Landon Tice quits match with Bill Perkins

Landon Tice Quits Heads-Up Challenge With Bill Perkins

There was a bombshell development in the Landon Tice vs Bill Perkins heads-up match over the weekend. On Saturday, Tice announced that he was quitting the challenge due to Perkins being a “stronger player than expected.”

Since early June, the pair had played 4,907 hands over 12 sessions, accounting for less than 25% of the 20,000 hands that had been agreed upon to start the challenge. Tice was up on Perkins by $63,720 overall. However, before play began, Tice agreed to a $720,000 handicap, which effectively meant that Tice was down $656,300 when considering the handicap.

In order to keep pace with the handicap throughout the challenge, Tice needed to average a 9bb per 100 winning rate. Since he was only winning at a rate of around 3 bb/100 rate, Tice would need to win at an ever higher rate — 11bb per 100. This was a tall task for any player, especially for Tice given that Perkins had been playing better than expected and that Tice may not be the world-class player that many thought he might be.

A steep penalty

Now that Tice has dropped out of the match, his side will have to pay Perkins a $200,000 buy out, and the equivalent of $33,000, which was 9 bb/100 prorated at the $200/$400 No Limit Hold’em game.

Much of that cost will not come directly from Tice. Instead, the buyout will largely fall on Tice’s backers. Before the match began, Tice admitted he had a small percentage of himself in the match due to not being bankrolled at the limits he can Perkins were playing.

Tice says he got his ego checked

In the wake of the end of the challenge, the 22-year old Tice has made numerous Tweets explaining what went wrong during the challenge. “Overall, I can say that I made so many mistakes, so many failures in and learned a lot about myself.” Tice, who was very confident going into the match said he “lost battle. Handily. I got my ego checked. I needed it.”

Tice also released a video message to his fans, backers and poker community about his defeat, saying he “needed to have a tough convo with nobody other than myself.” In the video he admits that he “didn’t negotiate well” and “didn’t come to good terms.”

He also acknowledges that he didn’t put in the time to get better. “I let myself down.” In the weeks and months leading up to the challenge, many had speculated that Tice could be a future star in poker, something he admits got to him. “It sucks to kind of have this whole aura of being great…But in all honesty, I’d not an elite No Limit Heads-up player. And I knew that when I made the bet.”

What happened in the match?

Despite the fact that Tice withdrew from the match, he was ahead in real money terms and had been ahead since Session #3. He had also won 7 out of the first 12 matches. Still, it was not nearly enough to keep up the 9 bb/100 pace, and whoever was involved in the decision to quit, decided they had seen enough.

Session #DateHandsTotal HandsWinner of SessionOverall Leader (Tice Needs To Win By $720k)Pace (Tice needs 9 BB to win)Watch
1June 2nd623623Landon Tice - $18,000Landon Tice - $18,0000Session 1
2June 3rd300923Bill Perkins - $79,000Bill Perkins - $61,0000Session 2
3June 5th4201,345Landon Tice - $160,000Landon Tice - $98,00018.22Watch Session 3
4June 7th3341,679Bill Perkins - $44,262Landon Tice - $53,8008.01Watch Session 4
5June 9th3662,045Landon Tice - $29,922Landon Tice - $83,70210.23Watch Session 5
6June 11th3622,407Bill Perkins - $67,699Landon Tice - $16,0031.66Watch Session 6
7June 14th3842,761Landon Tice - $90,568Landon Tice - $106,5719.55Watch Session 7
8June 17th3533,144Bill Perkins - $10,682Landon Tice - $95.8997.62
9June 19th5843,728Landon Tice - $16,349Landon Tice - $112,2387.53
10June 23rd4944,222Landon Tice - $31,986Landon Tice - $144,2558.54
11June 25th3484,570Bill Perkins - $51,990.27Landon Tice - $92,0315.03
12June 29th3374,907Landon Tice - $28,000Landon Tice - $63,7203.25

Perkins reacts

Bill Perkins was gracious to Tice for the match and thanked his his training team for help making him a better player.

Reaction from the poker community

Doug Polk was among those who were surprised with Tice’s early exit:

Sidebets and backing was a big part of the funding for the Tice vs Perkins match. 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event winner speculated he lost more than Tice from his side bets.

While Perkins and others were very understanding to Tice for quitting early, some others were very critical:

Faded Spade’s Tom Wheaton says the poker community needs to support Tice and the new generation of poker players coming up through the ranks:


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