When the Landon Tice v. Bill Perkins heads-up challenge flopped on Saturday, we at Poker.org weren’t surprised. However, my colleague Jon Sofen’s reasons for doubting the game would finish fell in the wrong quarter. It wasn’t Perkins’s busy lifestyle that got in the way, as Sofen predicted, but Tice’s failure of grit, experience, poker chops, and/or backer confidence.
Tice pulled out of the challenge on Saturday, announcing his departure in a Tweet. Yesterday evening.
“Regarding the Perkins Challenge,” he began. “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.”
The first-person plural makes it seem like it was Tice’s backers who pulled the plug. However, his more recent Tweet late yesterday suggests that there may have been more going on. That the pressure may have been getting to him personally.
The apology video, which dropped at a little past midnight this morning by Vegas-time, took the form of a Will Jaffe-style “tough conversation” video. Speaking directly to the camera, Tice admits to not putting the work in, and to dropping the ball.
“Aura of greatness…”
One of the most telling lines in Tice’s video is where he says that it is tough to have “this aura of greatness.” This is a somewhat out-of-touch phrase, when self-applied. And it suggests that Tice drank the Joey Ingram cool-aid.
Ingram has been hyping Tice for months now. What was meant to be a publicity campaign promoting Solve For Why’s latest coach, ended up fooling Tice more than the public.
At twenty-two years old, Tice was perhaps an easy target for Ingram’s good-natured and entirely accidental brainwashing regimen. The result was a bet he probably couldn’t win. Another side effect was a level of unearned self-confidence that kept Tice from working hard enough to keep that “probably” in play.
Some of the post-game ribbing has been light. Like Spraggy’s: “Played 5000 hands mate.”
But some of the ribbing has been brutal. Doug Polk has been amplifying the hatchet job put out by Jason Mo, better known online as “c**tycakes.” (Use your imagination to fill in the asterisks.) Polk is even going so far as to put on a special podcast with Mo.
“Never seen someone so arrogant that has literally accomplished in nothing in poker,” Mo writes in the final line of his long 2+2 post. “Sometimes your mouth writes checks your ass can’t cash.”
Given the brouhaha, Tice can be forgiven for thinking that he’s let the poker world down in some meaningful way. In reality, the only people who should be miffed are his backers. And even then, as they say in 1L, caveat emptor, pal.
“Thanks for the competition,” wrote Bill Perkins. “@LandonTice will crush the future.”
Featured image source: Flickr by WPT