Dan “Jungleman” Cates Wins WSOP $50,000 PPC Again

Dan Cates

Dan “Jungleman” Cates won the WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship for the second straight year, becoming one of three players to win the prestigious event more than once. [Image: PokerGO.com]

Cates is in rare company

Another week of the 2022 World Series of Poker is in the books, but with so many tournaments running nearly around the clock, the days can blend into each other, so what is a week, really? Regardless of one’s concept of time, however, let’s take a look at some of the more interesting stories at the WSOP this week, starting with the man of the hour, Dan “Jungleman” Cates, who won the $50,000 Poker Players Championship (PPC) for the second straight year.

Time to go SAVAGE on them.”

Cates, who dressed as the late professional wrestler Randy “Macho Man” Savage, was extremely confident going into the five-handed final table (it was supposed to be six-handed, but he eliminated two players at the end of the penultimate day) . He tweeted: “Ok gang I’ve basically already won the Poker Players Championship. I’ve successfully duped my opponents into thinking they had a CHANCE!! Time to go SAVAGE on them.”

He didn’t have that large of a lead, so there was still plenty of work to do, and sure enough, he lost the chip lead on multiple occasions on Thursday. And even with a 3-to-1 chip lead going into heads-up play against Yuri Dzivielevski, he found himself in a struggle trading the lead back and forth several times.

But after a double-up, Cates had a lead that proved too difficult for Dzivielevski to overcome with the blinds so high. Cates won $1,449,103 for his second PPC title in as many years. He joins Brian Rast and Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi as the only players to have won multiple PPC bracelets. Mizrachi has won the event an astounding three times, one of the reasons he is a finalist for the Poker Hall of Fame.

“So you’re telling me there’s a chance.”

The $1,500 Super Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold’em event was a freezeout tournament, so when players were out of chips, they were out of luck. And going into the final day of the tournament, Dash Dudley was nearly out of chips, sitting in dead last with just three big blinds.

But you know how it goes. Chip and a chair.

Dudley made a huge run to pick himself up off the felt and charge through Thursday’s action to end up as the one with all of the chips, good for his third WSOP bracelet and a $301,396 first prize.

Dudley’s biggest hand was arguably the one that got him off of life support, when there were still 19 players remaining. All-in for 525,000 chips after Merijn va Rooij raised to 600,000 and Shaun Colquhoun called, Dudley’s chances of getting any further looked bad holding 6-2 on the J-3-3 flop. But the 5 on the turn and 4 on the river gave him the unlikely runner-runner straight, allowing him to beat van Rooij’s A-5 and Colquhoun’s 8-8 and take his stack up to 1.675 million.

Never had chips really but somehow made it happen.”

Afterward, he told WSOP.com that he hadn’t planned on playing in the tourney, but decided at the last second to give it a shot because it was going to be a fast event. “Never had chips really but somehow made it happen. Super blessed,” he said.

Dudley was playing for his 10-month old daughter, Dari, whose face adorned his t-shirt.

“I promised the wife I’d bring [Dari] back a bracelet and I did.”

You snooze, you…win?

Most of us have never played in the WSOP Main Event and most of us never will. The $10,000 buy-in is just too steep. But thanks to satellites, it is possible to qualify for the tournament on the cheap. That still takes effort, though, unless you are Eric Goldstein.

he was sleeping the entire time

Goldstein qualified for the Main Event Wednesday night via an $80 satellite on WSOP.com without doing anything. In fact, he was sleeping the entire time. The key was that it was an “all-in” satellite. In a normal tournament, if a player registers, but then doesn’t show up, blinds and antes are taken from their chip stack every hand until they have no chips left. But thanks to the all-in format, this wasn’t an issue.

In this satellite, every player was automatically put all-in every hand until there was one winner, the one person who received the entry into the 2022 World Series of Poker Main Event. Thus, as long as one was registered, they didn’t need to even be logged in.

“I got home from a long day of work and was watching the (Poker Players Championship) and a friend messaged me,” Goldstein told PokerNews. “So I registered with like 30 minutes until it started and had to go to work at 6am, so I passed out early and woke up to a lot of messages that I had won it.”

Goldstein ended up winning nine straight all-ins, starting with pocket Queens and finishing with 6♠-K♣ when four spades hit the board, giving him a flush.


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