Mike Dentale Accused of Cheating5 years ago
Well-known East Coast poker player Mike Dentale has been accused of cheating in a satellite tournament at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, with allegations of collusion and other extremely unsavoury behavior also coming to light.
The story emerged after the final table satellite to the $25K High Roller event was disrupted when Dentale was handed an initial two round ban for apparently using foul and abusive language. Details of the incident have been widespread, with Dentale and fellow players taking to the internet to air their accusations and denials.
The stakes were seven seats at the big event plus $17k in cash for 8th. The table had 10 players when play was folded around to the shortest stack, Lily Kiletto. She had only $1k left in chips after posting her small blind of $3k, which meant that Dentale in the $6k big blind had a free ride when Kiletto went ‘all-in’ for her final $1k.
What happened next sparked a massive argument: Dentale folded and mucked his cards – something he simply is not allowed to do - leading to accusations of collusion and cheating from fellow players at the table, many of whom believed that Dentale was deliberately trying to keep Kiletto in the event.
Jason Wheeler, who eventually gained one of the satellite spots, posted his version of events on the 2+2 forums, saying that when the rest of the table realised what Dentale had just done:
Mukul Pahuja lead the charge saying "Mike you can't fold, it’s all in, we have to go to a showdown... what is going on? This can't be real," At the same time Lily was trying to say that Mike folded and his cards were already in the muck. The Mike jumped in saying I folded...if I had realized she only had 4k, no way would I fold.”
The mucked cards were eventually retrieved, causing further outrage when it transpired that Dentale had in fact mucked A4, initially claiming that he could only recall he had a 4.
According to Wheeler’s version of events:
Mike Dentale then lost it as this point and started yelling loud enough to be heard across the entire tournament room. Told me to **** off and **** my family and **** my mother etc and so forth. He stood up halfway from his chair screaming at the top of his voice with spit flying in all directions hunched over in my direction. Took it out on me 10x harder than he was going in on Mukul.”
Dentale was then given a two-round penalty, apparently for this foul and abusive language.
According to Dentale, this penalty was unfair, citing:
Jason kept going on about me folding purposely, but let's be clear they were screaming pointing and accusing which is when I lost it. Obviously the floor can't prove any colluding but because I let this out of shape, dirtbag, drug addict, Jason Wheeler get under my skin, the floor give me a 20 hand penalty for losing my temper. I thought this was totally ridiculous that I was getting penalized because he was screaming and yelling at me.”
With the hand in question took place immediately after a break, Wheeler is convinced that a conversation he witnessed between Dentale and Kiletto during that break adds to the chances that it was a planned ‘mistake' on Dentale’s part.
Mike and Lilly had conversation outside right before coming back.. this conversation could have led to what occurred next. In all the time that I and others have played with him, I've never seen him verbally declare a fold in that spot. Seemed weird when he said it. I believe it was a pre-planned move to say I fold...then gauge whether or not the dealer got on to it and if he could get his cards into the muck fast enough. Mike figured at worst he could play it off as honest mistake and at worst penalty wise, they might give him up to one round which didn't matter as he was guaranteed a seat with his stack.”
Dentale, however, vehemently disputes this, posting on Twitlonger:
This clown Jason says as he entered the hallway he noticed me and Lilly talking right before the break. First of all it was me, Lilly, and her boyfriend Caldo who I am very good friends with. So yes, why wouldn't we be talking?” He added, “For this piece of garbage to assume and accuse me of colluding infuriates me.”
The last time I noticed Lilly's stack was before the break where she had 15 bigs. I found out later she lost a hand before the break in which I had no idea. When we restarted I sat down without looking at her stack. We started the level and I believe I folded to her when she went all in. I looked down and had A4 and said I fold, just like I would fold KQ and AJ in previous hands. All of a sudden Mukul and Jason start to go ballistic about my fold. That's when I realized Lilly was all in under my big blind bet. Obviously I would never ever fold when I don't have to add more chips. I explained it to them which I thought they would perfectly understand, but this piece of shit Jason kept screaming at the top of his lungs and calling me a cheater and a liar, which infuriated me.”
However, when matters reached the ears of 2+2 forumites – many of whom are very familiar with the players involved, Dentale’s pleading of innocence fell mostly on deaf ears – with many posters recalling similar tales of terrible behaviour by the 50-year old.
