The much anticipated grudge match between Cate Hall and Mike Dentale finally went down on March 19 and it was the former who came away victorious.
As is often the way in the poker world, a rogue tweet or an inappropriate forum comment can often lead to an all-out war between two players.
Over the years the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Tom Dwan, Doug Polk and Dan Cates have all ended up in a heads-up showdown because of an online spat.
So, when Dentale took it upon himself to criticize Hall’s recent rise up the ranks of the Global Poker Index, it was inevitable a HU4ROLLZ (heads-up for bankrolls) challenge would ensue.
“I heard @catehall has been playing well. Funny when the cards don’t go your way you have to rely on skill” Dentale posted on Twitter back in December 2016.
Not willing to let the comment slide, Hall fired back with a “put up or shut up” barb that eventually led to an official showdown.
“Bro you do a lot of talking. If you want to play HU tonight or any other time, I’m game,” Hall retorted.
Eventually, after numerous back-and-forth comments and opinions from around the poker community, Dentale and Hall agreed on terms.
Not wanting to miss an opportunity to give the event some added drama, Poker Night in America stepped in and agreed to film the best-of-three match inside the SugarHouse Casino, Philadelphia.
With the two players agreeing to play out their difference on Twitch, the game was set and Hall quickly established the early advantage. Under the watchful eyes of commentators Shaun Deeb and Doug Polk, Hall took the first round when Dentale got the remainder of his chips in with Qs 5d.
Hall went to the flop in the lead with Ad 9h and held on to take the first match when the board ran out: 3s 9s 5c 4s Jd. As expected, despite falling behind, Dentale was as vocal at the table as he was on social media.
However, perhaps the most interesting point in the match game at the 32-minute mark when Hall informed her opponent that she had people feeding her information about his hands. Because the Twitch stream was on a delay, Hall was able to have friends pick up hand information and relay it to her during the match.
After Dentale said he didn’t need that sort of information, Hall said it was “negligent” not to exploit and edge like this. As the match wore on, it became increasingly obvious that he stoic Hall was getting to Dentale and he eventually cracked when he went all-in with a pair of aces.
With the board showing As 5s Kd 8h Kh, Dentale made a final push with Ac 2s but found himself out of chips when Hall showed pocket kings. Although Dentale wasn’t particularly gracious in defeat, Hall walked away happy knowing that she’d proved a hater wrong and taken $30,000 in the process.