Cate Hall and Mike Dentale to Take Bad Blood to the Poker Table

Before you read this article, I would ask one thing of you: don’t read this article. It is about a stupid topic that is stupid. Yet – and I say this as a grown man with a dog who is staring at me from across the room – it is one of the more entertaining poker stories that I have heard of in a while. You know that old internet poker joke “HU4ROLLZ?” Well, it appears that Cate Hall and Mike Dentale are actually going to play HU4ROLLZ after a December Twitter tussle came to a head.

It all started when Cate Hall made a questionable play at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. Holding just A-T, Hall three-bet pre-flop and then, after a ten-minute tank, called a 145,600 chip all-in by Barry Hutter. He had pocket Jacks, they held, and Hall was crippled down to ten big blinds.

She knew it was a mistake and promptly went on Twitter to post a warning, writing, “Spoiler alert for those watching updates: Just went with a read I was pretty confident of & was wrong. It will look horrible. Now short.”

Brian Reinhert responded, asking, “Just wondering if calling off 80 BB’s w/A10 is ever right? Also is Betting 80BB’s ever right w/A10 as well? Serious Q, not needle!”

Cate Hall replied, saying that she was getting 2.3:1 and, based on her “range assumptions,” that yes, it was the right play.

Hall later recapped:

Last thoughts (I hope) on the matter: Failing spectacularly sometimes is a byproduct of actually trying. I took a long time to make that decision. I knew how horrible it would look. And I did it anyway because I thought it was right. My assumptions might have been wrong. My reads might have been off. But those things can be corrected going forward.

Harder to correct: A tendency to make decisions you think are wrong at the time because you’re worried about looking dumb.

In conclusion: I will sleep just fine tonight, big mistake notwithstanding, and y’all haters can GFY.

And that’s fine. Sometimes you make a bad read in a poker game and pay the price. It’s not like Cate Hall thought that A-T was an incredible, unbeatable hand and rushed to get all of her chips in. She thought about it a long time, knew it that calling was iffy, but thought she had a read. She was wrong. Shit happens.

Mike Dentale, though, couldn’t leave well enough alone, tweeting the next day in response to her “range assumptions” answer, “this answer proves to me you’re clueless.”

Photo credit: @EastCoastJoKim on Twitter

And then it begins.

Mike Dentale: I heard @catehall has been playing well. Funny when the cards don’t go your way you have to rely on skill.

Cate Hall: Bro you do a lot of talking. If you want to play HU tonight or any other time, I’m game.

Hall: so when do you want to play, big man?

Dentale: tomorrow

Hall: name the time, the place, and the stakes

Dentale: I’m back in Newyork , what’s good for you?

Hall: ah, makes a lot more sense that you’d be willing to front like you’d play me HU when you’re across the country

Dentale: stop you’re Killing me…. I can’t breath [sic]

After that, there was a lot of back and forth over the next couple days, with Cate Hall telling Mike Dentale her general schedule and Dentale responding with this beauty:

“1- people follow you because you have a vagina, 2,they love to hear you whine about politics 3,when the run good goes it over baby.”

When another person commented at one point on Dentale’s poor grammar, Dentale wrote, “grammar police don’t make money.”

Hall, quipped back, “That’s exactly why I’m challenging you to a poker game, not a spelling bee. Bitch.”

Then Dentale called her a “crackhead with long boney fingers.” Actually, he said, “I didn’t call you a crackhead with long boney fingers,” but that’s like how Donald Trump says things but “doesn’t” say them because he uses the old, “people have been saying” preface on his insane comments.

The idiocy goes on with the two poker players going at it before finally, kind of, coming to an agreement to play each other heads-up.

Over time, the deal got hammered out and has become an actual televised event. An honest to goodness grudge match born out of genuine hostility. I mean, hell, in recent interviews, Hall called Dentale a “really bad person [who is] a pathological liar and a cheat,” and Dentale called Hall – get this – a “phony bitch.”

Cate Hall and Mike Dentale will play a best-of-three Sit-and-Go at the Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia on Sunday, March 19th. Each player will begin with $15,000 and blinds will be $75/$150 the entire time. It will streamed live on Twitch starting at 3:00pm with Shaun Deeb and Doug Polk providing commentary. The match will also be filmed for Poker Night in America.

Hall is one of the more outspoken poker players around, not shy about letting her feelings be known on Twitter about the state of politics today (namely that Donald Trump is a garbage human). In February, she received the GPI Female Poker Player of the Year Award at the 3rd Annual GPI American Poker Awards ceremony. In her acceptance speech, she actually spoke out against the award, saying, in part:

I have to say, though, that I have some mixed feelings about it because the concept of a Female Player of the Year to me doesn’t make a lot of sense. There were 77 men who finished ahead of me in the overall Player of the Year race this year and for me to get an award ahead of 76 of them it feels to me like it has to send a message that I’m not expected to be able to compete with them.

She added, “….it again feels like it sends a message that men are still in another league and every part of me rebels against that idea….”

Dentale is also quite outspoken, but his dialogue typically revolves around telling people fuck off and have intercourse with family members.

He was the center of a controversy last year in which he was accused by tablemates of cheating in a satellite to the $25,000 High Roller event at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. Just a couple players away from the prizes, Lily Kiletto, a friend of his, moved all-in for barely any chips from the small blind. Dentale folded A-4 in the big blind, even though he did not need to put any more chips in the pot. Everyone at the table thought it was ridiculous and multiple people accused him of colluding.

According to Jason Wheeler, who was one of the players who questioned Dentale’s play:

Mike Dentale then lost it as this point and started yelling loud enough to be heard across the entire tournament room. Told me to **** off and **** my family and **** my mother etc and so forth. He stood up halfway from his chair screaming at the top of his voice with spit flying in all directions hunched over in my direction.

Dentale got a two-orbit penalty for his behavior.

Another player on Two Plus Two reported that just a few days later, Dentale allegedly attempted to cut in front of a long line at the Borgata cashier, only to be rebuffed. He tried to play ignorant, but when an elderly Asian man told him to get to the back of the line, Dentale allegedly broke out profanity and racial slurs.

So tune into Twitch on Sunday, I guess. It’s my dad’s birthday, so maybe I’ll treat him to a mid-afternoon show.

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