Beef over Bill – Terrence Chan and Mike McDonald clash over betting terms

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Have you ever made a bet and only when you did so, wondered if the odds were really too good to be true?  

If you’re Terrence Chan, the answer is a definite yes as has emerged in the last 24 hours in dramatic fashion.  

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Backing Landon Tice in the heads-up match the young pro will take on against established high roller Bill Perkins, Chan was subsequently disappointed to learn that the €1,000 maximum bet that he’d put on actually needed Tice to win while off-setting a rate of 9 big blinds out of every 100. In other words, $720,000 over the course of the 20,000-hand $200/$400 challenge.  

This seven-figure handicap not being clear to Chan, he proceeded to email Poker Shares, but his old friend Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald – who owns Poker Shares – responded in what Chan thought was an unkind manner to his betting query.  

As ever it seems these days, the threat of a social media outing lay like a snake in the grass, waiting to rise up and take in fresh air, and true enough, a personal conversation descended into something of a slanging match before Chan gave Timex forewarning that he was going to take this to the social media streets.  

As you can see from the exchange, it wasn’t exactly friendly. McDonald and Chan are clearly friends – or perhaps were friends – but the fact that two pretty elite poker players are still able to squabble over a ‘bag of sand’ is pretty amazing to be fair. McDonald could easily just say ‘OK, forget it, sorry the terms weren’t clear’ or Chan could say ‘You know what, I thought there must be something off! It’s a grand, we’ll let it ride, lol’. Setting aside that many people don’t still say ‘lol’, what would have been wrong with that?  

Both men could donate $1,000 to a COVID-fighting charity just for making poker fans read this stuff, amirite?  

Which is perhaps the point. I remember being present at a super high roller tournament where  the clock would literally end the tournament because the venue’s gambling licence ran out at 1.00am. It was a very strict cut-off and there were three players. Two of these players had a fighting chance of either 2nd or 3rd place.  

The other player? Igor Kurganov, who after listening to the disagreements over an ICM amount between the other two and with the witching hour well under way, managed to kindly suggest that they compromise and give the difference to charity. He was taken up on that offer and made the biggest donation himself (after winning the tournament, of course; he’s Igor Kurganov).   

At some point, Tice will take on Perkins. It could be a fun one, with Tice truly appreciative of the odds and opportunity he’s been afforded.  

The post-handicap winner will make headlines, but the match should be a fascinating one overall. Bring on the action… just check those odds before you wager on either man to win.