Landon Tice reveals details on heads-up challenge against Bill Perkins

Geoff Fisk
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Posted on May 24, 2021 5:12 pm EDT

Tice’s latest blog entry chronicles the lead-up to the booking of the match

One of the most interesting matchups from the heads-up challenge era of poker begins on June 2. Poker prodigy Landon Tice takes on billionaire recreational player Bill Perkins, and the match includes several aspects that we haven’t really seen from any other high-profile heads-up challenge.

Tice and Perkins agreed to play 20,000 hands of $200/$400 heads-up No-Limit Hold’em. Tice automatically pays 9bb/100 to Perkins, set as a handicap to even out Tice’s perceived skill edge against his opponent.

Paying out nine big blinds per every hundred hands equates to Tice essentially beginning the match down $720,000. Tice will have to achieve a lofty win rate against Perkins just to break even in the match, and he’ll have to crush through the 20,000 hands to turn a profit.

While Tice comes into the match with the skill edge, Perkins enters play with the overwhelming bankroll edge. The billionaire investor and businessman isn’t playing with scared money, while Tice comes to the table heavily staked by others for the match.

Tice’s latest blog post reveals how the match came together, including some interesting insights on how he’s mentally preparing.

Tice’s outlook on the challenge

Tice’s latest post in his Landon’s Poker Journey blog reveals that the 22-year-old cash game specialist thinks beating Perkins and the 9bb/100 spot will be no easy task.

In all honesty, I did not realize what I was signing myself up for,” Tice writes to begin the blog. “For some reason, probably due from the completion of Doug (Polk) and Daniel (Negreanu)’s match and doing commentary with Joey Ingram, I was pretty wrapped up in Heads Up No Limit (HUNL) and wanted to step in the ring.”

“I saw an opportunity in where Bill Perkins wanted to play HUNL, but I knew that the likelihood would be near zero that he would accept a straight up match. So in order to overcome that obstacle, I thought laying a bb/100 spot as a handicap would better my chances of getting a match started.”

Tice continues through the article explaining that HUNL isn’t his specialty. He also agreed to the challenge without the bankroll to play the high-stakes match.

“I didn’t have funding for this endeavor at the start, either. Of course I personally don’t have a few million to pay for the buy-ins + spot + side bet if I got absolutely crushed throughout the challenge,” Tice wrote. “I was more working off of a shot in the dark that I know people (either directly or through my network) who’d want to take action in this.”

Tice knows the poker community will watch the match against Perkins with heavy scrutiny. He sees Perkins’ approach to the challenge as a significant variable, as it’s hard to predict how seriously the billionaire will prepare, especially with $720,000 in the positive before the challenge even starts.

The past 18 months for Tice have included a rocket launch up the cash game stakes, a move to Las Vegas, and a deal with Solve for Why that makes him the newest coach at the poker training academy.

Tice wrote that no matter what happens in the challenge against Perkins, his life will go on in the same fashion after the match. No matter the result, he says he’ll continue to play and study poker at a high level.

“Of course it goes without saying, I want to win the challenge and perform at the best of my ability,” Tice wrote. “However, just because I execute that, even if I do play absolutely lights out, it doesn’t mean that I get to win the challenge.

Featured image source: Flickr/World Poker Tour