Why I’ve Accepted the Challenge

On one hand you have someone who played and studied a specific format for most of his playing career and was the self proclaimed “best in the world at it.” On the other hand, you have me who has a total of approximately 6 weeks total playing this format in my 46 years on the planet.
He will try to tell you he hasn’t played in a couple years so that somehow evens the playing field, but I haven’t played this format in about 10 years, and when I did, it was for approximately a 6 week period. It was shortly before Black Friday.
So let’s not kid ourselves with the false narrative that this is a level playing field.

We are playing his specialized game NLH heads up.
On his specialized platform, the internet.
On his specialized terms, a cash game with no raising stakes.

There is no possible interpretation you can come up with that credibly denies I’m the underdog going into this match. The cards are stacked against me, and I accept that reality. It’s akin to Steph Curry challenging Shaquille O’Neal to a 3 point shooting contest to decide who is the better basketball player.

I will, however, do my best. Regardless of the outcome, as long as I put in my best effort I will find satisfaction in that. I’ve always believed in setting goals, but more importantly, focusing on the journey toward those goals. While others may mock my lofty aspirations, it doesn’t stop me from trying to achieve them. Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasm, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat.” -Theodore Roosevelt

Clearly this is something that created a lot of buzz in the poker world and poker fans want to see this match. What does it all mean if you win or lose? Nothing really. It may mean that one player is better at a very specific form of poker than the other, but we already know that. There are some details that need to be ironed out, but I’ll play the match.

I thought it would be more fun and exciting to play deep stacked freeze outs where you start 250 bbs deep for 1000 hands and make it a best of 5. It would be unlikely with that many hands that it goes past that so it is essentially a cash game freeze out. He refused. He wants $200-$400 the whole way through for a set number of hands. Again, we are playing on his turf and by his rules.

As far as showing my hole cards goes, he is already a big enough favorite and that would only increase his advantage allowing him and his team to dissect my play.

As far as how many hands we play, I agreed to play between 10k and 25k hands and that is still to be decided.

Many have suggested adding a charity component to this match to do some good in the world, but he is anti giving to those in need. Charities don’t care how money is received, be it through a promotion or anonymously, but he has an issue with people using charity in promotion otherwise I imagine we could have done something positive with this. He refused.

So in the end, why am I doing this? To give the people what they want. For many years now this man has made a living off of trashing me on a regular basis, well past an unhealthy obsession, regurgitating the same attack lines over and over. Not because he truly believes I’m an evil monster, but purely for personal gain disguised as standing for some noble cause.

I take offense when poker media calls this a “back and forth.” How disingenuous? I have never made a video targeting this man, I have barely referenced him in the last four years, while my name is on his lips constantly. Where is the evidence of a “forth” in this case?

Maybe this was all part of his long game plan. Attack me endlessly, bully me, mock me, in the hopes of getting me to agree to a high stakes poker match. If that’s the case, well played. You have your wish.