“Jungleman” Wins First WSOP Bracelet In $50K Poker Players Championship
Daniel “Jungleman” Cates has now become a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner.
The American poker pro bested a 63-entry field in Event #60: $50,000 Poker Players Championship to claim the first bracelet of his career.
He defeated Ryan Leng heads-up and walked away with $954,020 in top prize. His name will also be engraved on the coveted Chip Reese Memorial Trophy.
Prior to winning this year’s Poker Players Championship, Cates only managed to cash twice in the WSOP throughout his career. The first came in 2015 when he cashed in the Main Event. It was followed by a final table finish in the 2019 Poker Players Championship.
The final table was comprised of some of the world’s best poker players, with Eli Elezra leading the chips when play commenced on the final day. The Israeli poker pro and businessman was gunning for his fourth bracelet, but ended up in 4th place with $286,983 in winnings.
Another big name in the game, Josh Arieh, also failed in his attempt to capture his fifth WSOP victory after finishing 6th for $161,422, while three-time WSOP winner Paul Volpe settled for 3rd place taking home $404,243. Former collegiate runner Chris Brewer added another major score to his promising career, finishing 5th for $211,235.
Road to Victory
Cates’ win didn’t come easy. He would have been eliminated in 3rd place if it wasn’t for a crucial fold by Leng. From there, Cates managed to gain a commanding lead as both players entered heads-up play. Leng’s efforts weren’t enough to cut that lead, and when the dust settled it was Cate who emerged victorious, something Cates himself predicted even before the tournament started.
Leng may have failed to win another bracelet, but the Lindenhurst, Illinois native is already enjoying a great run at the series. Just a few weeks ago, he won Event #23: $1,500 8-Game 6-Handed, and also finished runner-up in a Monster Stack tournament.
Cates is delighted to have finally snatched a WSOP bracelet, which he said has now earned him the “trifecta”. Cates, considered one of the world’s best heads-up players, also has a World Poker Tour (WPT) title, as well as a Triton trophy under his name.
Cates said his latest tournament victory is important to him as it would give him more money for his charity works. The 31-year-old is keeping himself busy pursuing a career outside of poker. He earlier revealed his plans to retire from the game, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon.