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“Jungleman” Cates Profiled by CNBC

Author: Carolla Published: 29.08.22

The major American cable news channel published a lengthy piece about the poker champ on their website.

“Jungleman” Cates Profiled by CNBC

Daniel “Jungleman” Cates Featured in CNBC’s “Top of the Game” Series

“Jungleman” Cates, a legend of online poker from the Full Tilt days, recently won his second back-to-back title in the $50,000 WSOP Poker Players Championship, the biggest mixed game tournament every year. It seems this achievement of his caught the attention of American mainstream media outlets as well.

“Top of the Game” is a series of profile pieces the American major cable news channel CNBC runs on their website. They cover top-tier athletes, and try to understand the mindset that got them to the top level where they thrive. Cates was their next subject, on account of his great WSOP victory this summer.

In the first part, we learn about Jungleman’s earliest steps in his poker journey. And they weren’t the smoothest of steps. At just age 17, he lost $3,000 to a couple of guys in his neighborhood in a poker game. As a result, his parents locked his bank account and he had to get a job at McDonald’s to make some of his losses back. Not the most promising of starts, but the young Cates wasn’t completely deterred.

Instead, he deposited some of the money he made at the fast food joint to an online poker site where he could play lower stakes. He started grinding, while methodically studying his own and his opponents’ plays.

As we all know, this path ultimately worked out for Jungleman. However, there were some more speedbumps on his way to the top. After dropping out of the University of Maryland where he was studying economics, he “almost immediately” lost $600,000 out of his $1 million bankroll. He still managed to overcome and get back on top of the poker world again.

Jungleman on the Winning Poker Mindset

As someone who’s been through so many ups and downs, “Jungleman" Cates has some words of wisdom for up-and-coming poker players about the right mindset to have, especially when it comes to losing. As he put it:

“Losing by itself isn’t really a reason to quit. It’s more about how determined you are to actually win, how willing you are to change. (...) There were many times, even in my biggest winning years, where I just had all of these nightmare sessions of playing all night and losing. A consistent lesson of mine was that, even when it appeared like there was no hope - when I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll never win again, I lost 12 times in a row’ - it never was true.

(...)

You also don’t want to let winning too much affect you negatively. It’s easy to think, ‘Oh, I’m just always going to win’.  It’s not how it works.”

He also stressed that arrogance is the most detrimental trait you can have in poker, and to always put time into learning more about the game.

Jungleman on Reading His Opponents 

While recently, modern poker strategy tends to put a lot more focus on GTO and mathematics than live tells, Jungleman still thinks that reading people is a very important and useful skill - at a poker table and away from it as well. The specific example he cited was looking for how much the opponent is sweating in the hand. 

Daniel “Jungelman” Cates has $11.858 million in live tournament earnings, 2 WSOP gold bracelets, and has over $10.250 million in profit in tracked super high stakes online cash game hands on the late poker site Full Tilt. CNBC chose one of the best poker players they could to present the story of a true poker champion to the American public.

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