Fri, Mar 24, 8:39am by Staff Writer
In a showdown more than three months in the making, poker pro Cate Hall had no trouble dismissing her nemesis Mike Dentale, sweeping him 2-0 in a best-of-three heads-up match.
Unofficially dubbed #MikeAndCatePlusHate via Twitter hashtag, the series of No-Limit Texas Hold’em freezeouts was held last Sunday at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
There, Hall and Dentale squared off in person for the first time since their social media dispute exploded into a full-fledged competitive challenge.
Back in December, Hall took to Twitter and recounted a losing hand suffered during the latter stages of a major tournament.
On Day 3 of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Five Diamond World Poker Classic, she went with a read and called off approximately 80 big blinds holding A-10 against pro Barry Hutter. The lack of a premium holding, the prestige of the event, Hall’s commitment of nearly every chips in her stack combined to attract attention from the poker community.
Hall herself made a preemptive strike, tweeting ‘Spoiler alert for those watching updates: Just went with a read I was pretty confident of & was wrong. It will look horrible.’
As Hall explained her thought process to another player, Dentale hopped into the discussion to call her ‘clueless’, before opining on what he perceived to be Hall’s undue run of good fortune on the felt.
The subsequent exchange led to the pair agreeing to play heads-up, with both Hall and Dentale ponying up USD$30,000 apiece to make things even more interesting.
In his capacity as consultant and producer for the television series Poker Night in America (PNIA), fellow poker pro Matt Glantz played host. Two outspoken peers from the professional ranks – Doug Polk and Shaun Deeb – agreed to commentate the event, which was broadcast via live stream on Twitch.
Both players began with $15,000 in chips, with the blinds set at $75/$150 throughout.
Hall immediately drew first blood, finding trip 8s on a 7-8-8 flop holding 10-8 suited, while Dentale could only posture with Q-5 offsuit. His ill-conceived ‘float’ play failed to push Hall off her monster hand, and before the studio audience was fully assembled, Dentale was down $3,900.
Applying continuous pressure, and remaining content to let Dentale make mistakes – talking and telegraphing his hand strength chief among them – Hall quickly built a 5:1 chip lead. And while Dentale did mount a brief rally to bring himself back from the brink, he was whittled down to just $3,000 before the opening match’s final hand.
After Hall shoved all-in with A-9 offsuit, Dentale immediately (and inexplicably) called with Q-5 offsuit. Both players found pairs, but Hall had 9s to best 5s and secure the 1-0 lead.
As the commentating team critiqued Dentale’s apparent lack of focus, and his mysterious affinity for the lowly Q-5, the brash Brooklynite attempted to goad Hall into verbal combat.
But in remarking on Hall’s obscured sponsor patch, Dentale – clad in a polo shirt with popped collar – exposed himself to a cruel retort, as Hall responded flatly ‘your collar’s up’.
Downing a succession of Red Bulls, Dentale resumed the table-talk assault even as the second freezeout saw his chip stack dwindle in similar fashion:
“Remember, you will always suck. Especially in my eyes…There are a lot of girls that have earned my respect…But it definitely isn’t you.”
After complaining that he never hit pairs, Dentale finally did with A-2 offsuit on the A-K-5 flop. Unfortunately for him, Hall held K-K and a hammerlock on the hand – making quads on the river to win poker’s latest grudge match in style.
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