– General Introduction –
Daniel “Jungleman” Cates is an American professional poker player. He was born on November 14, 1989 in Bowie, Maryland.
He made a name for himself as an online cash game player, becoming one of the best online heads-up players in the world. He’s over $10 million in profit in cash games on his Full Tilt account. He has seen considerable success in the live tournament circuit as well, with over $9.9 million in lifetime earnings and a WSOP gold bracelet. He is perhaps best known for his unfinished heads-up challenge against another online poker legend, Tom “durrrr” Dwan.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2008: He starts playing online cash games.
- 2010: He starts his online heads-up cash game challenge against Tom “durrrr” Dwan – they still haven’t finished it to date.
- 2010: He wins over $5.5 million on online cash games on Full Tilt within a year.
- 2014: He finishes 2nd in the €100,000 EPT Super High Roller in Monte Carlo for $1,774,145. That is his biggest single live tournament cash to date.
- 2021: He wins his first WSOP gold bracelet after finishing first in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship for $954,020.
– Daniel Cates’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Cates often played poker with his high school friends growing up in Maryland.
He started playing $0.25/$0.50 heads-up cash games on Full Tilt around 2008, under his screen name “jungleman12”. He deposited some of the money he earned from working at McDonald’s while studying economics at the University of Maryland.
After two years of online poker, he raised the stakes 100-fold and was playing at the $25/$50 tables. He also grew a sizable online following and the name “Jungleman” became known in the online poker community.
→ Live Tournaments ←
Cates has $9,986,892 in live tournament earnings listed on his Hendon page. They were accumulated from only 27 individual cashes over the course of 11 years. That is a very small number of cashes, but it makes sense if one considers that Cates has focused on online poker and cash games for most of his career. His success there allowed him to buy in for high stakes events, which in turn allowed him to get a few big scores.
The first ITM finish on his tally comes from January 2010, when he came in 12th in a $1,500 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure event and won $9,085. His first 6-figure cash is from 2 years later – he finished 2nd for $300,000 in the $8,750 PartyPoker Premier League Vienna championship. He lost the heads-up duel for the title to Scott Seiver.
The biggest live tournament payday of his career was in April 2014. It’s another runner-up finish, in the €100,000 European Poker Tour Super High Roller held in Monte Carlo. He got no less than €1,283,700 ($1,774,145) for that performance. He lost this heads-up battle to another great American poker pro, Daniel Coleman.
His other major live tournament scores are finishing 3rd in the Triton High Roller Series’ HK$100,000 Main Event in Paranaque City, Philippines for $1,000,365 in 2017; finishing 10th in a HK$2.1 million Super High Roller Bowl in Macau for $742,012 in 2018; and winning a $100,000 World Poker Tour Alpha8 high roller in South Africa for $500,000 in 2014.
In August 2019, he came in 5th in the £250,000 Triton Short Deck Hold’em event in London for £1,365,500 ($1,651,029).
→ World Series of Poker ←
Dan Cates has won one WSOP gold bracelet so far. In 2021, he took down the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, the biggest mixed game event every year, for $954,020.
Apart from that victory, Jungleman has only cashed in one other WSOP event in his entire career – that was the 2015 Main Event where he finished 775th out of a field of 6,420 players and earned $15,000.
→ Live Cash Games ←
Cates appeared on Live at the Bike’s stream in November 2017. He played $50/$100 Pot Limit Omaha. There, he clashed many times with another great player who came from an online heads-up background – Doug Polk.
In May 2018, he played a super high stakes, €1,000/€2,000/€4,000 live streamed cash game session in Montenegro against – among others – Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan.
Cates is also a frequent guest in the world’s most famous cash game room, Bobby’s Room in the Bellagio in Las Vegas. We know that from the social media posts of some of the players who also often play there – mostly Gus Hansen’s Instagram.
→ Online Poker ←
As we wrote above, Jungleman became known in the poker world as one of the best online heads-up cash players.
In the year 2010, he was the biggest online cash game winner in the world with an over $5.5 million profit amassed over the course of 145,215 hands, according to HighstakesDB.
