Daniel Cates is an American professional poker player who plays under the Full Tilt Poker alias, "jungleman12". He quickly became one of the top players in the world shortly after graduating high school.
Cates was born in Bowie, Maryland and started playing poker with buddies before his 18th birthday. At first, he was a terrible player and took a job at McDonald's just to refuel his bankroll. He loved videogames and was mostly a loner in his early years. He graduated high school and moved on to the University of Maryland.
While at Maryland, Cates began playing online at Full Tilt Poker. After mastering local live games and low stakes cash, he went online. He started low, playing $.25/.50 No Limit heads-up games and Sit N Go tournaments with smaller buy-ins. He enjoyed heads-up and was tremendously successful at it. Within two years, he had gone from playing these low limits to playing $25/$50 heads-up.
However, he did have some headaches along the way. In 2008, he lost a large portion of his bankroll to Victor Bloom, forcing him to move back down and ponder his bankroll strategy. He lost over $500k to Bloom in a 24 hour period.
In 2010, he played in the highest stakes games online and beat many notable professionals, including heads-up specialist Tom "Durrr" Dwan. He took the Durrr Challenge, and agreed to play Dwan heads-up at four tables of No Limit $200/$400 for 50k hands. Last reported, they played 19k hands, and Cates was reportedly up one million.
Cates has few live tournament victories because he has only been 21 a short time, but in April of 2012 he placed 2nd in PartyPoke’s Premier League Poker V, in Vienna. With his age no longer a factor, players should get used to seeing Cates on the tournament circuit.
He joined Card Runners in 2010 as an instructor and had one of the most popular blogs on the site while he was just a member. He is quite in depth with his thought analysis, and his zest for the game has now carried over since he has become an instructor.
Cates saves most of his money won from poker and lives a modest apartment. He has not made any massive purchases like other famous professionals and chooses to live humbly. When not at the tables, his favorite thing to do in his free time is play videogames.