Mike Dentale Battles Through Fatigue, Earns $2,200 No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max Crown

2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open 
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 
Hollywood, Florida
Event #17
$2,200 No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max
$100,000 Guarantee

Entries: 209 
Prize Pool: $418,000 
August 9, 2018 

Mike Dentale (right) and Tournament Director Tony Burns (left)

Despite having almost no sleep over the last 48 hours, Mike Dentale battled through serious fatigue and took down the $2,200 no-limit hold’em eight-max event in the early hours of Friday morning.

On the eve of Day 1A of the $5,250 SHRPO Championship event, Dentale bested arguably the toughest final table of the series, defeating a field of 209 entries and earning $96,235.

The Brooklyn, NY native wasn’t even going to make it down here because of so much on his plate in his personal life, but a little nudge from Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood tournament director Tony Burns got him to make his way down to South Florida.

“Honestly, I wasn’t even coming out here this time because I have so much personal stuff going on in my life,” said the 48-year-old after his win. “I never try to miss the Hard Rock. I love everything about it, but Tony convinced me. He was like ‘Mike, you got to come, you can’t miss it.’ But I swear to God I wasn’t coming. I had too much to do and then last second I thought ‘Alright, let’s do it.'”

Dentale hopped on a flight and got down to Hollywood well before he could even check-in to his room on Thursday morning. He spent a little time taking in the amenities and trying to catch up on some rest before jumping in the event that started at noon.

“I came here right off the plane at five in the morning and went right to the pool,” said Dentale. “I had no sleep in two days. I’ve been moving into a new place and I’ve been packing.”

Dentale ‘took power naps’ in between hands as a way to combat the fatigue. He came into the final table in the middle of the pack, but it wasn’t long before he held a monster chip lead.

He credits his aggressive style with getting that monster stack.

“I came in real aggressive,” said Dentale. “[I] pulled off some really nice bluffs, kind of used my image, you know, having fun, not taking the game seriously, and bluffed a lot of guys. Then when they finally started calling me, I had most of it. [I] built my stack up nice because I got a lot of calls in spots where I think they let it go, but my image got me paid off.”

By the time four-handed play rolled around, Dentale had more than half of the chips in play. He busted Ozgur Arda in sixth, Corey Burbick in fifth, Zachary Donovan in third and bested Michael Tureniec heads-up.

The only players at the final table that didn’t exit at the hands of Dentale were Martin Kozlov in fourth, Wally Maddah in seventh and Darryll Fish in eighth.

“I ran really well at the end,” said Dentale. “I stuck it out.”

Once Dentale took the chip lead, he never relinquished it. His heads-up battle with Tureniec lasted only a couple of hands. He takes the momentum from the win into Day 1A of the Championship event, where he hopes for another deep run.

And maybe a nap.

“Hopefully get a deep run in that and hopefully get a nice little rest,” said Dentale. “I’m exhausted.”


1st: Mike Dentale – $96,235
2nd: Michael Tureniec – $64,160
3rd: Zachary Donovan – $46,845
4th: Martin Kozlov – $34,690
5th: Corey Burbick – $26,060
6th: Ozgur Arda – $19,865
7th: Wally Maddah – $15,370
8th: Darryll Fish – $12,070
9th: Farid Jattin – $9,625
10th: Lee Markholt – $9,625
11th: Omer Smidt – $7,795
12th: Ken Fishman – $7,795
13th: Jeff Gross – $6,410
14th: Harrison Gimbel – $6,410
15th: Hassan Tahsildar – $5,360
16th: Brandon Eisen – $5,360
17th: Mario Prats Garcia – $4,555
18th: Adam Zeltser – $4,555
19th: Ian O’Hara – $4,555
20th: Aram Zobian – $4,555
21st: Matt Affleck – $3,935
22nd: Steven Wolansky – $3,935
23rd: Michael Rossitto – $3,935
24th: Evan Teitelbaum – $3,935
25th: Tomas Soderstrom – $3,455
26th: Shannon Shorr – $3,455
27th: Ryan Bambrick – $3,455

Event 17: Mike Dentale Wins ($96,235), Michael Tureniec – 2nd Place ($64,160)

$2,200 Eight-Handed NLH (Single Re-Entry)
$200,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 24: 20,000/40,000 with a 40,000 big blind ante
Players Remaining: 1 of 209

Mike Dentale

Mike Dentale won the first significant showdown of heads-up to extend his lead and leave Tureniec with about 700,000.

Tureniec shoved all in on the button and Dentale called out of the big blind.

Tureniec showed Qd5h and needed help against Dentale’s Ad2s. The board ran out Jc7s4hJd9h and Dentale won the pot with ace-high.

Tureniec was eliminated in second place and took home $64,160 for his runner-up finish. Dentale earned $96,235 and the trophy.

A complete recap will be posted later tonight.

Mike Dentale – $2,200 No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max Champion
Michael Tureniec – Eliminated 

Michael Tureniec

Event 17: Zachary Donovan – 3rd Place ($46,845)

$2,200 Eight-Handed NLH (Single Re-Entry)
$200,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 24: 20,000/40,000 with a 40,000 big blind ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 209

Zachary Donovan

Zachary Donovan moved all in on the button for 590,000 and Mike Dentale called out of the small blind.

“I’ll gamble with you,” said Dentale, showing KdTd.

Donovan was in the lead with his Ad4c, but the flop of Ts8d3c moved Dentale into first-place.

The turn was the Ks and Donovan was drawing dead to the 7c river. Donovan wished the final two players good luck and headed off to collect his $46,845.

Dentale takes a nearly 3-to-1 chip lead into heads-up play against Michael Tureniec.

Mike Dentale – 3,000,000
Michael Tureniec – 1,200,000

Event 17: Michael Tureniec Shoves On Mike Dentale

$2,200 Eight-Handed NLH (Single Re-Entry)
$200,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 24: 20,000/40,000 with a 40,000 big blind ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 209

Zachary Donovan limped in on the button, Mike Dentale completed the small blind and Michael Tureniec checked his option in the big blind.

The flop was Ad8d3c and Dentale checked. Tureniec checked and Donovan bet 60,000. Dentale called and Tureniec check-raised to 210,000.

Dentale called and the 6s came on the turn. Dentale checked and Tureniec moved all in for 770,000, which sent Dentale into the tank for several minutes.

“I wonder what Zach wants to happen here,” joked Dentale.

He stood up from his chair and turned around to look at the clock before beginning to talk again.

“I have no pair. Should I gamble here?” asked Dentale. “I don’t know what to do.”

Eventually, Dentale decides on a fold and later claimed he folded 9d7d. Tureniec mucked his hand and declined to answer any of Dentale’s inquiries about what he had.

Michael Tureniec – 1,350,000
Mike Dentale – 2,080,000

Event 17: Martin Kozlov – 4th Place ($34,690)

$2,200 Eight-Handed NLH (Single Re-Entry)
$200,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 23: 15,000/30,000 with a 30,000 big blind ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 209

Martin Kozlov

Martin Kozlov moved all in out of the small blind for 565,000 and Zachary Donovan called out of the big blind.

Donovan showed Ad4s and was in the lead against Kozlov’s Kc5c.

The flop was 7c6h5h, giving Kozlov bottom pair and Donovan an open-ended straight draw.

The turn was the 7s and the river was the 6c. Donovan missed his straight draw, but the turn and river counterfeited Kozlov’s pair and Donovan won the pot with the two pair on the board and a bigger kicker.

Kozlov earned $34,690 for his finish.

Zachary Donovan – 1,365,000
Martin Kozlov – Eliminated