Dan “Jungleman” Cates is a world-famous high-stakes poker player. He is known for playing at the highest stakes in both online and live cash games with quite a lot of success. Before entering this year’s World Series of Poker, Cates had nearly $9 million in tournament earnings. However, the WSOP bracelet was out of his throughout his career until now, when the “Jungleman” has finally managed to win the Event #60: $50,000 Poker Players Championship. In order to achieve this victory, he had to defeat an elite field of 63 entries. As a result, he was awarded a hefty top prize of $954,020 and his first gold bracelet. Cates surely knows how to make an entrance. He has always been a standout poker player. This year, “Jungleman” has decided to dye his hair neon turquoise and dress up as a Dragon Ball Z character. Here is what he told the reporters after his win: “Oh yeah, one of those bracelet things. It is actually pretty cool and I’m happy to have won one. I think I have one of each now, [with wins in] the World Poker Tour Alpha8 and I have a Triton Poker win. I think that gives me the trifecta, I am not sure how that works. Did I win a European Poker Tour? I don’t know. But this is pretty cool, especially [to win] a tournament that is named after Chip Reese, who has passed away.” Dan Cates has managed to earn almost a million dollars in prize money and this was his fourth-largest tournament score. With his most recent win, his lifetime tournament earnings are now estimated to be $9,868,264. On top of that, Cates moved up in the rankings. He was awarded 572 PokerGO Tour points. This was his first qualifying score for the PokerGO points race. Now, let’s take a closer look at the final table of the event.
The final day started off with just five players remaining and Eli Elezra as a chip leader. What’s interesting is that Josh Arieh has made it into the official final table, but he was eliminated in sixth place for $161,422 before the event was live-streamed. On top of that, Arieh has managed to win the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Eight-or-Better event right next to the final table of this event. Chris Brewer was just a few big blinds short of the leading position. The rising high roller tournament star soon found himself at the very bottom of the chip counts. In such a desperate situation, he went all-in with pocket seven up against pocket jacks of Ryan Leng, a three-time WSOP bracelet winner. Brewer was unable to beat the pocket jacks and was eliminated in the fifth-place and earning $211,235. A similar fate awaited Eli Elezra, who was the chip leader. But, after several hours of play, Elezra found himself to be a short stack and had to fight for survival. Even though he has managed to perform a few comebacks, he was eventually eliminated in fourth place. Elezra was knocked out by a three-time WSOP bracelet winner, Paul Volpe, and was awarded $286,983 for his fourth-place finish. The three-handed play between Dan Cates, Paul Volpe, and Ryan Leng lasted for over five hours. During this time, the lead changed multiple times, as the poker professionals were trading blows. The players tested their skills in the event’s mix of no-limit hold ‘em, pot-limit Omaha, limit triple draw deuce-to-seven lowball, no-limit single-draw deuce-to-seven lowball, razz, seven-card stud, limit Omaha eight-or-better, limit hold’em, and stud eight-or-better. But, as time passed, Cates has finally managed to take the lead after a large razz pot win against Paul Volpe. After that, he was able to extend his lead even further, leaving Volpe and Leng to fight it out between each other. Eventually, Paul Volpe was eliminated. He put all of his chips in with K of spades and 6 of hearts during the limit hold’em up against Cates and his K of diamond and 2 of spades. The flop showed Q of spades, 10 of clubs, and 2 of hearts. The turn showed 2 of clubs, which improves Cates to triple deuces. As a result, Paul Volpe was eliminated and awarded $404,243 for his third-place finish.
Dan Cates entered the heads-up play against Ryan Leng with a confident 5:1 chip lead. Leng is an experienced poker pro who has earned his third WSOP bracelet just a few weeks prior to this event. And his experience was evident during the heads-up. Leng was able to score an early double-up and closed the gap between Cates even further after that. However, the “Jungleman” was able to gain control of the situation with a few wins in the no-limit deuce-to-seven lowball and stud eight-or-better. But, Leng was not going to give up without a fight. He has managed to double up once again, this time with pocket aces against the pocket sixes of Cates during the no-limit hold’em. Unfortunately, Leng was unable to maintain this momentum. He would slide back down in terms of chip count, which allowed Cates to seal the deal during the limit hold’em. Leng bet nearly half of his chips in the big blind during the final hand. Dan Cates raised from the button with Q of clubs and 3 of diamonds and Leng called with his 10 of diamonds and 5 of spades. The flop showed A of hearts, J of hearts, and 10 of hearts. With a bottom pair, Leng has decided to put his last 100,000 on the line. Cates called and hit a pair of queens on the Q of hearts turn, taking the lead. The river showed 3 of spades, which further improved Cates to two pair and solidified his victory. Ryan Leng was awarded $589,628 for his second-place finish. Dan Cates went home with $954,020 and his first WSOP bracelet. Here are the Event #60: $50,000 Poker Players Championship final table results: