Welcome To The Jungle: Cates Wins $50K PPC

Dan Cates won his first World Series of Poker bracelet when he took down the $50,000 Poker Players Championship at the 2021 WSOP.

Dan Cates is best known for his cash game prowess but he proved he is no slouch in tournaments too. Cates overcame a star-studded field in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship to win his first WSOP bracelet and $954,020.

The money earned from this victory leaves Cates just shy of $10 million in lifetime winnings. Cates sees his victory as vindication for finishing sixth in this very event when the live WSOP last ran in 2019.

Sixty-three players bought into the $50,000 Poker Players Championship; they created a $3,016,125 prize pool. Only the top ten finishers received a slice of that pot. Robert Campbell was the unfortunate soul who popped the money bubble. The Australian mixed game specialist and reigning WSOP Player of the Year busted to Ryan Leng during a round or Razz, and finished in 11th place.

Leng Leads Final Ten; Cates Third in Chips

Campbell’s exit ended Day 3 where Leng held the chip lead and Cates was in third place. Day 4 saw the field halved to only five players.

Mike Wattel crashed out in tenth during a No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw round. Wattel got the last of his chips in against three-time bracelet winner Paul Volpe. Volpe stood pat and Wattel drew one, but was drawing dead against Volpe’s Tx-6x-5x-4x-2x.

The legendary Daniel Negreanu’s run ended in a ninth-place finish worth $91,595. Blinds were 10,00025,000/25,000a during a Pot-Limit Omaha orbit and Leng raised to 65,000. Negreanu raised pot to 225,000, and Leng called. Leng bet enough to put Negreanu all-in on the Js-3h-Th flop, and Negreanu called. Negreanu showed As-Ac-5s-5c, and Leng Jc-Jh-8s-8d. The turn and river fell 9c and 4d to send Negreanu to the showers.

Nick Schulman bowed out shortly after Negreanu but during Fixed Limit Hold’em. Schulman got the last of his stack in with Qh-8h on the Jh-4d-Qc-8s board. Chris Brewer called with Ts-9c having turned a straight. The 9d river busted Schulman.

Seventh place went to Matt Glantz, who is still searching for his first piece of poker jewelry. Glantz busted during an Omaha Hi-Lo round after finding himself up against Leng, Cates, and Eli Elezra.

Josh Arieh, fresh from winning his fourth WSOP bracelet, exited in sixth and brought the curtain down on the day’s action. Arieh check-shoved with Qs-Qd-Jc-7h on an 8h-Ac-6s-Td board. Elezra called with Qc-Tc-6h-3h. The 7d river eliminated Arieh.

Elezra Leads Final Five

The final five returned to the action under the watchful eyes of the PokerGO cameras. Elezra led the way but most stacks were evenly matched.

Leng soared into the lead when he eliminated Brewer in fifth for $211,235. A short-stacked Brewer called all-in with 7s-7c on the Ah-Qs-5h flop and ran into Leng’s Js-Jc.

Four-handed play lasted an age and ended with Elezra heading to the exits. Elezra came unstuck in a round of Razz against Volpe.

Heads-up was set in a Limit Hold’em during the 28th level of play. Volpe’s Ks-6h proved no good against Cates’ Ks-2s when the chips going in on the flop of the Tc-2h-Qs-2c-7s board.

Cates held a huge 16,000,000 to 2,900,000 led over Leng but victory was far from assured. Leng is a superb player and one in incredible form, which made it unsurprising when he staged a comeback.

The comeback fell short because the cards fell Cates’ way. Cates got his hands on the rest of Leng’s stack during Limit Hold’em. The chips went in on the Ah-Jh-Th flop, Leng holding Td-5s and Cates Qc-3d. The Qh turn put Cates in the lead with the 3s river ending Leng’s event.

Place Player Country Prize
1 Dan Cates United States $954,020
2 Ryan Leng United States $589,628
3 Paul Volpe United States $404,243
4 Eli Elezra Israel $286,983
5 Chris Brewer United States $211,235
6 Josh Arieh United States $161,422

What Next For The Jungleman?

Cates is known as the Jungleman from his online poker alias. He told reporters he may play the Main Event but is otherwise undecided. Cates has spent a lot of time traveling and even hanging out of Dan Bilzerian. Poker wants him back at the table because he has incredible talent even if he is a little eccentric.

Brad Johnson

You name the game, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Brad has either played it or placed a wager on it! Brad calls himself a natural gambler, and someone who gains as much enjoyment from writing about the crazy game of poker as he does playing it.


Joseph Sabe Banks a $507,978 Score at the Wynn Millions

Who Are The Biggest Poker Winners From Israel

Benjamin Diebold Reels In Career Best Score of $96,810