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Daniel "jungleman12" Cates's tough road to become a winner

Tags: daniel cates, full tilt poker, high stakes, interview, isildur1, jungleman12.
Posted on 27 April 2011 by "T".

In a recent interview, Daniel "jungleman12" Cates, 21, tells the story about the tough time 3 years ago when he had to work at McDonalds to finance his poker and how he turned around the negative trend and became one of the world's best poker players. Cates also reveals 2 players he's afraid of playing No Limit Hold'em against.

Just like many of today's most successful poker players online, Daniel Cates has been broke many times and he knows what it feels having a 9-6 job when the poker incomes aren't enough. He started playing poker at the age of 17 and he was was a bright student in school who tended to excel whatever he turned his attention to. However, he wasn't a successful poker player at first and he even had to work at McDonalds to finance his poker for some time.

"I was still losing lots of money and didn't really have a bankroll. Honestly, at the point that I worked in McDonalds, I wasn't very motivated and I just wanted to play low stakes and try to win there," Daniel Cates says

"What really motivated me was seeing that I could win at lower stakes. When I won my first few hundred dollars I was like 'Oh shit, I can actually win at poker', so that really inspired me to improve so I could keep winning."

During 2009 Daniel Cates had built a nice bankroll and he was a regular in the $25/$50 and $50/$100 heads-up games at Full Tilt Poker. However, not many knew who he was until a player under the alias "Isildur1" registered an account in November 2009 and crushed all high stakes heads-up regulars - including Cates who lost $500,000 to him (about half of his bankroll).

"Viktor is really, really good. He's a really challenging opponent. I haven't played him in a while (their last match was the PokerStars SuperStar Showdown in which Cates lost $45k) but he is one of the best heads-up NL players in general."

Even though he lost half of his bankroll to the mystery Swede (at that time), he continued winning against other high-stake regulars and the year after, 2010, he crushed everyone (including Tom Dwan who lost almost a million to him in the durrrr challenge) and ended up as the biggest winner online. 2011 has also been a fantastic year for Cates and, at the moment, he's the second biggest winner online.

Even though Daniel Cates seems to be unafraid to back down anyone when it comes to playing NLH HU, there are still a few players he avoids playing against.

"There are a few really good NL players I find tough to play against. There are certainly players in other games that I won't play and guys at NL I won't play at stakes I'm not comfortable with. I think that Isildur1 and Scott Palmer (a.k.a. URnotINdanger2) are the two best players in general right now."


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12 comments on "Daniel "jungleman12" Cates''s tough road to become a winner"

 B1gfoot27/04/2011 12:39:01 GMT
"I think that Isildur1 and Scott Palmer (a.k.a. URnotINdanger2) are the two best players in general right now." --This is what makes this man so good at poker, knowing he is not the best.
Cates Is by far my favirit player, and from now on every time I say "ill go large on that" I will think im talking to some one with potential, one day I hope to crush him tho.
 LooseKiddie27/04/2011 15:47:57 GMT
He is good as hell, but I don't know why I don't like him very much Tongue But it's also good interview for new players to read - poker is not quick way to become rich. You have to put a lot of work to be a winning player and twice as much to climb up the stakes. If you think you don't need to learn anymore it just means, that you'll be broken soon.
 SuperNoob27/04/2011 19:08:49 GMT
just shows to newbies everyone loses money in the beginning because most of people are not actually as good as they think they are, you gotta improve your game to be a successful player.
 chinasyndrom27/04/2011 21:02:24 GMT
I am not even aware of Daniel Cates, but i remmeber reading about isildur1 the other year so must have read something about him, sounds like he has done extremely well for himself long may it continue.
 JazzyJeff27/04/2011 21:09:37 GMT

Know your strenght is a must if you want to be succesfull at whatever.
He clearly does and its paying off. He is a very good player and i also
someday would like to play and hopefully crush him Smile 2011 has indeed
been good to him and i hope he"ll play his 'angstgegners' again soon.
 Niklas9127/04/2011 21:11:59 GMT
You can always improve your game, whatever you say about that. Even if you follow the statistics 100%, you'll still miss the "feeling" of the right hand to play and that feeling can always get improved Smile
 GIOMi628/04/2011 01:10:11 GMT
He is a very good player, because he sticks to bankroll management and when he gets broke he stands up and try it again at poker.
 Macubaas28/04/2011 05:08:00 GMT
I must admit Daniel "jungleman12" Cates it's a very good player indeed but i personally don't like him at all as personality. On all of his interviews he is always reffering only to how many money he won, how many money he lost, etc. I'm sure he also like the poker game but i'm almost 100% sure that poker for him is firstly a way to make money and the second come the beauty of the poker game. Again, i might be wrong but this is what i think about his view over poker. I also agree that he is one of the players that strictly respects the bankroll management. It's pretty amazing to see that after each session he is on profit. I mean he def takes a good margin of loss but also a margin of profit, i saw that he always stops playing after he is 70k - 100k up for the day. I'm glad he admits Isildur1 and Scott Palmer are one of the best heads up players.
 mahdrof04/05/2011 00:06:19 GMT
It is interesting to hear someone as good as Daniel Jungleman12 Cates list off the names of other players he fears. The man is an absolute destroyer and it is hard to believe that he would fear anyone. Knowing your limits in anything is very important.
 Macubaas04/05/2011 14:13:10 GMT
You are right, he is a top poker player. To be honest i don't personally believe that he actually he fears to play against a specific player. If you ask me that line was more a induced response by the reporter in order to have a good flashlight sentence to post as the title of the article/interview.
One more interesting thing about Jungleman12 is that he is one of the few top poker players, here i'm reffering to names like Patrik Antonius, Phil Ivey, Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond or Viktor "Isildur1" Blom that actually use a HUD when playing poker. I actually saw videos of Phil Ivey and Phil Galsond while playing ans i was sure they didn't use a HUD. Daniel "jungleman12" Cates uses HEM and PEM for plo games.
 Hajinnho04/05/2011 18:25:38 GMT
he is a little proof of how far you can get in Poker if you work on your game a little, be focused, aking some risks and eventually be a little lucky. Hope sometimes it will work for me too Blink Big Smile

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