openings where white can beat black in less than 20 moves; however, most of these openings leave white exposed to an adept opponent. So if a grandmaster were playing a 3-year-old, he would always choose moves that can’t be exploited because he knows that at some point his opponent will make a mistake. Here is the key difference between chess and poker. Chess doesn’t reward you for beating your opponent faster. Poker is all about beating your opponent faster. Your goal isn’t to prevent yourself from being exploited. Your goal is to win as many big blinds per hundred hands as possible.
The rest of the videos in the series will breakdown some interesting live poker hands that I’ve played this year. I want to show you how to apply some of the concepts that I’m going to introduce you to. I’m looking forward to producing content for this website. I wish all of you the best of luck. Make sure that you run good, have fun, and constantly look for ways to improve.