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Poker Pro Landon Tice Concedes High-Stakes Heads-Up Challenge With Bill Perkins

Through 4,907 Hands Of $200-$400 No-Limit Hold'em, Tice Was Up More Than $63,000, But Couldn't Overcome The Handicap He Laid Perkins

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22-year-old high-stakes poker pro Landon Tice conceded his heads-up challenge against millionaire businessman and recreational high-stakes player Bill Perkins, forfeiting a six-figure sum in the process.

Tice tweeted Saturday that he was going to “surrender” the match and give Perkins the victory. Earlier this year, the two agreed to play 20,000 hands of $200-$400 no-limit hold’em on Americas Cardroom. The challenge got underway several months later in early June.

Unlike other challenges between two pros, Tice gave his opponent a handicap of 9 big blinds for every 100 hands played. It essentially meant that Tice would need to win $720,000 over the course of 20,000 hands before he could earn a profit.

When Tice called it quits, the duo had played 12 sessions and a total of 4,907 hands. He was winning $63,720 at the time, but that only equated to a win rate of 3.25 big blinds per 100 hands. He was still losing $112,680 thanks to the handicap.

In a tweet where he posted the graph of his results for the challenge, Tice said that there was a $200,000 side bet, which he also forfeits to Perkins. Tice, who won the Mid-States Poker Tour Venetian main event last November for $201,529 at just 21 years old, admitted from the outset of this match that he sold a lot of action and wouldn’t be taking the brunt of the variance on his own.

Between the side bet and the big blinds he spotted Perkins, which would be paid out proportionally to how many hands they played and not the entire $720,000, Tice and his backers lost $312,680 in the match to Perkins.

“I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I didn’t negotiate well. I didn’t come to any good terms,” said Tice in a video he tweeted yesterday. “I just sort of thought that this guy isn’t going to put in work. And I am. And I’m going to beat the guy. I should’ve done more. I should’ve put in more time studying and figuring things out on my own.”

Perkins is coached by high-stakes cash game pro MJ Gonzales. Gonzales is one of the founders of Hybrid Poker, in the midst of his own heads-up challenge against Dan Smith and is six-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu’s coach as well. Perkins seemingly had all of his own action.

While the exact structure of coaches and backers in Tice’s corner was unknown to the public, he had outspoken support from three-time WSOP bracelet winner Nick Schulman and high-stakes cash game pro Matt Berkey.

Despite winning the side bet and the match, Perkins said that Tice was likely a big favorite before the match began.

“I know I’m biased but Landon Tice and team is pretty sharp,” tweeted Perkins. “When they made the bet, they were a huge favorite. I mean, what’s the odds I take this seriously after decades of not. Then when they saw the match, they made the plus EV play. A different Perkins showed up.”

He went on to credit Gonzales and his coaches for turning him into a “strong player” in just three months of training.