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Gossip Column: One Hero Call Keeps Landon Tice From Booking 7-Figure Profits on Day 1 of HU Challenge Against Bill Perkins

Gossip Column
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis June 3, 2021
  • 5 Minutes Read

While we are all awaiting Round 3 of the High Stakes Duel II between Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth to start, another epic heads-up challenge commenced yesterday between rising poker star Landon Tice and entrepreneur-cum-poker enthusiast Bill Perkins.

Day 1 of the heads-up challenge played out on June 2 on the US-facing Americas Cardroom, with Tice coming out $18,000 in the green after the session. At one point during the 624-hand session, Tice was leading for a little over $100,000 and was in good shape to put a dent on the $720,0000 handicap Perkins has in the challenge. However, a hero call with Ace-high on the river cost him a $141,000 pot against Perkins’ rivered boat.

Before we get into the details of what transpired yesterday, let’s do a quick recap of the terms of the heads-up challenge to understand why despite taking an $18,000 lead, Tice trails Perkins.

The duo had agreed to a $200/$400 high-stakes NLHE match lasting 20,000 hands. To balance the evident skill edge Tice has over Perkins, the latter enjoys a 9 BB/100 hand handicap in the match – which, given the stakes of the challenge, translates to a $720,000 head start for Perkins. This means, if Tice were to win $1 Million off Perkins after the 20,000-hand challenge ended, he would only get paid $280,0000.

A side bet was added to the challenge that states if Tice and Perkins have not played 15,000 hands before the start of the WSOP in the fall, Perkins will have to pay Tice $100,000.

Now that we understand the terms of the challenge, it is easy to calculate why Tice’s ‘hero call’ cost him so dearly. Tice needs to win roughly $36 every hand, and therefore, he needed to win $22,464 to overcome the handicap. This is why though Tice ended up winning the first session for a profit of $18,000, he is still on the back foot as far as beating the handicap is concerned.

Even though Tice is the favored player given the GTO beast he is, he will have to make each session count given the terms of the challenge. Tice had reflected on the challenge in a blog post dated May 24, confessing that he had not realized what he was setting himself up for while negotiating the terms of the match. In fact, according to a Twitter poll conducted by Doug Polk, only 31% voted for Tice to win the challenge given the handicap.


Pre-Match Vibes

Both players were pumped before the start of the first session of their highly-anticipated heads-up match.

Tice tweeted of being confident of his skills and the hard work he had put into preparing for the match. Perkins quizzed the poker Twitterati if there were a pregame he could watch before his match started.


There is a ton more money at stake both on and off the virtual felts, as Tice and Perkins were both seen looking for more action in the run-up to the kick-off yesterday.


Perkins revealed that Tice’s father had put a $5,000 bet on his son to win the challenge. He went on to say that he would be giving Michael Tice a freeroll as he didn’t want any ‘bad juju.’


Tice even shared what his mother’s opinion was about his upcoming match.


Landon Tice vs. Bill Perkins: Day 1 Recap

Yesterday’s opening session saw Perkins flying out of the blocks, bullying the younger pro and building up a big lead. But Tice held his ground and battled back, eventually taking a $100,000-odd lead.

Landon Tice
Landon Tice


Not one to take things lying down, Perkins won a massive $141,000 pot against Tice, the biggest pot of the session, to close out the gap.


With the board open , Perkins fired a bet of $60,000 with pocket nines. Tice made the “hero call” with Ace-King. Perkins’ rivered full-house won him the $141,000 pot.

Bill Perkins
Bill Perkins


Tice also made an arguably incorrect call in a big pot with an unknown hand (cards weren’t exposed) earlier in the match when Perkins bet big with King-Queen on a queen-high board (one pair).

The session lasted all of 624 hands, with Tice coming out ahead for $18,000. While he still won the session, Tice needed to win $22,464 to beat Perkins’ handicap, given the conditions of the heads-up challenge.


You can catch the Day 1 action on Americas Cardroom`s Twitch channel here.


Needless to say, Tice’s hero call eventually became fodder for meme makers.


While it is still the early days of the challenge and things could go either way, the second session is scheduled for later today.

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