Landon Tice quits heads-up challenge a quarter of the way through

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It was billed as the heads-up challenge of the year against Bill Perkins but it ended anti climatically after he pulled out after just 4,907 hands.

Tice vs Perkins really caught the imagination of the poker world. A young solver trained superstar considered the next big thing in poker giving a 9 BB/100 lead to recreational billionaire Bill Perkins over 20,000 hands. 

Over the weekend, however, it ended in the most surprising of ways, with Tice quitting after less than 5,000 hands:

Tice had given Perkins a 9 BB/100 head start in the match and was up $63,720 at the tables before the forfeit. However, his win rate was 3.25 BB/100 which was way off being above 9 BB/100 he needed to win. He would have needed to maintain a page of about 11 BB/100 for the remainder of the challenge to do that. 

Did Tice’s backers pull him out?

As a result Tice had to pay a $200,000 forfeit for quitting early and 9BB/100 on the 4,907 hands that were played, which is around $33,000. There were a lot more private side bets between Tice, his backers, Perkins and members of the poker community. Tice famously admitted he was only playing for a small percentage of himself and the coaches at Solve4Why were among the main backers. 

A lot of questions remain, most notably was it Tice or his backers that pulled him out of the challenge? There are rumours circulating that Tice was difficult to work with and not studying, rather than Perkins being much better than expected, and that he was pulled out of the challenge. Quitting is an important skill in poker, but the fact that this match ended before the quarter way stage has surprised everyone. 

Further questions will persist about whether Tice is the ‘next big thing’ in poker as it has been claimed he was for the last year or so? At just 22-years-old a lot of attention and pressure has been sent in the direction of Tice, no doubt this was what got him the match against Perkins in the first place. 

A clearly disappointed Tice took to Twitter again to have a ‘tough conversation with himself’:

It looks like this story is going to stick around for a while, with Doug Polk announcing he will be speaking to Tice’s coaches on an upcoming podcast. 

Did Tice quit or did his team pull him out? Let us know in the comments: