It all started on Day 3 of WPT Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic, back in December. Cate Hall, the poker rookie who make three WPT Final tables in her first year on tour, made a dubious all-in call against a player with a strong hand. Admitting her mistake on Twitter caused Mike Dentale, the outspoken poker star from New York, to lash out at her. The conversation soon turned into a heated exchange of insults and a televised heads-up match was arranged.
Poker fans around the world have saved the date: March 19. The heads-up match will be played in a best-of-3 format with a $15,000 buy-in in each game and $50-$100 blinds. This means it will take two wins to determine the winner and a maximum loss of $30,000 for the one who will walk away empty-handed.
More than just a poker match?
For most players, a $30,000 buy-in is more than what they can afford but for high-level pros like Hall and Dentale, normal rules don't apply. According to Hendon Mob, he has won nearly $14 million in live tournaments in his poker lifetime, while she has cashed for over $800,000 since the beginning of 2015.
Currently at 1.84, the betting markets give Cate Halle a slight advantage over the outspoken New Yorker, Mike Delante.
Are the stakes too low? One thing is for sure. The poker fans were not happy when the buy-in levels the sworn enemies are playing at were announced. Dozen of negative comments flooded twitter, calling the stakes from laughable to pathetic. But is it really about the money? Let's take a closer look at the players’ background.
Cate Hall is a former competitive chess player and World of Warcraft player, who graduated from Yale Law School. She gave up her corporate career to become one of the few women who make it to professional poker playing. She is known for her liberal views that have turned her into some sort of “spokesperson” for gender issues in poker. She has stated that after poker she aspires to work for an NGO.
Mike Dentale stands at the other end of the spectrum. A fierce supporter of Donald Trump with a tough-guy persona, he is well-known for his non-liberal views and abusive language.
Who are the odds favouring?
With the poker community divided into two camps, Pinnacle could not stay out of the social-dispute that turned into the most anticipated poker challenge of the year. We opened our markets on February 21, with Cate Hall at 1.862 slightly favoured.
The bettors initially supported Dentale bringing their odds to almost the same levels (1.962 for Hall and 1.971 for Dentale) within the first week of betting, before Hall regained ground.
Currently at 1.84*, the implied probability for Hall to win is 54.35%. Do you think she has what it takes to win or is she likely to crack under the pressure put on her by big-mouthed Dentale (2.02*)?
Get unbeatable poker odds on Cate Hall vs. Mike Dentale at Pinnacle