Tice on Heads-Up Failure Against Perkins: I Should Have Put More Time in Studying

Landon Tice failed to win, or even finish, a heads-up match against Bill Perkins, but he isn’t making excuses and is ready to move forward in his poker career.

landon tice bill perkins

Landon Tice and Bill Perkins didn’t even complete 25% of their heads-up challenge. (Image: somuchpoker.com)

Both players originally agreed to play 20,000 hands of No-Limit Hold’em on Americas Cardroom at $200/$400 stakes. Additionally, they had a $200,000 even-money side bet on the line.

Tougher than expected

Perkins, a wealthy recreational player, went up against a 22-year-old poker pro who some consider the next big thing in poker. Tice, who doesn’t specialize in heads-up NLH, simply took on more than he can handle, which he admitted in a brief Twitter video.

“I didn’t talk to anyone about it,” Tice said of his prematch thought process. “I just sort of thought this guy’s not going to put in any work, and I am, and I’m going to beat the guy. I should have done more, I should have put in more time studying and figuring things out on my own.”

Last week, Tice decided to pull the plug on the challenge after 4,907 hands, just under 25% of the prematch agreement. He wasn’t actually losing on the felt, but he was losing big bucks given the terms Perkins negotiated before the competition began.

Tice agreed to pay back nine big blinds per 100 hands played to the hedge fund manager, or $720,000 over 20,000 hands. That meant for Tice to win the challenge, he’d need to turn a profit of at least $720,000.01 or he’d owe the side bet ($200,000) along with the rebate.

Following the June 29 session, in which he lost $28,000 over 337 hands, his overall lead in the heads-up battle dropped to $63,720. More importantly, he was only winning by 3.25 big blinds per 100 hands. For the young poker pro to win the challenge, he would have needed to win more than 10 big blinds per 100 hands over the final 15,903 hands.

Against some inexperienced donkey who can barely spell poker, perhaps that would be doable. But he was facing a recreational player with plenty of experience playing No-Limit Hold’em. So, the writing was on the wall. He met with his team of backers and coaches to discuss the best course of action going forward, which they determined was to surrender and pay the side bet.

‘I’m at a really low place

Christian Soto, part of the Solve for Why team that had a stake in Tice’s bankroll for the match, told CardsChat News he was impressed with the job Perkins’ coaches did in preparing the high roller for the match. He said Perkins played better than they expected. Tice owned up to the mistakes he made in negotiating the terms for the heads-up challenge.

“After this challenge and even before, when I laid nine big blinds per 100, I didn’t talk to anyone about it,” Tice said in a Twitter video. “I didn’t negotiate well. I didn’t come to any good terms.”

Failing to negotiate better terms proved costly for Tice. He went on to say that he “dropped the ball on this one, I let myself down.” Tice then admitted he isn’t an elite, heads-up No-Limit Hold’em player “and I knew that when I made the bet.” But he said he’s learned from his mistakes.

“I’m not sure what’s going to happen next, and I’m in a really low place now,” Tice said. “But I’ll figure it out, I’m smart enough. Maybe next time I won’t lay nine big blinds versus someone in a game that I didn’t know.”


Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

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