Daniel Cates Admits to Cheating in Online Poker Home Game

  • Cates ghosted a friend’s account in a high stakes home poker game three weeks ago
  • “Jungleman” apologized on Wednesday, promising to try to “behave better”
  • Bill Perkins originally announced on Saturday that a pro was playing on another account in the home game
  • Dan Bilzerian outed Cates as the pro in question via Twitter
Man with cards up his sleeve in poker game
Poker pro Daniel “Jungleman” Cates has admitted to ghosting a friend in a high stakes online poker home game after Bill Perkins revealed over the weekend that he was being cheated in the game. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Cates ghosted a friend in game

Poker pro Daniel “Jungleman” Cates admitted to cheating in an online home game against other poker pros and deep-pocketed recreational players. In a message to the poker community on Wednesday, Cates briefly explained what he did, provided an excuse, and apologized.

Cates said that on May 8, he played “with” a person named Sina, one of the participants in the game. He explained that the game was “understood” to be filled with professional players who were “ghosting” recreational players, so he thought it was fine if did the same with Sina.

Ghosting in poker is the practice of a strong player sitting with a weaker player in an online game, instructing them on what moves to make. It is sometimes done in the late stages of a big-money tournament, when a casual player makes a deep run and has a more experienced friend either help them in person or give them advice remotely. Some refer to a pro actually taking over play on someone else’s account as ghosting, as well.

Before apologizing, Cates said that he did not think it was fair that he was the one being singled out when others were doing the same thing.

Cates apologizes

In his apology, Cates addressed high stakes amateur player Bill Perkins, who was the one to break the news of cheating over the weekend. Cates said that Perkins “got caught in the crossfire” of others ghosting and that he was sorry.

I still make mistakes and am sorry for my actions”

To the poker community as a whole, Cates said that he understands that because he is a “role model,” his punishment should be harsh compared to any other random player.

“I hold myself to a high standard of ethics and aspire to be devoid of inequity,” Cates added, “but I still make mistakes and am sorry for my actions.”

Cates concluded the apology portion of his message saying: “I will do my best to behave better in the future.”

Controversy started with a tweet

This multi-day saga started on Saturday, May 23, when Bill Perkins tweeted a mysterious bombshell that there was a cheating scandal taking place that would “make the Mike Postle scandal look like a church service.”

After taking heat from the poker community about announcing that sort of thing yet providing no details, Perkins said that he promised not to reveal the player’s name unless the person “lied during questions.” It was someone he considered a “top-seven pro” who cheated by “playing for a fish account” in an online home game. Perkins later backed off of his comparison to the Mike Postle cheating scandal, saying he was emotional and that the money involved was substantial.

Dan Bilzerian then chimed in, outing Daniel Cates via Twitter. He said that Cates played on Sina’s Fun Ocean poker account, cheating players out of money. Bilzerian later deleted his tweet, but Cates’s name was out there.

Cates effectively confirmed that he was the player in question when he replied to Bilzerian on Monday, saying that he could not say anything for legal and financial reasons. He added that there was “more to come” and that there was “rampant” ghosting going on. Two days later, Cates came clean.

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