Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates Makes a 1,500 Mile Traveling Mistake

High stakes poker player Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates is mostly known for showing his extraordinary skills in the biggest games both live and online, but today he made headlines for a little 1,500-mile mishap.

Cates, from Bowie, Maryland near Washington DC, is clearly not a West Coast guy because today he got his airports confused. And by confused we mean that the airport he was supposed to be at was 1,500 miles south of the one he ended up at. In his defense, it didn’t help that both airports were in a city with the same name, albeit in different countries.

The airport Cates ended up at is in San José California, just south of San Francisco. The Norman Y. Mineta airport has three runways and over 8.3 million passenger per year. The airport the heads-up specialist should’ve been at is called Los Cabos International Airport and is located in…..San Jose dél Cabo, which is in Mexico! This airport has just one runway, but is the most important hub for Baja California visitors.

At least Wikipedia understands the confusion and suggest that with the one you might mean the other.

We owe a shout out to Justin ‘BoostedJ’ Smith, a friend of Cates, who made the most of this opportunity to mock his friend who sent texted him about the mistake he made. Smith didn’t waste any time and posted a screenshot of the conversation on Instagram and I’m sure both friends had a good chuckle over this incident.

The question now remains, what was Jungleman trying to do, because on July 31st he made headlines after bailing out Richard Yong and his son Wai Kit Yong from the Las Vegas’ Henderson Detention Center with Phil Ivey. Cates and Ivey put up a combined $1,500,000 for the release of their friends, and we can only assume that someone has to be there in person for such a transaction.

So if Cates was in Las Vegas on July 31st there are two things that could’ve happened, he either booked a flight to the wrong San José from Vegas, or he somehow ended up in the Bay area thinking it was Mexico?

Cates’ Facebook however tells a different story, as he was in Los Angeles on the 31st of July and late at night on the 1st of August ago he was at the San Francisco International Airport, so it remains a mystery how he got the two San Joses confused. Did he drive from Los Angeles North to San Jose while he actually needed to driver South to San Jose? 

Anyway, we don’t have to feel bad for the winner of more than $7,000,000 in online cash games who also recently got repaid by Full Tilt Poker to put him back on his feet. We’re sure Cates himself laughed the hardest at this mistake and at least this will make for another great adventurous story to tell his friends when he finally makes it to the nightlife scene in Los Cabos, where none other than Jay Farber will hook him up.


The man who’s commonly known as Jungleman owes this great nickname to his Tarzan-like looks as he told iGaming.org in an interview, “Supposedly I looked like Tarzan, so they started to call me Jungleman. I thought it was a funny online name, so I went with it.”

If you want to read Cates’ full life story with all the ups and downs in the life of this poker genius, click on these links. (Part 1Part 2)

Front page photo credit: CardPlayer.com

Remko Rinkema

Remko Rinkema has covered the biggest poker tournaments in the world since 2008, including many WSOP, EPT, Aussie Millions, APPT, MCOP and Unibet Open events. As an in-depth interview and story enthusiast he tries to do things a little differently. Besides the usual writings Rinkema grabs every chance to appear on podcasts, live streams and in the occasional video.

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