For a mild-mannered, unassuming guy, Dan "Jungleman12" Cates has surprisingly found himself at the center of controversy over the last few months.
From his Twitter beef with Tom Dwan over the delayed durrrr Challenge to the dissolution of his backing deal with Tony G., Cates his taken his share of hits from the poker public.
Warranted or not, it seems to be the price you pay for being a high-profile poker genius these days.
Fresh from his fifth-place finish at the Party Poker Premier League, Cates had another deep run at WPT Venice where PokerListings Italy's Giovanni Angioni caught up with him to find out more about his recent travails.
PokerListings: Can you tell me a little bit about the tournament and how it went for you?
Dan Cates: Ah, well… I was doing pretty well in the beginning as I was winning pots, making hands but then towards the end I ran completely card dead and lost every all-in.
Missed every draw, lost every all-in, had absolutely nothing… I don’t know what else to say.
PL: How did you like Venice and where did you come from?
DC: I came from London Premier League. Venice is quite a bit more pretty than London. It was actually snowing when I got here but Venice for me is like a fantasy world.
I don’t know even how this place exists... that was my first thoughts like, wait a second – nothing makes sense – there’s buildings in the middle of the water and they are floating or whatever…
PL: So first time here… How did you feel the field of players was, especially Italian players?
DC: Yes, first time here. Field was actually softer compared to other tournaments. Lot of players I didn’t recognize and a lot of stuff I didn’t recognize being done.
I mean it’s fairly a soft field but with Italian playersthey play different from other fields so you have to account for that too.
PL: What are your next plans, going to WPT Barcelona or maybe to WSOP APAC Melbourne?
DC: No, I will probably just stay here because I don’t want to keep on travelling. I want to be fairly consistent with my schedule and play more online. I really want to play lot of online!
PL: Ok, so let’s talk about online then… You and Tom Dwan had a little “Twitter thing” going on recently. What was that?
DC: Well. I am really trying to get our durrrr challenge going on but he is just like very uncooperative and he like… it is difficult to deal with him in general.
But I think there's a good chance that we will (play) fairly soon. Hopefully it will start soon but I am not happy how he is acting regarding the challenge.
He is just so difficult.
PL: Yeah, you said that maybe because he is down a bit he won’t play. Would you like to comment on the tweet where he says that you should send him some money?
DC: Oh, well… I think it’s not really reasonable to him to say that. Like I think it’s weird that he thinks it's a loan because that is not how I looked at it.
I should really go into details on that but I paid him adjusted anyways… It wasn’t even that much, it was like 100K or 80K, 80K because he owned me like 20 from something else.
But frankly since he hasn’t played against me I don’t think that his comment is really appropriate but it is no longer relevant.
It has anyways still been like four years and this guy hasn’t played and keeps putting it off. It is very frustrating.
PL: Ok, so how is your backing deal with Tony G? He said you kind of vanished so it is still going on or…?
DC: That’s misleading. It is not going on right now. Long story short there would be that we had a disagreement and, like, I don’t know… It’s another thing I really don’t want to talk too much about.
Anyways, we had a disagreement and I just kind of ended things there and I just paid him what I think he was due. I tried to work things out again but it didn’t work out again.
But we had another disagreement and I was just like “god” I can’t stand this stress so just forget it.
PL: So online poker is your main focus now?
DC: Yes, I am more or less taking my own action right now… or I sell some pieces from some games.
PL: And next thing is highroller here…
DC: Yeah, it is possible… we’ll see if it runs.