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Daily 3-Bet: Jungleman Blank, Witchdoc Kitai, High-Stakes Foolin'
The PokerListings Daily 3-Bet is an over-sized wooden mask, a sack of small bones and a smoke-hazed dance to evoke the proper afternoon poker news potion.
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Today in the 3-Bet we find Dan Cates shutout in the first match of the GPL, Davidi Kitai demonstrates his poker voodoo and Allen Cunningham philosophizes on high-stakes egos.
1) Jungleman Gets Goose Egg
Well, someone had to be the first player to bust in the inaugural match of the Global Poker League.
Things got underway just an hour or so ago with the first six-max SNG with Dan "Jungleman" Cates one of the favorites to score big - even with aces Davidi Kitai, Igor Kurganov and Dzmitry Urbanovich in the heat with him.
According to the GPL scoring system five of the six players would score a point for their teams and only the first bustee would draw a blank.
That unfortunate bustee? The legendary Jungleman, who fell victim to an unfortunate AK v AA cooler against Urbanovich to hit the rail first.
Knowing Cates' competitive spirit he was likely pretty tilted but thankfully he'll get a second go to gain back some points for the Berlin Bears as he's in the field again for Round 2.
Action is on right now the GPL Twitch channel; tune in right here.
Update: Uh oh. Jungleman also went out sixth in Match 2 for the double bagel for the Berlin Bears. On a bad misread with J8.
misread my hand in gpl, thought i had A9s somehow (j8s hand)... I was playing cash on side. Pretty tilting even though it's not for money...— Daniel Cates (@junglemandan) April 5, 2016
2) Kitai Wins; Might Actually Be a Wizard
We've watched Davidi Kitai make such other-worldly hero calls for so long now we just expect him to do jaw-dropping things at the poker table.
We've also dubbed him the "Phil Ivey of Europe," given his prodigious talent, but after watching the first match of the Global Poker League that might even be selling his talent short a bit.
Not only did Kitai win the first match, collecting 7 big points for his Paris Aviators, he did so in impressive fashion against several of the game's hottest players.
He particularly blew a few minds - including commentators Sam Grafton and Griffin Benger - with a psychic fold heads-up against Igor Kurganov.
Benger suggested Kitai might actually be a certified witchdoctor; Grafton claimed Kitai just sportified poker all by himself.
If you missed it, watch the replay here later - it's worth it.
Kitai is back at the felt for the second six-max match and the only surprise might be if he doesn't do anything worth a YouTube montage. Again, follow the action live right here.
3) Allen Cunningham: Who's Really the Live One?
With a couple of lesser known players at the first GPL table in Walter Treccarichi and Wayne Zhang we saw some talk about whether the bigger-name pros would expose some weak links in a few teams.
After watching Kitai play, though, we were reminded of this tweet from poker icon Allen Cunningham and felt it was worth ruminating on a bit:
High stakes regs often fool themselves by underestimating skill of "live ones" while believing themselves at least as skillful as other regs— Allen Cunningham (@AllenCunningham) March 7, 2016
Given the live hole cards and the 6-max/heads-up formats, there's no place for any player to hide and we'll truly find out if the big-names have earned those reps.
So far, it's been fascinating to watch and we expect the story lines over the eight months of the GPL season to be scintillating. Kudos to the whole team at the GPI and GPL for creating an important new step in poker's growth.