Daniel “Jungleman” Cates

Daniel Cates

Nationality: United States of America
Total Live Earnings: $14,312,741
HendonMob Ranking: 38th US All-time
Info courtesy of TheHendonMob
WSOP Bracelets

2

Triton Titles

2

EPT Titles

2

WPT Titles

1

Last update: 2024/05/16

Daniel “Jungleman” Cates is one of the most fascinating and enigmatic figures in poker. His play, remarkable accomplishments, and distinctive personality have left a big mark on the game.

Cates is considered one of the best heads-up players in the world. His online battles under the nicknames “Jungleman12” and “w00ki3z” on Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars against Viktor Blom, Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius, Gus Hansen, and Tom Dwan are the stuff of legend. According to the HighStakes Database, he is one of the biggest winners online, with over $11,000,000 in profit.

While primarily known for his online play, Cates also made his mark in the live tournament circuit, most notably by winning two WSOP bracelets, both in the highly coveted $50,000 Poker Players Championship. According to The Hendon Mob, Jungleman’s total live earnings are $14,312,741.

Early Life

Daniel Cates, born in 1989, spent his childhood in Bowie, Maryland. From a young age, he realized his interests differed from those of his peers, leading to a disconnect and spending time alone in his basement. Around the age of six, he found the world of video games and became obsessed with them. Ranging from strategic games like Minesweeper and Command and Conquer, he eventually found his way to poker at 17.

At the start, he was a losing player, and in order to fuel his poker bankroll, Cates worked at McDonald’s. Despite studying economics at the University of Maryland, he soon realized that poker was his true calling. Embracing his destiny, he dropped out of college and started his grind that saw him climb from $5 local games, where he also got the nickname Jungleman for his crazy plays and longer hair, to the highest stakes online on Full Tilt Poker.


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World Series of Poker

While Cates may not frequent the World Series of Poker (WSOP) as some of his contemporaries, as he is very selective with the live events he is playing, his appearances have been nothing short of impactful. His quest for a WSOP bracelet was achieved in 2021 when he won the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, which is considered the second most important tournament behind the Main Event. He did it dressed as a video game character Akuma from Street Fighter and collected $954,020 for his win, along with the bracelet and his name being engraved on the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy.

“I said I was gonna win, so I won. But it was pretty important because now I have more money to help the world and to continue a career outside of poker,” Cates said in his interview for WSOP.com after the victory, showcasing his colorful personality.

Remarkably, Cates made history as he returned the following year to defend his title in the same event and won it again. Dressed as a Macho Man and staying in character on the final table, he secured his second bracelet and $1,449,103 prize in one of poker’s toughest and most esteemed tournaments.

Besides two bracelet wins, Jungleman collected three additional cashes at the WSOP.

Daniel Cates’ WSOP Bracelets

YearEventPlacePrize
2022$50,000 Poker Players Championship 6-Handed1st$1,449,103
2021$50,000 Poker Players Championship 6-Handed1st$954,020

World Poker Tour

While his participation in the World Poker Tour (WPT) is even more limited compared to the other series, he recorded two wins in smaller field events more than a decade ago.

In 2013, Cates won the WPT Venice €7,000 High Roller event for €35,340 with only eight entries, and a year later, he triumphed in a ten-entry field at the WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg $100,000 event for half a million dollars.

Triton Poker Super High Roller Series

Over half of Daniel Cates’ live tournament earnings can be attributed to the Triton Poker events, where he has collected two titles, ten cashes, and a total of $7,376,318 in money prizes. Cates was one of the first poker superstars to become a Triton Regular, and his inaugural victory dates back to 2016 at the HKD 200,000 Sunsity Cup event in the Philippines, where he secured $359,229.

His second title came in Montenegro in HKD 300,000 NLHE/Short Deck event for $500,682. Additionally, Cates has recorded three other six-figure scores, including his career highest of $1,940,000 for a third-place finish at the $125,000 Main Event during the London Triton series.

Daniel Cates’ Top 10 Triton Results

YearVenueEventPlacePrize
2023London$132,500 No Limit Hold’em – Main Event3rd$1,940,000
2019London£250,000 No Limit Hold’em – Short Deck Ante Only “Les Ambassadeurs Private Event”5th$1,651,028
2017PhilippinesHK$1,000,000 No Limit Hold’em – Main Event,3rd$1,000,365
2019MontenegroHK$300,000 No Limit Hold’em/Short Deck Mix1st$500,682
2019London£100,000 No Limit Hold’em – Triton London Main Event8th$498,965
2022Cyprus$200,000 No Limit Hold’em – Coin Rivet Invitational12th$440,000
2018MontenegroHK$250,000 No Limit Hold’em – Short Deck Ante Only 250K2nd$407,515
2019MontenegroHK$250,000 Short Deck No Limit Hold’em – Ante Only6th$407,515
2022Madrid€150,000 No Limit Short Deck Hold’em Ante Only6th$383,292
2016PhilippinesHK$200,000 No Limit Hold’em Suncity Cup1st$359,229

European Poker Tour

While primarily known for his online Heads-Up play, Cates made the first live tournament headline at the European Poker Tour (EPT). His second-place finish in the $100,000 Super High Roller in Monte Carlo for $1,774,145 demonstrated that he can also compete with the very best on the live tournament scene.

Cates’ only win under the PokerStars flag happened in 2015 during the EPT Prague in a $5,300 8-game event, cashing for €26,675.

The Durrrr Challenge

Jungleman was involved in one of poker’s most famous controversies, known as the “Durrrr Challenge” with Tom “durrrr” Dwan. Dwan issued a challenge to the whole poker world (except Phil Galfond) to play heads-up No Limit Hold’em or Pot Limit Omaha with stakes of at least $200/$400. Additionally, Dwan offered 3:1 odds on a side bet of $1.5 million against $500,000 to be in profit after 50,000 hands.

Cates accepted the challenge in August 2010, and the two started playing online on Full Tilt Poker. However, after about 15,000 hands, when Cates had more than $1,000,000 in profits, Dwan started avoiding continuing the battle. The frequent pauses led to frustration from both Cates and the poker community. In the next years, only about 1,500 additional hands were played, with Dwan’s deficit increasing. As of the last update, Cates is up $1,251,059 after 19,335 hands.

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