Renowned poker pro “Jungleman” Daniel Cates ’fessed up to an online cheating scandal that surfaced over the weekend, one which multimillionaire Bill Perkins claimed on Twitter would “make the Mike Postle (scandal) look like a church service.”
Perkins would later back off the claim that it was a bigger deal than the Postle fiasco, which rocked the poker world last year, but it’s clear he considered it a betrayal. Postle is accused of having information on opponents’ cards relayed to him during live-streamed games at Stones Gambling Hall in Citrus Heights, Calif., which enabled him to win at incredible rates at low-limit games while making outlandish plays.
On Monday, the notorious Dan Bilzerian of Instagram fame posted a picture of a man identified as Sina Taleb and said, “This cocksucker cheated me, @bp22 (Perkins) on others outta money on Fun Ocean poker app by having @junglemandan play on his account.”
Cates, responded to the tweet calling it misleading. On Wednesday, he answered the allegations in a statement posted to Twitter:
“I’d like to address the allegations posed by Dan Bilzerian in this now-deleted tweet.”
“I could not do so earlier due to legal advice and financial matters.
“To be clear, I started playing with Sina (his last name is not Taleb, for the record) on May 8th and ultimately played very few sessions, none of which were against Dan Bilzerian as claimed.
“I played very few hands against Bill Perkins, who sat in a game I understood was rampant with professionals who were ghosting. I thought since many on the site were using pros to play for them (which was clear by the uniquely high level of play) at the time it felt acceptable for me to be playing. Unfortunately Bill got caught in the crossfire and I’m very sorry for that.
“While I don’t think it’s fair that I’ve been singled out for something many were much more guilty of, I accept that as a role model for the poker community my punishment should be disproportionate compared to a normal player. I hold myself to a high standard of ethics and aspire to be devoid of inequity, but I still make mistakes and am sorry for my actions. I will do my best to behave better in the future.
“I’d also like to give gratitude to my friends and the people that supported me on the internet and other communications. Your efforts were vital to mitigating this situation and I appreciate your concern for me. Special thanks to Nick Schulman who contacted me to make sure I was ok and started the #Freejungle movement. If anyone else believes in my integrity and that I should not be lambasted over the internet, I would appreciate any support and will appreciate it especially if I know you. To those who attacked my integrity, I forgive you.”
This is not the first time Cates has been accused of playing on someone else’s account. In August 2011, it was learned that Cates, along with Haseeb Qureshi, helped Jose “Girah” Macedo win a sponsorship prize from Lock Poker. Cates admitted to using the “Girah” account to win money for a Lock Poker challenge, including winning $43,000 from U.S. pro Tyler Smith, who had clearly stated he had no interest in playing Cates.
Cates rose to prominence a decade ago, winning $5M in online poker games on PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, mostly in heads-up games. In 2011, Cates took on Tom Dwan in the infamous Durrrr Challenge, and was up $1.2M on Dwan after 19,335 hands. The challenge wasn’t completed, and Cates publicly called Dwan out for welching on the deal. Cates did say that Dwan paid him approximately $700,000.
UPDATE: On Thursday, Cates tweeted another statement, saying that multi-accounting is wrong and it is up to him to stop and lead as an example.