The long-anticipated grudge match between Cate Hall and Mike Dentale played out on Sunday with Hall easily sweeping the match 2-0. Cleverly billed as “Mike and Cate Plus Hate,” Twitter and Twitch exploded on Sunday with fans eagerly wanting to either see Hall extract her revenge or Dentale prove to the world that Hall was simply running hot the last year.
No Cards + Bad Play = Sweep for Hall
Two things were evident in this match. First, the poker gods were smiling on Cate Hall. She was incredibly blessed with not just the quality of hands but also with how often she was connecting with the board.
The final hand was evidence of this fact. She had pocket kings against the A-2 of Dentale. Dentale hadn’t been able to hit top pair on the flop for a quite a while, but this time he finally did.
Unfortunately for him, Hall flopped a set of kings. After getting him to commit his stack, Hall went on to catch quads on the river to win the match.
As Doug Polk told Dentale after the match, he wasn’t going to win on Sunday because of the cards he received. Even so, it was also clear that Dentale was not playing his best poker. Shaun Deeb told Dentale as much in the post-match interview on Twitch.
Dentale did make a great point about his perceived bad play. As he told Polk and Deeb, it’s difficult to “play great” when you consistently getting bad card. Perhaps the one area that Dentale had the advantage was in his reading ability.
Several times during the match, Dentale made some solid reads that helped keep him in the match despite his bad run of cards. Deeb even said that when Dentale trusted his reads, he was spot on every time.
Red Bull Robbie Has a Brother
Those of you that have been going to the World Series of Poker for the last few years have seen or heard of Robbie Thompson, known affectionately as “Red Bull Robbie” for his tendency to slam Red Bulls at an unhealthy rate.
Mike Dentale clearly is related to Red Bull Robbie as every time he turned around, he was getting another Red Bull. By the end of the second match, he was approaching double digits.
While Dentale didn’t have any problems with energy during the match, the Red Bulls did little to help his game.
Doug Polk joked after the match, “Red Bull – It Gives You Kings.” In Dentale’s case – not so much.
Viewers Fail to Step Up For Charity
Both players were competing for charity in this match. Hall was playing for the Committee to Protect Journalism (CPJ), a nonprofit organization that supports press freedom around the globe.
Dentale was playing for Community Volunteers in Medicine, a free clinic to Philadelphia low-income families
One thing I particularly enjoyed about the broadcast was that there were links for fans to donate to these charities. With over 20,000 fans viewing the broadcast at one time or another, you’d think that there’d be a significant amount of fan donations.
Sadly, there was less than $2,000 raised for the charities by fans. Hall’s charity received $1,625 while Dentale’s cause received a paltry $341.
Poker Night in America’s Todd Anderson spoke on this, stating how that the lack of community support was his biggest disappointment from Sunday’s event.
My biggest disappointment on the day was the charities didn't get more donations from the poker fans. Were you NOT ENTERTAINED??? https://t.co/ntm065EbuA— Todd Anderson (@PokerNight_Todd) March 20, 2017
Hall-Dentale Warmly Received by Community
While the match was nowhere near as close as some hoped, overall it was well-received by the poker community. Fans of both players were riveted by the spectacle and the studio audience was a packed one.
Overall, comments were positive for the event with some requesting more “grudge matches” in the future.
Cate Hall already appears ready for her next opponent. One match that fans are clamoring for is against “high stakes player” Dan Bilzerian. He recently made disparaging comments against women in poker as a whole and he would be the perfect villain for the next grudge match.
Who wants next— Cate Hall (@catehall) March 19, 2017
If you didn’t watch the live stream, you missed some great commentary from Doug Polk and Sean Deeb. While they aren’t your typical poker broadcasters, they were the perfect duo for this type of event.
This event appealed more to the hardcore poker fan rather than your casual TV crowd. That’s one reason why this duo worked so well. A great mix of analysis and humor kept fans from falling asleep from what was really some rather lackluster poker.