Well, that’s new

It’s not every day that you see someone sacrifice a no-risk opportunity at a few thousand dollars. But that is exactly what happened last week at the 2023 Potomac Winter Poker Open at MGM National Harbor in Maryland when a player just opted not to play heads-up.

Originally reported by PokerNews, after Brett Butz was eliminated in third place in the $400 Monster Triple Stack event, Jacob Mitich went into heads-up play against William Pinkerton with a substantial lead, 19 million to 3.5 million. Blinds were 150,000/300,000, so while the gap was significant, it wasn’t quite in “a chip and a chair” territory just yet.

First place paid $22,298 and second place paid $13,582. It’s not World Series of Poker money, but for the vast majority of us – and likely the players at this poker festival – the $8,000+ difference is far from chump change. I know I have some home repairs and loads of other expenses that could use that money.

To everyone’s surprise, though, Pinkerton just decided he was happy with second place money and opted to call it quits. That was it. He didn’t give a reason, didn’t just shove until he busted or won, just thought enough was enough and that was that.

Winner didn’t see that coming

Speaking with PokerNews, Mitich expressed his disbelief at what happened, saying, “Yeah, I definitely haven’t had that happen before. It was extremely odd. As soon as the guy busted in third, the guy who I was heads-up with looked at my chips and said I’ll just take second. I said what do you mean you’ll just take second and his response was, ‘You have way too many chips, there is no way I can come back.’”

“I said okay, GG.”

Mitich added that both the dealer and floor manager were confused, as well, but accepted Pinkerton’s decision and ended the tournament. He said Pinkerton told him during the tourney that he was just playing for fun and was going to flight school.

Reasons shall remain a mystery

Again, Pinkerton gave no reason as to why he surrendered. Maybe he had somewhere he needed to be and didn’t expect to get that far (that happened to me once in a $100 tournament, but what I missed out on wasn’t a big deal, so I kept going – didn’t win, though). Maybe he was just tired and couldn’t fathom playing any longer, happy with the money he was going to bank.

One thing I thought of was that he didn’t want to be embarrassed if he played poorly heads-up. My family has told me I should try out for Jeopardy! (I did once a long time ago and didn’t make the first cut) or Wheel of Fortune, but honestly, the fear of falling on my face on national television outweighs the chance to win money (and let’s be real, if it was Jeopardy!, I would lose). But while the tournament was covered by PokerNews, it certainly wasn’t a situation where anyone would notice if he played suboptimally, especially because he went into heads-up with such a large chip deficit.

But hey, while the whole situation is a bit on the weird side, to each his or her own. $13,000 is a great payday and if Mr. Pinkerton is happy with it, who am I to say otherwise?

Image credit: Demion via Flickr

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