It was good news for Hall, who bested Dentale 2-0 in the best-of-three format, for example.
The bigger winner might just be SugarHouse Casino, host of the event.
The Pennsylvania casino was the center of the poker world for an afternoon, capping off a week of showcasing what the property has to offer on Poker Night in America.
Grudge began on Twitter during WPT Bellagio event
The argument which triggered the heads-up poker showdown between the two began back in December when Dentale criticized how Hall played a hand during the World Poker Tour (WPT) event at Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas on Twitter.
The insults escalated from there and ended how most poker fights end: with someone challenging to play “heads-up for rolls.”
The two did not put their entire bankroll on the line, but they did agree to a format, date, and location for the bout. The duo would play one-on-one in a deep-stacked format with the winner earning $30,000 from the loser.
Since the debate drew quite a bit of public attention, the two worked out a deal with poker TV show Poker Night in America to livestream the event as well as film it for television.
Poker pro Matt Glantz helped bring battle to PA
The players debated publicly and privately about where to hold to cash game before settling on SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia. Dentale is a recreational player who does not travel much. With that in mind, he wanted to play closer to his home in New York.
The casino is also convenient for the show, since the two share a parent company, Rush Street Gaming. SugarHouse was featured on the show previously during the program’s third season.
Another connection to SugarHouse is poker pro and Poker Night in America producer Matt Glantz. The Pennsylvania-based Glantz got involved in the grudge match early on. A vocal presence on social media, he helped arbitrate match details with the two players.
Glantz is a consultant for Rush Street in addition to his producer role, so once he got involved, the rest of the pieces fell into place.
Thanks to months of buildup and continued online bickering between Hall and Dentale, the grudge match turned into a headline event. It even had its own hashtag, #MikeAndCatePlusHate.
The twosome played for a relatively small amount of money compared to other poker programming, but the Twitch stream of the match drew over 10,000 concurrent viewers. The show also hit some milestone numbers as a result of the broadcast.
Just broke 20k followers on Twitch and 10k followers on Twitter! Thanks everyone! #MikeAndCatePlusHate
— PokerNight.com (@PokerNightTV) March 19, 2017
Stream and TV episodes feature local PA poker players
The Dentale and Hall match was the main event of the weekend, but SugarHouse and several Pennsylvania poker players got time in the spotlight too.
The event ran in tandem with SugarHouse’s Philadelphia Poker Classic. The production team also filmed multiple days of full-ring cash game action.
The $25/$50 and $50/$100 cash games included notables:
- Matt Glantz
- Mike Dentale
- Phil Hellmuth
- Doug Polk
- Shaun Deeb
- Olivier Busquet
These tables were streamed on Twitch and also will be edited into episodes of television, as will the Hall/Dentale battle.
These high stakes streams packed a lot of star power, but the show also highlighted the hometown heroes. The action concluded with a $2/$5 no-limit hold’em cash game stream with a lineup entirely comprised of local players.
The locals stream is a new feature for Poker Night in America. Any interested players could sign up for a random drawing for a seat in one of four two-hour sessions.
So, not only did SugarHouse get some time in the spotlight, the local poker players of Pennsylvania did too.