Landon Tice Finds Faith in the Future After WPT Runner-Up Finish

Landon Tice came up one spot short at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown final table early Thursday morning. Rather than dwell on a missed opportunity, Tice was grateful for the result and ready to bet even more on himself.

Lance Bradley
May 30, 2024
Landon Tice spent nine hours in the spotlight at the WPT Seminole Hard Poker Showdown final table and walked away with $550,000.

The moments after the final hand of a World Poker Tour event is dealt are chaotic. Friends and family of the new champion run on stage for congratulatory hugs and high fives. The TV production crew sets up a winner interview with Tony Dunst and Vince Van Patten. Photographers are waiting in the wings to take the official winner photo with the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup. Media line up to grab some quotes of jubilation and joy from the newly crowned champ.

Landon Tice missed out on all of that Thursday night, finishing second to Josh Reichard in the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship. And despite coming so close to getting his name etched on the Champions Cup, the 25-year-old rising poker star happily did his runner-up interview for TV and was all smiles as he waded into the crowd of his friends and family who had been cheering him on all night long.  

“The real win, regardless of the cash, and of course the cash is great, and it means a lot and it’s rewarding in a sense, but there’s nothing more rewarding than having family and friends be here to be able to support and have that experience,” Tice said as the combination of fatigue and emotion began to overtake him a little bit.

Even as he was still processing the moment and all of the things that come with coming so close to something he clearly wanted so bad, he couldn’t help but begin manifesting a future full of opportunities just like this one, maybe with a different outcome.

“I’m positive that this isn’t the last big final table I’m going to make live So, end of the day it’s kind of a drop in the bucket,” Tice said. “Winning would’ve been great in the sense of being a champion and being on the Sexton Cup and having that kind of notch to win, but I really can’t complain with the way things worked out.”

He’d just picked up a career best score of $550,000 and proved – to himself and to others – that he could hang on one of poker’s biggest stages. He was also exhausted from having spent nearly nine hours playing under the bright lights and intense pressure of a televised WPT final table.

“Honestly, I’m just kind of drained just mentally, but I feel good after coming in where I was and being able to get heads up and have a chance 50/50,” Tice, who started the six-handed final table with the third largest stack. “Sometimes you get dealt out and I got dealt in all the way before that. Could have lost small hands prior, but other people could have won all ins and didn’t.”

For a lot of players, a half-million dollar score would be the exclamation point, a crowning achievement at the end of a journey. Tice wants this one to be a personal launching pad to a successful summer. He’s battling fellow young gun Jeremy Becker in a crossbook that has the poker world talking. The WPT Seminole event started in early May, so it doesn’t count towards the crossbook, but Tice plans to weaponize his share of the runner-up prize money to get out of some makeup he was in and bet further on himself.

“It just lets me take more of the crossbook to be honest. I think for when it comes to being in makeup, it wasn’t that much… I kind of got wrecked during SCOOP, which forced me to not sell (his final table equity) and just kind of gamble because it made more sense to do that.” Tice said. “And the gamble ended up working out and got to play heads up, and offloaded a little bit of variance there, so could have been worse.”

Tice also knows that it also could have been better. He could have been the one swirling in that chaotic aftermath. Rather than focusing on what could have been, Tice chooses to focus on gratitude.

“I’m really happy with the results. I’m really happy with the way I played and that’s kind of all you can do, right?”