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Gossip Column: Cate Hall Accuses Chad Power of Extortion, Doug Polk Retires From Poker & More

Cate Hall and Doug Polk
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  • PG News September 19, 2018
  • 6 Mins Read

Accusations, retirement, cheating and generosity, these are the ingredients of this edition of our PokerGuru Gossip Column.

Accusations run rampant within the poker fraternity, so it’s really not shocking that accusations of ‘extortion’ would become gossip fodder. In this case, its Cate Hall who levied the accusation against Chad Power in a long Twitter rant regarding a staking dispute.

WhileHall is looking for respite from Power, Doug Polk is now looking to maintain some distance from the mind sport. It’s sad but true that Polk has decided to put poker on the backburner and is retiring from poker. But can he stay away from the game? Who knows!

But what we do know is that William Kassouf was caught palming £100 chips at a roulette wheel during the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) Leeds which led to him losing his Grosvenor sponsorship. What a shame!

Nevertheless, there is light at the end of this tunnel and this time it was Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates who received a very generous offer from PokerStars to skip on the $300 rake in a high roller tournament, which he converted into a $30,000 payout. What a lucky man indeed!

Want to know the details? Well, go ahead and read on.

Cate Hall Accuses Chad Power of Extortion

Disputes are not uncommon in the world of poker, especially between players and their backers. Recently, a staking dispute between poker pros Cate Hall and Chad Power got out of hand when Hall accused Power of ‘extortion’.

Cate Hall
Cate Hall

On September 17, Hall took to Twitter to publicly disclose the issues that were brewing between her and Power.

Hall stated that she had entered into a staking agreement with Power for cash games “a little over a year ago” and under the terms of that deal she would not be liable for the losses if she took an extended break from playing poker and their backing deal was severed. Under the deal, Power would get a cut of whatever she won playing on his money.

Power had written in a TwoPlusTwo forum post that he had no expectation of getting his money back from Hall. He admitted that he had no documentation to show she agreed to paying back 100 percent of her losses. Rather, he wanted to make the dispute public as a “warning” to anyone in poker who might back Hall in the future.

Power, who claims to stake about 40 poker players, said that he enters deals under which his players can only absolve their makeup if he drops them.

Power’s side of the story states that Hall played as big as $25-$50 no-limit hold’em while they had a backing arrangement together. He also accused her of drug abuse and failing to beat $1-$3 no-limit hold’em.

Both parties agreed to have an unnamed third party “arbitrate” their dispute. The arbitrator sided with Hall stating that it is unfair for Hall to owe $60,000 to Power because there is “no proof” of her agreeing to those terms. However, the arbitrator suggested they resolve the dispute amicably in the form of a “buyout” or resume their backing arrangement when Hall is ready to continue her poker career.

In her tweet, Hall claimed that though Power had earlier stated that the decision of the arbitrator would be binding, he renegaded on his statement, he asked for “the full amount of the makeup” and threatened to publicly defame Hall as a scammer, which Hall claims was “outright extortion”.

Hall also revealed all the communication that took place between her, the third-party arbitrator and Power.

While Hall admitted that she played like a “shitty horse”, she explained that she had “entered into a spiritual and mental health crisis a year ago” during which time she rarely played poker.

She further explained “I didn’t get to choose whether to have a mental health crisis, but I did get to decide whether to play with someone else’s money while that was going on, or to live on savings for a year, and I chose the latter. I think that was the right decision for everyone.”

Citing her situation as an example, she cautioned fellow players, “if you’re on stake with Chad, or anyone else, be aware that ***you have no legal obligation*** to pay a backer the amount of makeup in the event you leave poker, absent a written agreement to the contrary”.

Doug Polk Officially Bids Goodbye to Poker

One of the most colourful and boisterous figures in the poker community has decided to call it quits. The three-time WSOP bracelet winner Doug Polk has decided to part ways with the mind sport.

Doug Polk
Doug Polk

Known not only for his prowess on the poker felts but also as a YouTuber and podcaster for cryptocurrency and mainstream news, Polk in a video posted on September 17 titled ‘How I Turned $100 Into $10,000 Playing Poker’, stated that “poker is boring to me now.”

