Instead of another long, lazy week of summer what we got last week was the most action-packed run of the high-stakes online poker year so far.
Every day hundreds of thousands of dollars moved across the tables and Dan “jungleman12” Cates made the most of it.
Cates ran particularly hot to rake in $1.5m and bring him over $10m in lifetime winnings on Full Tilt Poker.
On the other end of the spectrum Chun Lei Zhou, Viktor Blom, Gus Hansen and Phil Galfond suffered big losses.
A jungleman is a wild animal. He’s a fleeting being, sometimes hardly seen for weeks, neither at live events nor at the online tables.
And then suddenly he strikes and reminds people why he’s considered one of the best players worldwide.
That’s what happened last week. The 24-year-old American sat down in front of his laptop on Tuesday and re-affirmed his heads-up skills to the community.
Denoking was the player who had to pay for Cates’ demonstration the most. As of last week Denoking had had a great year online and his profits had risen to more than $1m.
Then he lost $650k to Jungleman within seven hours at $200/$400 NLHE.
Cates once described his youth as “crazy, boring, and lonely," but bored he surely wasn’t on the weekend. Starting Saturday Cates played a 26-hour session against the biggest names online: Phil Galfond, Gus Hansen, Viktor Blom, Alexander Kostritsyn, Niki Jedlicka and more.
He ended up with almost $1m won and it's looking like Cates could become the biggest high-stakes winner of the year for the second time since 2009, when he won $5m.
Cates’ yearly profit has grown to a staggering $2.8m in 2014, bringing him back to the number one spot on the high roller leaderboard. He's only the third player to win more than $10m on Full Tilt. The other two? Phil Ivey ($17m) and Patrik Antonius ($11m).
Trueteller Shows Off; Hansen, Blom, samrostan Go Down
Still unidentified player Trueteller keeps riding the waves. After winning $800k the week before he continued his strong upward swing over the last seven days.
He added another $900k to his winnings, which now add up to $2.5m for 2014. He's the only player to come even close to runaway leaderboard leader Dan Cates.
Another race – even more dramatic, if not grave – is happening between Chun Lei Zhou and Gus Hansen.
The Great Dane had taken a break from the online tables for a while but he made a comeback a little more than a week ago, winning $600k within two days.
Things finally seemed to be looking up for the man from the North. Then, in the last four days, the new world fell apart. Within 96 hours Hansen lost another $1.6m and went over $4m in losses in 2014.
The funny thing is, though, that's not even the worst performance of the year as there's one player burning money even faster. Chun Lei Zhou, aka samrostan, has taken over as the biggest whale online.
Even after several profitable days in a row last week he still ended it down $1.5m. All in all his losses in 2014 have breached the $5m barrier.
Biggest Hand of the Week
The largest pot didn’t play out in NLHE and it was not at a heads-up table or one with only three players.
it was in round of PLO in a Mixed-Game session and the players at the table were Viktor Blom, Alexander Kostritsyn, Chun Lei Zhou, Gus Hansen (SB) and Alexandre Luneau (BB) - a who's who of high-stakes artists.
The blinds were $300/$600 and all the chips went in pre-flop. Chun Lei Zhou raised from middle position to $1500, Hansen 3-bet to $5k and Luneau pumped it up to $16k.
Chun decided to fold but Hansen came in with a 5-bet. His French opponent moved all-in and the Dane called. There was now $337k in the middle, the biggest pot of the year so far.
With his single-suited aces Alexonmoon put in everything he had. Hansen’s hand is double-suited and connected and thus not a lot weaker than Luneau’s.
You could ask, of course, why Hansen wouldn’t see a flop first instead of 5-betting.
The players agreed to deal the turn and river twice; this is how the boards ran out:
Turn and river 1:
Turn and river 2:
Hansen missed both times and the $337k pot moved into the bankroll of Alexandre Luneau.
Biggest Winners of the Week
- Dan jungleman12 Cates: $+1,425,952
- Trueteller: $+969,248
- Alexander PostflopAction Kostritsyn: $+757,163
- Mikael punting-peddler Thuritz: $+682,911
- Alexandre alexonmoon Luneau: $+535,408
Biggest Losers of the Week
- Chun samrostan Lei Zhou: $-1,618,309
- Viktor Isildur1 Blom: $-834,013
- Gus Hansen: $-805,909
- Phil OMGClayAiken Galfond: $-533,968
- SanIker: $-184,220
Biggest Winners in 2014
- Dan jungleman12 Cates: $+2,781,247
- Trueteller: $+2,513,106
- Alexander PostflopAction Kostritsyn: $+2,157,339
- Alexandre alexonmoon Luneau: $+1,851,460
- Niklas Ragen70 Heinecker: $+1,463,133
Biggest Losers in 2014
- Chun samrostan Lei Zhou: $-5,445,172
- Gus Hansen: $-4,351,400
- Phil Polarizing Ivey: $-1,815,817
- Julius KagomeKagome Fleischer: $-1,455,366
- Phil OMGClayAiken Galfond: $-1,085,752