Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #10 Daniel "Jungleman12" Cates
With the enormity of online poker, it comes as no real surprise that there are new stars born in the game of poker each and every day. Many people have flocked to the internet to throw virtual cards and chips around a virtual table since Chris Moneymaker used that avenue to earn his way into the World Series of Poker Main Event, and then win the thing in 2003. But since the internet poker boom, there have been really only a few names that I can think of that have drummed up the level of interest in a single year that we’ve seen from Daniel Cates.
If you were to search the Hendon Mob Database for Cates, you would find just 1 professional live scoe. Cates finished in 12th place at a $1,500 buy in No Limit Hold’em event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2010, booking $9,085 for the cash. He has no cashes at the World Series of Poker, no cashes at World Poker Tour Events, and no cashes at the Aussie Millions, the European Poker Tour, or any other major tournament for that matter. The reason, he’s only 20 years old, and not old enough to play in the big tournaments yet.
Playing at the nosebleed stakes on Full Tilt Poker as “Jungleman12”, Cates had the best year at the online cash games of anyone playing, recording a greater than $4 million in net profits. In fact, Cates is a winner at virtually every game that he’s touched winning an astonishing 4.44 Big Blinds per 100 played on average over 819,485 hands. Most of those hands have come at the heads up tables where the variance couldn’t be higher.
Midway through the year, the “Durrrr Challenge” between Tom Dwan and Patrik Antonius fizzled as the two high stakes gamers just couldn’t organize their schedules to get hands in. With the news on the challenge waning Tom Dwan took on the challenge of Jungleman12 to be the next in line for the “Durrrr Challenge.” And so the pair headed to the $200/$400 No Limit Hold’em tables to cook up a second challenge that saw Cates take an early lead of almost $800k. In the recent months, Dwan has cut into that lead some, but Cates is still up on the challenge by around half a million.
The Challenge has really launched Cates into some rarified air among online poker players, and made him the talk of the poker community. It’s impossible to talk about the biggest stories of the year, and not mention the Jungleman12 vs. Durrrr match, and the noted success of Cates in 2010. But in 2011 Cates will finally turn 21, and it will be even more interesting to see how quickly the rest of the world finds out about what Cates can do at the tables when the Casino’s welcome him through their doors.