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Gossip Column: Chris Hunichen Wins COVID-19 Prop Bet, Mark Newhouse Arrested During California Protests & More

Chris Hunichen & Mark Newhouse - Gossip Column
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis June 6, 2020
  • 5 Minutes Read

It has definitely been a crazy few weeks! With the worldwide COVID-19 cases nearing the 7 Million-mark, tensions seem to be mounting all across the world. But Chris Hunichen appears to have made some money out of the situation. The former EPT Barcelona champion had made a bet that over 100,000 people in the US would die due to COVID-19 by September 1. Sad, to say he won the bet as the death toll in the US crossed the 100,000-mark on May 28.

But it isn’t just the COVID-19 pandemic that’s wreaking havoc in the US. The death of African American George Floyd during a police arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25, has resulted in global protests against police violence on black Americans. Poker pro Mark Newhouse was arrested during one such peaceful protest that recently took place in San Jose, California.

The demonstrations have also touched the poker community, many of whom have been sharing their views on social media such as Daniel Negreanu, Todd Brunson, Justin Bonomo, Doug Polk, etc.


Chris Hunichen Wins $10K on COVID-19 Prop Bet

Staying in lockdown for an extended period is making people do crazy things. While many poker players have taken to social media apps like Tik Tok to reveal their inner stars, many have been making rather weird prop bets. Former EPT Barcelona champion, Chris Hunichen aka ‘Big Huni’ is one of them. In April, the poker pro had made a rather horrible sounding bet that over 100,000 people in the US would lose their lives by September 1 due to COVID-19. Well, it’s a sad thing to say, but Hunichen won the bet.

Chris Hunichen
Chris Hunichen

It’s just the first week of June, and already 111,398 Americans have lost their lives to the COVID-19 virus. Hunichen was able to get enough action to have $10,000 on the line, with he took the over on all the bets. According to reports, Hunichen offered two options for betting – straight money line bets or “winner donates proceeds to the homeless” for a second line. Hunichen revealed that he did not get much action on the latter option.

Hunichen had proposed the bet in mid-April, and by April 27, more than 50,000 people had already succumbed to COVID-19. On May 28, the US crossed the 100,000-mark in the death toll.

While many have viewed the prop bet as being macabre in nature, Hunichen defended himself by saying that he was trying to raise awareness about this deadly infection. He told the Los Angeles Times that he was afflicted with asthma, and wanted to educate his fellow poker players and gamblers about the seriousness of the situation. “Every day, I would see…some 30- or 35-year old dies from this stuff. Honestly, I’m terrified. If I get it, I feel like that’s going to be me.”

There is no denying that the bet was a grotesque proposition, but are Hunichen’s reasons behind doing it justified? We’ll let you be the judge of that.


Mark Newhouse Arrested During California Protests Related to George Floyd’s Death

The death of George Perry Floyd Jr. on May 25 at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin has resulted in possibly one of the most significant social movements in the US in recent times. While the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has been ongoing since 2013, Floyd’s death resulted in demonstrations and protests on a global scale against the use of excessive force by police officers and lack of police accountability.

George Floyd
George Floyd


Poker pro Mark Newhouse, best known for making back-to-back WSOP Main Event final tables in 2013-14, was among the dozens of protestors arrested on June 1 while participating in what he described as a peaceful assembly.

Mark Newhouse
Mark Newhouse

Newhouse was arrested on the second of two successive nights he had spent with hundreds of fellow protestors, all of whom continue to call attention to the violent killing of a handcuffed Floyd by the Minneapolis police officer.

Talking about his arrest, Newhouse said, “I got arrested tonight for being a part of a peaceful assembly. Literally no one in the group I was near did anything remotely aggressive or violent. We were relentlessly pursued, harassed, and detained by police. Spent a couple hours zip-tied up in a bus waiting on the group ahead of us to be processed. Then got dropped off at great mall in Milpitas 10 min outside of San Jose.”

Newhouse was fortunate to be in the same group of arrestees as California state assembly candidate Alex Lee, who vowed to pay for all of the group’s legal fees. Newhouse was freed after a few hours in custody but promised to continue his protests.


Poker Players React to the George Floyd Protests

Poker players have always been a community of people who aren’t shy about sharing their opinions. Whether it’s taunting people, propositioning bets, or showing support. In that vein, it isn’t surprising that many prominent poker professionals have been sharing their reactions to the ongoing protest against George Floyd’s death. Among those who have been vocal about their views include six-time WSOP bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu, Todd Brunson, and Justin Bonomo, among many more.

Here’s what they had to say:

For those who are unaware, George Soros is a billionaire Democratic mega-donor who has been the subject of numerous right-wing conspiracy theories.

David’ Bakes’ Baker sided with the protesters, and following President Donald Trump’s Monday address to the nation, he writes: “The president just endorsed [the] use of the military on protestors. If you don’t stand against him, your finger is on the trigger.”

Mike Matusow, who opposes the protesting, responded, “Bakes it out of his mind!” Matusow also took shots at “liberal p*****s” and referred to the protesters as “anarchists.”

It is abundantly clear that this incident has genuinely rocked the very core of American society, and it will most likely continue for days to come!

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