Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen Holding Down #1 Spot in Costa Rica

Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen is the #1 player in Costa Rica. (WPT Photo)

Costa Rica is home to many displaced American online grinders in the post-Black Friday world. The result of the changed landscape is a rankings list that is a “who’s who” of the online community. Former PocketFives #1 players fill Costa Rica’s top 10. Grinders who have honed their game as it has changed in front of them dominate in Costa Rica.

The #1 ranked player in Costa Rica is Chris ‘BigHuni’ Hunichen. The North Carolina-born Hunichen passed the $10 million mark in career earnings and is sixth on the all-time money list. Hunichen reached #1 in the world in January 2015 and he is currently #20. Hunichen has increased his volume in live High Roller events in the last year and started his 2018 by competing in the PCA $100,000 Super High Roller.

Behind Hunichen is Michael ‘Telks’ Telker. Telker achieved #1 status in December 2011 and closed his 2017 by making the top-10 of the PLB Monthly Leaderboard. In terms of the all-time money list, Telker is 14th all-time and a shade over $1 million from becoming the seventh player ever to reach the $10 million mark.

Kurt ‘kurt23x’ Fitzgerald is on the podium at number three. Fitzgerald put together a strong November with four wins in the neighborhood of 200 PLB points. The largest was on November 14 when Fitzgerald won the Sunday 500 on PokerStars for $22,697.Fitzgerald ranks 50th in the world.

The third former #1 to crack the rankings is Chris ‘Gettin Daize’ Oliver. The 2010 Yearly PLB Leaderboard champion is on his way to hitting $10 million in the early part of 2017. Oliver stands less than $250,000 away from the landmark and is continuing to put in strong volume to reach that target.

Brian ‘brianm15’ England achieved #1 status in 2014 and is over $6 million lifetime. England is a consistent online player and has increased his live volume as of late. In 2017, England won $144,901 in live tournaments with a few highlights mixed in. England made a Day 5 appearance in the WSOP Main Event and won a Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open tournament for $31,109.

At #6 is Steve ‘Illini213’ Barshak. 2017 was kind to Barshak with a SCOOP title and movement over the $7 million career earnings checkpoint. Barshak won SCOOP Event 46-M ($109 Rebuy $150,000 guaranteed) and added $51,024 to his bankroll in the process.

Robert ‘PlayaPlz’ Lipkin has the largest amount of immediate bragging rights of any player on this list. Lipkin shipped the PokerStars High Roller Series $10,300 $1 million guaranteed on November 28 for $258,639. Lipkin picked up 1,086.28 PLB points with the victory and notched the second six-figure score of his career.

In the eighth spot is Grayson ‘gray31’ Ramage. The duel TCOOP and WCOOP winner ranked as high as #2 in 2016. Ramage closed out his 2017 with a third-place finish in the PokerStars Sunday High Roller to claim $26,490.

The top-10 concludes with two more Americans in Michael ‘MindSlaver’ Acevedo and Mike ‘Flippa42’ Carter. Both players are under 3,000 PLB points and have a chance to cross that mark soon with more consistent volume.

Costa Rica Online Poker Rankings Top 10

1 BigHuni 6,446.64
2 Telks 5,573.02
3 kurt23x 5,491.13
4 Gettin Daize 4,765.64
5 brianm15 4,325.19
6 Illini213 4,250.50
7 PlayaPlz 3,937.22
8 gray31 3,240.39
9 MindSlaver 2,904.23
10 Flippa42 2,871.08