Cate Hall Returns to WPT Five Diamond; Discusses "Spectacular Blow Up" and Plans Should She Reach Final Table

Dec 5, 2017

By Matt Clark

Cate Hall

WPT Five Diamond holds a special place in the heart of Cate Hall (pictured above). In 2015, when Hall was a relative unknown on the tournament scene, she turned a satellite entry into a final table appearance worth $291,320. Her fifth-place finish also catapulted her toward a life filled with more tournaments and a near-miss in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race.

“I wasn’t planning to play the tournament when I came out,” Hall told “I had this voice in my head to play it and I satellited my way in and it worked out.”

Last year was the polar opposite for Hall. In her own words, she had a “spectacular blow up” against Barry Hutter (pictured below) on Day 3. A hero call went wrong and led to social media backlash that continued well after that year’s final table, one that Hall was not present at, had concluded.

Cate Hall and Barry Hutter

Hall’s thoughts on the hand and the melee that followed are a net positive. Even though she was incorrect, she trusted herself enough to make the decision she thought was right.

“I felt at the time, and at still feel, weirdly proud of that hand,” Hall said. “It was a spot where I knew what the standard play was and I had reasons for doing something different. It was a big moment. The TV cameras were hovering around and the table was crowded. I went with my instinct and was wrong. It happens. I felt like I was proud of the fact that I went with my instinct with all that was happening around me.”

Hall is now emboldened by the hand. Despite taking a huge loss both of her stack in the event and of the perception of her play among some peers, Hall has fully moved on.

“In retrospect, it was just bad,” Hall said. “It sucks, but it happens. All you can do is try your hardest in any given hand and hope that things work out. You make mistakes and it happens, but you can’t let it get to you as a poker player or you’re not going to be a very good one.”

It’s hard enough to make one Five Diamond final table, but Hall has special plans should she make Sunday’s finale.

If she is to make the final six, Hall plans to donate 50 percent of her winnings to REG Charity. That number will be in the hundreds of thousands and Hall is self-aware enough of her own financial status to not “need” should she make it that deep.

“I think that it’s a good thing to do. It’s not as though I have a ton of money,” Hall said. “If I final table this, I will have a ton of money. I just don’t need $1 million. That money can do a lot of good for other people.Winning a poker tournament is a huge windfall and a gift from God. I should share it, I guess.”

The two years and experiences that came with them have balanced out for Hall and she is “psyched” to be playing Five Diamond in Season XVI. Hall has lowered her tournament volume in recent months but has a special feeling about how she will fare this week.

“I’ve never said this before, but I have a feeling that I’m going to go deep in this one. I’m looking forward to at least a few days of fun poker in a slow structure.”

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