The video was about how be completed his bankroll challenge wherein he turned $100-to-$10,000 in two years’ time. With the completion of this challenge and Polk’s relatively fewer poker outings, it came as a shock to almost no one that the high stakes specialist is ready to step away from the game.

But does “retire” really mean what we think it does? Going by the example of pros like Vanessa Selbst and Fedor Holz, who retired from the game but never really said goodbye. Selbst announced her retirement in December 2017, but has come back to the felts on numerous occasions, whilst, Holz reportedly retired in 2016, but went on to win the HK$ 240,000 + 10,000 No Limit Hold’em – 6 Max at the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series – Montenegro, Budva in 2017 and finished runner-up in Event #78: $1,000,000 No Limit Hold’em – The Big One for One Drop at the 2018 WSOP.

Along similar lines Polk seems to have given himself an out confirming on the 2+2 poker forum that he doesn’t enjoy playing anymore, but that he wasn’t quite ready to call it a retirement. He added that “poker is pretty easy to get back into if I ever change my mind.”

Let’s hope that this entertaining poker personality will eventually make a comeback to the game.

Will Kassouf’s £100 Chips Palming Stunt at Roulette Costs Him Grosvenor Sponsorship

Poker player Will Kassouf who is known for his 17th place finish in the 2016 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event where he pocketed $338,288 is back in news, and this time, Kassouf has been sweating really hard off the felts.

Will Kassouf
Will Kassouf

Kassouf’s recent attempt to palm £100 chips at a roulette wheel while he was at the GUKPT Leeds didn’t go unnoticed and has cost him the Grosvenor sponsorship. Grosvenor has also banned Kassouf from all of its properties!

Earlier this week, Shaun Deeb shared on Twitter, details of how Kassouf was caught palming the £100 chips at a roulette table.

Deeb added on Twitter that people are confirming it and his silence would be a strong admission of guilt.

Many on Twitter criticized Deeb for spreading the story. Will Davies was one of the critics.

The Tweet led to a discussion on TwoPlusTwo and soon a user shared a social media post from Michael J O’Mahoney who claimed he was there when it happened.

“We were all drunk and the only one playing roulette was one mate who won about 4k and let us bet for him using the single 1 chips he had. We put a bet on that won another £2800 and Kassouf started celebrating and grabbing the £100 chips which myself and mates took back,” O’Mahoney wrote.

“But in the ensuing betting he was seen pocketing some. That’s when argument happened. Like I said we all wanted to keep it between us and we had a private argument at bar with a view to it being sort the next day. It’s not my place to write this really but sick of people defending him saying must be mistake. Definitely wasn’t and he’ll have to accept the consequences as well as lose friends.”

Finally, a cornered Kassouf broke his silence on the subject. In his September 18 tweet, Kassouf admitted, “I made an error of judgment which I greatly regret.”

Not a very honourable way to conduct himself, we admit!

While the Twitterati have been passing their own judgment, according to Deeb, Kassouf has been banned from all Grosvenor properties and also lost his Grosvenor sponsorship.

PokerStars Offers Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates Rake-Free Tournament Entry

PokerStars seems to have become synonymous with rake, particularly since six-time WSOP bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu took up the ‘more rake is better’ debate after the gaming firm decided to cut the SuperNova and SuperNova Elite players off mid-race a few years back. And now, Daniel Jungleman’ Cates found himself in for an absolute surprise when he was offered rake free entry by PokerStars!

Dan Cates
Dan Cates

A toughie on the virtual and live felts, Cates shared the news on Twitter.

Cates evidently decided to take up PokerStars’ offer to skip on the $300 rake. We remember how Negreanu, who supports more rake for players reacted to Doug Polk’s take on the subject in his ‘more rake is better’ live on PokerGo on May 28. Phil Galfond whose Run It Once site is coming up for trials soon has also been discussing the rake issue lately. In one of his blog posts, Galfond debated the pros and cons of rake.

While the pros keep engaging in a battle of words, clearly Cates took advantage of PokerStars’ offer and turned his $10K into a cool $30,000 payout with a ninth-place finish in the tournament!

And with that we conclude this edition of the PokerGuru Gossip Column. Stay tuned as we’ll be back with more juicy gossip soon!

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