The Rise Of The Poker Grudge Match

The Rise Of The Poker Grudge Match

Inspired by Cate Hall's entertaining victory over Mike Dentale, here are 4 more poker grudge matches I'd like to see

The long-awaited Cate Hall vs. Mike Dentale grudge match is finally in the books, with Hall giving Dentale a much deserved $30k beat-down.  If you’ve been under a rock (or simply aren’t a hardcore poker fan) and aren’t familiar with the back story behind this match, check out this video and come back:

Anyway, prior to the match I was on the fence about whether or not I cared enough to be interested.  The twitter beef got pretty nasty from both sides, which is always fun, but I was skeptical if that would translate into an entertaining poker match.

In the end I was pleasantly surprised and taken back to my childhood days of watching pro wrestling on Saturday mornings.  Dentale fully adopted the role of wrestling ‘heel’ and unleashed a barrage of clearly pre-scripted barbs and attacks towards Hall. He might as well have been wearing purple underwear and giving middle fingers to the crowd.   His constant verbal telegraphing of his hands also resembled the classic wrestling jobber routine of talking trash and taking way too long to finish off a downed Hulk Hogan or Ultimate Warrior.  I also thoroughly enjoyed the bad casino reg tactics of constantly talking when he had a strong hand and showing his trash hole card when his other hole card made the effective nuts.

Overall it was very enjoyable and left me with an obvious conclusion: We need more of this.

On that note, here 4 poker grudge matches that I’d like to see in the near future:

Doug Polk vs. Luke Schwartz

This one seems imminently possible since the two men are currently involved in a war of internet jabs.  Just check out Schwartz’ recent appearance on Joe Ingram’s podcast:

Haha just kidding.  But seriously, the real thing isn’t much different.  Schwartz is angry because Polk recently accused him of being a ‘bad pro’ on his youtube channel and even claimed that Luke has recently sold a house in order to keep playing poker.

If you don’t have the time or energy to watch the full rant, I’ll summarize:

Schwartz basically calls Polk a liar and says that the reason he makes video content and runs a training site is that he can’t actually win anymore at the tables.  He claims that he will make him cry if they play heads-up live and that he is the far superior player.  He also goes on to call Daniel Negreanu a ‘fish’ and throws a few upper-cuts about Polk’s feud with Ben Tollerene.  It’s pretty safe to say that these guys don’t like each other and would provide a very entertaining match.

Daniel Negreanu vs. Howard Lederer heads up for $30 million

If we can convince Negreanu to leave the baseball bat at home, this one could be great…

Okay, it would be even better with the baseball bat, but that’s a whole different list.

Since Negreanu is the most popular poker player in the world, he would make the perfect ‘people’s champion’ to go up against the ultimate villain.  Lederer would put up $30 million from his stolen Full Tilt money and I’m sure Negreanu would have no problem finding backers for his end.

Mike Matusow vs. Ted Forrest in a ‘Loser Leaves Poker Forever’ Match

We’d have to find something other than money to play for in this one, since neither player has any.  This is the poker version of a ‘bum fight’, and it would possibly have to be done ‘GPL style’ with Forrest playing live via satellite from prison, but it would still be worth it.  The two men are former friends who famously made a $2 million weight loss bet in which Forrest won and Matusow never paid.  What better revenge for Forrest than to defeat Matusow heads-up and send him packing from the poker world forever?

Phil Hellmuth vs. Anyone With Actual Poker Skills

I’m sorry, I just love seeing this guy lose.  It’s a sickness really.

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