I have never been in a position to turn down $400,000 and I cannot fathom a time in a future in which I will ever be in that situation. But high stakes poker player and self-proclaimed “best bettor in the world” Sean Perry did just that. Unfortunately for him, that decision came back to bite him in the rear.

It was not a Merry Christmas for Perry, as he was eliminated from the $9.2 million Circa Survivor contest after being, let’s just say, extremely confident that he would win.

In Circa’s famous $1,000 buy-in, winner-take-all competition, players pick one winner of an NFL game every week. That team wins, the player moves on to the next week. That team loses, the player is eliminated from the contest.

The big catch is that players can only pick a team once. Thus, survivor pools – Circa’s or otherwise – require planning and risk, as you can’t just pick the best team every week or pick against the worst team every week. Of course, that wouldn’t work anyway, as while it’s not unprecedented, it’s extremely rare for a team to go undefeated or unvictorious for an entire season.

As an added twist, Circa counted the Thanksgiving/Black Friday and the Christmas games as separate weeks.

There were 9,267 entries in the Circa Survivor contest, making the prize pool $9,267,000, all going to the winner.

Going into this past weekend’s games, there were 13 players left and 12 of them agreed to a chop in which everyone would get $400,000 and the eventually winner of the contest would receive the rest of the prize pool. Sean Perry was the lone holdout.

He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that his response to the chop suggestion was, “I said, ‘With all respect, I’m the best bettor in the world. There’s no way I’m ever chopping. I wish you guys all the best. I’ll see you at the finish line,’”

“Why would I chop when I have an edge?” he added. “If you do $400K each, any money I take out of the prize pool is money I’m, in theory, losing because I have an edge. I believe I have the best team left, and I’m confident in my ability. This is what I do. I’m a big-time crusher. I’ve been the biggest winner in sports for the longest time.

“To be honest, I’ve kind of taken a big step away from the poker world and into sports because I’ve been crushing and making so much.”

Perry made it to this past weekend’s games as one of ten players remaining. Six players, including Perry went with the Broncos over the Patriots, which made sense, since the Broncos are decent and the Patriots are one of the worst teams in the league. But the Patriots pulled off the upset thanks to a last-second field goal and just like that, Perry was gone and there were just four players remaining.

He went from a guaranteed $400,000 to nothing.

There were only three games on Christmas Day, so it was slim pickings, but fortunately for the last four contestants, they had all saved the Eagles and thus all picked them over the Giants. Had they all lost, they would have split the prize evenly four ways, but the Eagles won, so it is on to next week.

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