As for all of his tracked hands, he’s up a whopping $10.27 million on his Full Tilt account, jungleman12. They have a total of 394,738 hands tracked on him, from March 2009 to May 2015. His most often played game is PLO.
The biggest pot he’s ever won he won off of Finnish poker superstar Patrik Antonius. In that PLO hand, there ended up being $375,944 in the middle which Jungleman took with his wheel.
His PokerStars screen name is w00ki3z. On that account, HSDB has 471,444 pots tracked – he’s in the black on that site as well, up $895,834. His favorite game is not PLO there, however, it’s 8-Game. 8-Game is a mixed poker game which includes NLHE, Limit Hold’em, PLO, Omaha Hi-Lo, 2-7 Triple Draw, Razz, 7-Card Stud and Stud 8-or-Better.
He’s also had some major tournament scores on Stars. For example, in April 2016, he won a Sunday 500 event for $65,000.
→ Scandals ←
Folding a set against Phil Hellmuth
In August 2017, Jungleman took part in a knockout heads-up tournament put on by Poker Night in America. In the final for the $200K prize money, he faced none other than WSOP bracelet record holder Phil Hellmuth.
Popular opinion was at the time that because of Cates’ online heads-up history, he has a huge edge over Hellmuth. It took everyone by surprise when the Poker Brat emerged victorious after the three freezeout sessions.
One hand in particular turned a lot of heads. Hellmuth was down to around 9,000 chips (starting from 100K!) in the final match-up. He shoved his less than pot-sized stack into Cates’ set of 10’s – who, to everyone’s surprise, folded.
The durrrr challenge
This is one of the biggest, most talked about story in online poker history.
In 2009, Tom “durrrr” Dwan issued a challenge to anyone in the poker world (except for Phil Galfond). He gave 3:1 odds to anyone who’s willing to take him on in a 50,000-hand heads-up challenge. The stakes were a minimum $200/$400. The winner, in addition to their net profit after all the hands are played, gets $1.5 million from Dwan. If Dwan wins, however, they would only have to pay $500,000.
Antonius was the first to take the challenge. Dwan took a massive, almost $2 million lead after 40,000 hands. The Finnish poker pro decided he’d buy himself out of the challenge.
The second person to step up to the plate was Daniel “Jungleman” Cates. The duel started in 2010. After 20,000 hands played, Cates was in the lead by $1 million.
Then, the infamous Black Friday came about – the US DoJ shut down a number of major poker sites, including Full Tilt where the challenge was taking place. Ever since then Dwan hardly ever was willing to play Cates.
For his evasion of Cates, Dwan received massive criticism online, most notably from Doug Polk. Cates, on the other hand, was less vocal about the issue. He has said a few times that he hopes that the challenge would conclude at some point and revealed that Dwan has paid him delay fines which he’s happy with.
Despite that, this is an evergreen drama in the online poker world that keeps popping up over and over again. Most recently in April 2019, when Cates actually expressed some discontent towards Dwan.
Well seeing something about @TomDwan bragging about how he 'cleverly' and 'fairly' tricked me is a bit annoying considering how he begged me to play props back then and our current misunderstandings involving me being owed over a million dollars.
— Daniel Cates (@junglemandan) April 28, 2019
His “Playboy” Photos on Twitter
— Joey Ingram #passion (@Joeingram1) May 5, 2019
I wasn't sure it was possible to have more questions about a photo/video than yesterday but somehow I do. @junglemandan w/ the greatest game selection in the history of poker, a softcore sex scene, jungle slowrolls w/ AA & then gets a naked dance….. WTF!!! pic.twitter.com/9t6JrDo8R8
— Joey Ingram #passion (@Joeingram1) May 6, 2019
His cheating in Perkins’s private game
As it turned out, the perpetrator was “Jungleman” Cates himself. In a private online game hosted by Perkins for his millionaire friends, Cates played under one of the presumed amateur’s account for a share of the profit. Since webcams had to be used in this game, Cates operated through a remote access software.
– Daniel Cates on Social Media –
Twitter: https://twitter.com/junglemandan Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/junglemandanpoker/
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