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.”
Regarding the Perkins Challenge:
As a team we decided to surrender. We see no other way to proceed. He’s a much stronger player than expected and I took on more than I could handle.
It was an unreal experience to be a part of, maybe in the future I’ll try again.
— Landon (@LandonTice) July 3, 2021
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.”
Had a tough convo with myself inspired by @dankness3 regarding the Perkins Challenge.
I made a lot of mistakes, I didn’t take accountability, and I could have done more.
It hurts, a lot, but the past is the past and I’ll learn from it. ♥️ pic.twitter.com/EiOZQohD4k
— Landon (@LandonTice) July 4, 2021
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 #||Date||Hands||Total Hands||Winner of Session||Overall Leader (Tice Needs To Win By $720k)||Pace (Tice needs 9 BB to win)||Watch|
|1||June 2nd||623||623||Landon Tice - $18,000||Landon Tice - $18,000||0||Session 1|
|2||June 3rd||300||923||Bill Perkins - $79,000||Bill Perkins - $61,000||0||Session 2|
|3||June 5th||420||1,345||Landon Tice - $160,000||Landon Tice - $98,000||18.22||Watch Session 3|
|4||June 7th||334||1,679||Bill Perkins - $44,262||Landon Tice - $53,800||8.01||Watch Session 4|
|5||June 9th||366||2,045||Landon Tice - $29,922||Landon Tice - $83,702||10.23||Watch Session 5|
|6||June 11th||362||2,407||Bill Perkins - $67,699||Landon Tice - $16,003||1.66||Watch Session 6|
|7||June 14th||384||2,761||Landon Tice - $90,568||Landon Tice - $106,571||9.55||Watch Session 7|
|8||June 17th||353||3,144||Bill Perkins - $10,682||Landon Tice - $95.899||7.62|
|9||June 19th||584||3,728||Landon Tice - $16,349||Landon Tice - $112,238||7.53|
|10||June 23rd||494||4,222||Landon Tice - $31,986||Landon Tice - $144,255||8.54|
|11||June 25th||348||4,570||Bill Perkins - $51,990.27||Landon Tice - $92,031||5.03|
|12||June 29th||337||4,907||Landon Tice - $28,000||Landon Tice - $63,720||3.25|
Bill Perkins was gracious to Tice for the match and thanked his his training team for help making him a better player.
Thanks for the competition. It was great spot to force an old dog to learn new tricks. The team @PokerHybrid took a complete fish & turned me into a strong player in 3 months so I have to thank them & @larasebastian for giving me time to study. @LandonTice will crush the future https://t.co/pf3q6uw26f
— Bill Perkins (Guy) (@bp22) July 3, 2021
Reaction from the poker community
Doug Polk was among those who were surprised with Tice’s early exit:
Surprised to say the least. So early on, expected this to go the distance unless there was real carnage. https://t.co/rz5J47G6wR
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) July 3, 2021
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.
— Chris Moneymaker ⭕ (@CMONEYMAKER) July 4, 2021
While Perkins and others were very understanding to Tice for quitting early, some others were very critical:
I love how you win ONE live tournament, and start playing for millions of dollars of other people's money, while negotiationing a horrible deal that sets a terrible precedent in poker
And then when you don't slaughter the whale, you quit 😂
— Sean (@ThePokerSean) July 4, 2021
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:
We need to support – not criticize – the new generation of poker talent who take risks to grow themselves, our game & industry. The same goes for investors, players & teams who train & counsel those passionate about being a positive part of poker‘s future. GG @LandonTice & @bp22. https://t.co/pmp1ZjHECx
— Tom Wheaton (@TomWheaton_) July 4, 2021