Controversy at the Seminole Hard Rock - Mike Dentale Accused of Collusion

It's been a great week of Poker at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, which wraps up later today with the final table of the WPT Tournament of Champions but earlier in the week there was a controversial incident at the final table of a satelitte for the $25k High Roller.

At the time the 'incident' occurred there were ten players left with 7 tickets to the $25k to be won, and the remaining $17k from the prizepool for the 8th place finisher, meaning that two players were destined to leave the table with nothing. There were three short stacks at the table, the shortest of whom was Lily Kiletto who, having just folded her big blind, found herself with zero fold-equity in the small blind, with no enough left in her stack to even complete the big blind.

As expected she threw her remaining chips into the pot and as the dealer announced "all-in", journeyman pro Mike Dentale in the big blind announced 'fold' and mucked his cards despite already having Kiletto covered.

This provoked uproar at the table with other players suggesting Dentale had deliberately folded to keep Kiletto alive in the tournament, with Jason Wheeler (another player at the table) saying he'd seen Dentale and Kiletto talking during the break immediately prior to the hand. Obviously it would be in Kiletto's favour to not have to go to showdown in the pot.

Dentale vehemently claimed his innocence, saying that as one of the biggest stacks at the table he had no need to risk bleeding chips and as such was in auto-fold mode. He claimed that he just heard "all-in" and was unaware of Kiletto's stack size and mucked, not realising that it wouldn't cost him any more chips to go to showdown. 

Due to the nature of the incident and of the satellite payouts the floor intervened, asking the players which cards they had. The dealer knew the four cards which had been mucked, but not which belonged to whom. Kiletto said 7c 4c but Dentale was less sure, saying he had a four but seemed unsure of his second card. When the cards were turned over it was revealed that Dentale's mucked cards were, in fact, Ah 4h - putting him in a dominating position against Kiletto. The fact that Dentale initially failed to recall he had an Ace provoked further outrage at the table, with other players (particularly Wheeler and Mukul Pahuja) claiming that he would have known his hand, making the collusion theory even more likely.

Dentale, never known for his even temper, lost it and was eventually given a two round penalty for his shouting and swearing. Having not managed to calm himself down during his penalty, Dentale was soon back to his old tricks and earned himself yet another penalty - eventually crashing out in 8th place, taking the $18k and missing out on the $25k ticket he had all but guaranteed himself prior to the incident. 

Prior to Dentale's penalty the controversial hand was played out and remarkably Kiletto hit her three outer to double up. However, she was soon all-in again and left with nothing.

You can read Wheeler's side of the story from his post on the 2+2 forums, whereas Dentale gives his side of the story in a twitlonger post which you can read here

 

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