Cates Ready To Recover His Full Tilt Poker Millions
Black Friday Ended His Historic $7 Million Upswing On The Site
With the death of Full Tilt Poker last year, so went one of the greatest upswings in the history of the game. Daniel Cates, known by his former Full Tilt screen name Jungleman12, was up about $7 million on the site between fall 2009 and Black Friday on April 15, 2011.
Cates said Wednesday that he has about 80 percent of his entire bankroll stuck on Full Tilt, a problem that he has endured for the past 15 months. After the company’s settlement with the Department of Justice, which was announced on Tuesday, he will see his money again.
The government said on Tuesday that specific information on Full Tilt victim compensation will be posted online in the “upcoming days.” Money for the government to cash out former American Full Tilt players will be available from funds forfeited by PokerStars.
Cates said he was sad at times while waiting for some sort of resolution to the scandal, but that “those emotions were pointless.” He was prepared to move on regardless of what happened to his millions existing in a defunct online poker account.
Cates considered legal action against Full Tilt at one point, but decided against it as the possibility of the case resolving on its own and his money being returned always existed.
For the 22-year-old from Bowie, Maryland, it wasn’t only about the money. He was crushing his competition when the site went down. “It hurt my momentum,” Cates said. “Full Tilt was where I had my success.”
His rapid ascension to an elite nosebleed-stakes player landed him a spot in the Durrrr Challenge, once a marquee competition promoted by Full Tilt. Former Full Tilt sponsored pro Tom “durrrr” Dwan laid odds that he would be in the black after 50,000 hands of heads-up play. Cates took him up on the offer, and Jungleman12 was up $1.2 million by the end of March 2011.
Cates said he’s in talks with Dwan about resuming their heads-up duel.
Despite the ordeal, Cates has managed to continue playing at the highest level. He said that he was recently up $1.5 million on some European-facing sites, before enduring a $600,000 downswing. So far during his young career, losing periods have been rare and don’t last long.
He has been traveling extensively since Black Friday and set up residence in the United Kingdom, but he said he’s looking forward to playing legal high-stakes online poker in America once again. In the absence of a federal bill, the state of Nevada is on the verge of launching an intrastate web poker industry, which would be the first of its kind in the U.S.
The PokerStars-Full Tilt deal gives PokerStars permission re-enter the U.S. only if it could be approved by a regulated jurisdiction.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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