Cate Hall overwhelming defeated Mike Dentale two matches to zero in the highly anticipated best of three heads-up matches. The grudge match, was broadcast live on the Poker Night in America Twitch channel.
Doug Polk and Shaun Deeb commentated from the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the match, tagged #MikeAndCatePlusHate, was played.
According to Poker Night in America, the duo were not only settling a grudge, but also raising money for charity.
Background Leading Up to the Grudge Match
The feud began innocently enough back in December when Hall posted on Twitter about regretting the way she played a hand against Barry Hutter on Day 3 of the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event.
Brian Reinert was the first to question Hall about the hand when tweeting, "Calling off 80 BB's w/A10 is ever right?" He insisted it wasn't a needle. Hall replied to the Tweet stating, "Getting 2.3:1 yes depending on range assumptions."
At this point, things heated up when, instead of discussing the hand, Mike Dentale questioned Hall's poker ability.
Hall replied, challenging Dentale for a heads-up match.
Dentale and Hall agreed to terms and three months later the duo competed in a best of three heads-up freezeouts with each player starting off with $15,000 and players 100 big blinds deep with blinds at $75/$150.
Hype increased leading up to the match as fans and friends were discussing on social media who they felt would win. Many agreed to private bets, while others headed to PokerShares, a poker betting site recently founded by Mike McDonald, to lay wagers.
Hall Dominates First Match
After Polk introduced the two players, they started the heads-up match with a fury. On the very first hand, Hall raised from the button with to $400 and Dentale called with .
Dentale checked on the flop. Hall, with trips, bet $500 and Dentale called. Dentale then led out with a bet of $1,000 after the appeared on the turn and Hall called. The completed the board on the river giving Dentale top pair. He led out for $2,000 and Hall quickly called giving her the first pot of the night.
A short while later, Hall extended her lead to a 4:1 chip advantage. She opened up from the button to $400 with and Dentale defended with . Both players checked on the flop of before Hall led out for $500 after the appeared on the turn. Dentale, with the best hand at the time, called. The completed the board on the river giving Hall a better pair. She led out for $900 and shipped a sizable pot after Dentale called.
Hall extended her lead to a 5:1 chip advantage before Dentale began to rally back to almost even the stacks. After winning a few smaller pots to reduce Hall's advantage to 3:1, Hall opened from the button for $400 with and Dentale called with .
Dentale check-raised Hall's $400 bet on the flop to $1,000 and Hall called. Dentale then led out for $1,000 when the appeared on the turn and Hall called. Dentale led out again, this time for $1,500 when the completed the board on the river. Hall, missing her straight draw, folded.
Dentale's frustration was evident as Hall regained momentum. Hall chipped away at Dentale's stack when she regained a 4:1 chip advantage after she bluffed on a board holding . Dentale, with the best hand holding , tanked before folding.
A short while later, Hall extended her lead to a 9:1 chip advantage and left her opponent with $3,000. Hall, with , jammed all in and Dentale snap-called . The board ran out giving Hall the better pair and the first match.
Hall Completes the Sweep
Players returned to the poker felt after an over 20-minute break. The second match began where the first one left off with Hall swinging the chip advantage in her favor and never looking back.
On the first hand of the second match, Hall completed the blinds with before Dentale with raised to $400 from the big blind. Hall called and Dentale led out for $700 on the flop. Hall behind in the hand turned on the gas and raised to $2,100. Dentale tanked for nearly four minutes before he tossed his hand into the muck.
Throughout the match, Dentale was critiquing his opponent's play while Hall took down pot after pot to gain an almost 3:1 chip advantage. Hall was not without table banter herself stating, "Is that how you play when you weren't on tilt?"
Dentale responded, "What do you mean?"
Hall replied, "I assumed you were on crazy tilt already," she said.
"When?" Dentale asked.
Hall smiled and said, "For the whole last hour."
"What would make you think that?" Dentale asked Hall. "You are very bad at the verbal sparring."
Hall, smiling the entire time, eventually needled Dentale about his queen-five call that ended the first match.
Hall then took down a hand preflop with pocket kings.
Dentale wasn't done with the table talk though.
"Remember, you will always suck," he said. "Especially in my eyes...There are a lot of girls that have earned my respect...But it definitely isn't you."
On the very next hand, Hall opened up on the button to $300 with and Dentale defended with . The appeared on the flop giving Hall top pair and Dentale straight and flush draws. Dentale led out for $500 and Hall quickly called. Dentale then led out for $800 when the appeared on the turn and Hall quickly called again. Both players checked when the appeared on the river and Hall extended her lead to a 4:1 chip advantage.
About 40 minutes later, Dentale was down to $5,025. Hall opened for $300 on the button with and Dentale defended with . The flop came giving Dentale top pair. However, he was a huge underdog with Hall flopping a set.
"This might be the end of the match," Deeb stated on the stream.
Dentale led out for $400 and Hall quickly called. After the appeared on the turn, Dentale was drawing dead. Dentale checked before Hall fired out an almost-pot-sized bet of $1,300. Dentale went into the tank before he moved all in for his remaining stack of $4,325. Hall called and won the match with quads after the completed the board.
Dentale Disappointed, Hall Looking For Next Challenge
After the match, Dentale joined Polk and Deeb in the booth to discuss the last hand. Polk and Deeb were sharing with Dentale that they would have played the last hand differently calling the turn bet to keep Hall's bluffs in play for the river.
Dentale disagreed. Despite this disagreement, everyone in the booth agreed it was inevitable that Dentale would lose the match on that hand regardless of how it was played on the turn.
Dentale then said that while he was disappointed that he didn't win, he was more discouraged that he disappointed his fans.
"I just want to say this to everyone," Dentale said. "The thing that upsets me the most is letting down whomever put money on me. I truly apologize for that. It hurts me more than anything."
While Hall did not join the stream after the match, she did have a little fun with her Twitter fans.
*Images, hands and commentary courtesy of the Poker Night in America Twitch channel.
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