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Poker Pro Dan Cates: Viktor Blom 'Kind Of A Degenerate' And 'Owes Me A Little Over $100,000'

Maryland Native Talks About Heated Online Exchange With Swede


For the most part, there is a lot of camaraderie and mutual respect among regulars at the high-stakes online poker tables. However, sometimes emotions run high with all the money on the line, and harsh words are flung. That’s what happened in a recent match between poker pros Dan “jungleman12” Cates and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom.

HighstakesDB managed to record the chat log between the two grinders.

jungleman12: i cant describe how annoying it is to lose tyou viktor
Isildur1: 2 pair
Isildur1: biatch
jungleman12: scum
Isildur1: too easy
Isildur1: eat this
Isildur1: ty
Isildur1: u suck
Isildur1: easy money
Isildur1: gus on the other hand
jungleman12: pay your debt scumbag

Card Player spoke to Cates on Tuesday to find out what was going on with him and Blom.

Brian Pempus: So, you are not a big fan of Viktor? What is the reason?

Dan Cates: Well, I was kind of tilted at the point. It’s not really a secret that he owes me some money. He owes me like a little over $100,000, but he’s been making some small payments here and there. He’s going to give it back to me, it seems, but it’s taking some time and it’s a little frustrating. He has borrowed money before on multiple occasions and paid back for those.

BP: That sum doesn’t seem like it would be a problem for him to pay back given which games he plays. Why do you think he is being sort of slow to repay?

DC: Well, he owes other people money as well. He owed me money first. I stopped loaning him money or whatever…Yeah, it is a complicated situation.

BP: How long ago did he borrow money from you online?

DC: A couple months.

BP: You told me before that he was the only player around that doesn’t know exactly what he is doing all the time in all the games.

DC: I mean, he is one of the only high-stakes players who doesn’t user Poker Tracker, study the game, or run simulations and things like that. He’s really an anomaly in that way. He knows what he’s doing apparently. He like copies off what he sees from other people.

BP: According to HighstakesDB, he is down lifetime from online cash games. Do you think that’s accurate? It’s hard to really know for sure, but do you believe he is in the hole overall?

DC: Umm, it’s possible. He plays people at their best games a lot, people who study very hard.

BP: Do you dislike him personally away from the table?

DC: I don’t dislike him personally. He’s mostly fine. I think he’s kind of a degenerate, that’s all.

BP: So yeah, in the poker world, when someone owes you a lot of money and they eventually make good on the debt, are you quick to forgive them for being slow?

DC: Yeah, there aren’t hard feelings, mostly, if they actually try to pay.

BP: In the chat, Viktor implied that he thinks he is better than you? Do you think he is delusional here? Or joking? You two have very different results lifetime from online.

DC: It’s possible he thinks he is better than me, and probably at some things, sure. He might have been better at no-limit at certain points in time, but he’s not a better gambler than me, at all. He’s probably not a better overall player, either. I don’t think he can make that claim…He has been dodging me at no-limit over the past year and a half.

BP: Is that flattering in a way?

DC: I’d say it’s somewhat flattering, but I don’t get too much glory for it because I sit around and don’t have any high-stakes games, at least at no-limit, that I really want…I would like it if Viktor played me, especially since no-limit is supposed to be his best game. I wouldn’t play him at triple draw. He might be better than me at that game…Poker is not like basketball, where you can just beat someone every time. There is kind of a ceiling on how good you can be. When you start approaching that ceiling the possible edges you can gain on someone become smaller and smaller. So there is not a lot of incentive to play someone who is playing nearly perfectly, unless you somehow play absolutely perfectly. Even then, the edge isn’t very large. You really want someone to be making mistakes in some way, or have some room to exploit them. The competition at no-limit, compared to the past, is getting much tougher.

BP: Would you pretty much play Viktor at the highest stakes possible in no-limit hold’em?

DC: Yeah.

BP: In our previous conversation, you detailed how you felt you were being stiffed out of money from others in the high-stakes poker community. You said you might have made some bad decisions. Do you think in the future you will lend people money less often, or generally try to avoid situations where you could get screwed out of money?

DC: I certainly try to not get screwed (laughs). Being screwed is not something I am looking forward to. Yeah, I certainly try to not make the same mistakes as before. But, you know, some people are quite crafty.

BP: After that heated exchange with Viktor, was there an apology or any sort of making up?

DC: Yeah, it was kind of funny. I thought he was drunk. He was being all emotional afterward and stuff. Yeah, we made up.

BP: You think Viktor plays drunk sometimes?

DC: I don’t know about completely drunk, but maybe intoxicated. At the time he seemed drunk, because of how he was talking. Normally, I haven’t noticed any thing like that.

Image of Cates via PartyPoker.