Another heads-up challenge
There's something about poker drama that is just so fascinating. It's usually an odd concoction of stupidity, bravery, triviality, and actual seriousness that combines into a cool, refreshing drink. Such controversy erupted on social media last week that turned a non-citizen into a feud between two distinguished members of the poker community.
Another heads-up challenge between 21-year-old upstart Landon Tice and strong high roller and hedge fund manager Bill Perkins was recently confirmed as a backdrop. Tice was very brave in finding competition, so much so that in his deal with Perkins he agreed to stake $ 200 / $ 400 for 20,000 AND Perkins will pay nine big blinds per 100 hands. That's $ 720,000 to be transferred to Perkins when the challenge is the distance. Tice also played a similar game against Rob Yong for 15 bb / 100.
Tice is considered to be one of the best young players in the world, trained and financially supported by other greats. He's better than Perkins, but Perkins is a very good player despite his amateur status. He's also quite rich and used to playing for nosebleeds.
In a tweet thread, Chan said that one day he was looking at Twitter posts and came across a PokerShares tweet retweeted by McDonald, not by chance the owner of PokerShares. What McDonald shared was a screenshot of the line for the challenge on PokerShares, where the two players even got -109 each.
Chan found a juicy betting line
After consulting some friends since he didn't know much about Tice, Chan placed a bet on the kid thinking it would be a great bet to get the favorite for practically the same money. The line didn't move so he bet twice more, both for the maximum of € 1,000. PokerShares later emailed him stating that the second two bets had been voided as the total was a maximum of € 1,000.
A few minutes later, the website e-mailed him again stating that the bet included the $ 720,000 handicap. So Tice has to win by more than that for the bet to win. As Chan points out, the screenshot mentions none of this.
Chan then shared screenshots of a conversation McDonald had initiated with him. It started with McDonald asking, "Are you stupid?"
McDonald said the bet obviously meant who had won the challenge, and since the challenge included the 9 bb / 100 handicap, Tice must win by more than that. Chan told him that should be in the terms of the bet that PokerShares must make it clear. McDonald actually agreed that it was a "sub-optimal look" for the ambiguity of the bet and corrected it.
Neither of the two wants to resign
In the meantime, however, it was still about Chan's bet. He wanted to keep it without a handicap as he thought that was it when he placed it. McDonald said under the terms of the site that PokerShares has the right to void bets if any human error occurred while posting the lines. Chan told him that in good faith, PokerShares should let the bet go as Chan interpreted it.
"I am obviously aware that PokerShares has the right to void my bet," tweeted Chan. “But the way I see it, you're just wrong here. If you run a business and screw it up, you own it and bite it. In particular in this business where reputation and service are important. You are the house "
Quoting his experience at PokerStars in the early 2000s, Chan said that Stars founder Isai Scheinberg would routinely score if the site screwed something up or even refund a player's money if it was the player's fault, just for one being a good poker steward.
Lots of people swayed on both sides. Exhausted with all the responses, Chan took a break from Twitter and said he would take care of his daughter. He also posted a screenshot of a $ 1,000 donation to the Hong Kong Humanitarian Fund. Of course, McDonald had to jump on it and tweet:
If I am ever caught a liar / cheat, I plan to take a nice break from the public eye to focus on my parenting and philanthropy
– Mike McDonald (@ MikeMcDonald89) February 9, 2021
It ends up being a silly argument between two guys who have known each other for a long time and who usually seem to like each other. They both have valid points, but let their ego get in the way instead of just one of them agreeing to something and letting the other go their way. Money is not a big deal for either of them, but they were hung up on principle and wanted to win an argument.
Was the betting list unclear? Yes. Should McDonald just let Chan go with that bet? Maybe. Should Chan have understood it was a mistake and either accepted him or canceled his bet? Maybe. Should they just have come to an agreement and let go of them? Sure.