Allegations of collusion, cheating and foul-mouthed racist rants emanating from Dentale flooded in, including one alleged incident merely days AFTER the one at the Hard Rock satellite.
Mike (Dentale) apparently cashed in a tourney this morning at Borgata (probably the 6-max). He walked over to the cage to get paid with his receipt in hand and there was a very long line. He pretended not to see it and walked to the front and stood behind someone who was getting some chips at one of the windows. He went to the cashier and pretended he was 'next in line'...asked the cashier: “is this the only place you cash these things?” (shows his receipt). Cashier told him to get in line... there is a line!!!...”
He pretended that he didn't hear her, and repeated his stupid question again (Mike has cashed numerous times at Borgata and knows EXACTLY where to get paid). An older gentleman who was waiting to get chips walks up to the window and told him to get in line and Dentale went OFF at the poor guy with profanities, bullying, and abusive words...he kept on yelling: “STFU... no one is talking to, you stupid F*&^” and called him a racial slur as well (he was 65+ year old Asian man).
...everyone in line was stunned and called him names as he went to the back of the line...even a couple of days after the sh*& storm in Florida, Dentale was still behaving as badly as ever...he truly needs anger management.”
Dentale was also involved in a brief Twitter spat with 2015 WSOP Main Event winner Joe McKeehen late last year, during which he threatened to “drown (sic) you in the Bellagio fountain,” after McKeehen had told him:
You should work on not cheating in the middle of poker games before anyone respects your opinion scumbag.”
As the “shitstorm” continued online, the Twitch stream tuckonsports invited him on for an interview, during which both Wheeler and Mukul Pahuja (who has known Dentale for many years) also called in. Dentale once again seeming to resort to the loud and angry approach.
Pahuja, posting on 2+2 as ‘NeVerMuk’, posted:
I haven't made 1 accusation of collusion or cheating towards ANYONE,” adding that, “When Mike decided to lie about certain details and certain facts were being left out, I decided to call in/post. All we can do is provide all the facts about what happened and let this play out."
On the allegations that Dentale and Kiletto had actually colluded, he stated:
At the end of the day, it's Mike's unbelievable reaction and behavior at the table that can be looked at and judged by the powers that be. Not what you're all accusing him of, as unfortunate as that may seem.”
With Dentale serving out his penalty, he returned to the table and was almost immediately given another for more abusive language, and when he finally returned Kiletto and one other player had busted out.
However, Dentale claims that this time the OTHER players had been colluding against him in his absence!
When they let me back in my stack went from 110k to 25k which I couldn't see how that was possible,” wrote Dentale. “I then realized these pieces of shit were doing what they accused me of doing, folding and taking turns stealing my blinds. I said you guys want to win by cheating and then Mukul opens his mouth again, screaming, and I am told I have to leave the room. Obviously Mukul wears the Hardrock patch and is being treated with kid gloves as Jason wheeler is. They are allowed to scream at me, accuse me, and get no warnings. They allow me back in the room and I have 2 blinds in which I immediately toss in the middle. I get called and lose. I wind up getting the 18k.”
Whether any further action (such as a casino ban) will be taken by the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida remains to be seen, but according to Wheeler, it’s a pretty cut-and-dry case of cheating.
Super cliff notes: everyone at the final table of the satty to the 25k at sharpo believed that Mike Dentale and Lilly Killeto were trying to collude/cheat in order to keep her in the satty. The only people who might not agree with this statement are those two. There was a lot of screaming and inappropriate comments made in between, 99.9% of it coming from Mike.”
Dentale maintains, however, that he was drunk and reacted inappropriately to the incident:
What bothered me more is that Mukul didn't have my back. He didn't say I know Mike and "he wouldn't do that on purpose." Instead he lead the way for accusing me, also this piece of shit Jason wants to paint this picture of this whole elaborate plan that I made with Lilly and then post it on 2+2 and make me look bad.” He added, “Mostly what I am getting tired of is the majority of drug using, dirtbag, lowlives, always quick to judge and talk shit. It's truly amazing what sorry pathetic people they are.”
Kiletto, meanwhile, has made no public comment on the matter.
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