The poker community has another epic heads-up battle to look forward to, this time between Phil Galfond and Dan “Jungleman” Cates, two of the biggest names in the game.
The upcoming match is generating a lot of attention on social media after Cates launched a full scale attack on Galfond in his recent guesting on Brandon Adams’ podcast. In a teaser video that Adams shared on Twitter, Cates suggested that Galfond is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but he can see through his BS and will kick his a** once the match takes place.
Cates claims Galfond may appear to be such a nice guy on the outside, but he is actually “devious and twisted.”
Pure Drama?
Some poker fans have taken  Cates’ rants with a grain of salt, with one Twitter user calling him the “Joker of Poker.” Galfond seems to be entertained by the video and also shared it on his own Twitter profile.
It’s not entirely clear whether Cates was serious about his comments. Galfond is known to be a nice guy and has a clean image with the poker community. He hasn’t been involved in any major dispute or controversy. Cates could be just applying what he learned from his acting classes.
During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, Cates said that he was taking acting lessons from an established actor. He talked about embarking on new endeavors in a lengthy blog post titled “Quarantales” in which he also revealed that poker no longer satisfies his ambitions.
But with the upcoming heads-up showdown with Galfond, it’s clear that Cates isn’t ready to step away from poker just yet. Both players had already engaged in a one-day mini-challenge back in May where they played 750 hands of €100/€200 PLO. Galfond won the game.
Will Cates Put An End to Galfond’s Win Streak?
Cates is keen on redeeming himself when he faces Galfond for the second time. There’s no official schedule yet, but the battle could take place later this year, according to Cates.
Should the battle push through, Cates and Galfond will play €100/€200 PLO across 7,500 hands. Cates admitted that Galfond was the better player during their mini-challenge in May, but he’s confident he’ll be able to beat him in their still unscheduled full-blown match.
Galfond has an ongoing battle with Adams. They’ve since completed 2,200 hands of the 10K hands they agreed to play. Galfond is currently ahead by $145,000, but Adams still has plenty of chances to turn things around, as the action resumes on August 22. Galfond is expected to face Cates once his heads-up match with Adams comes to an end.
Galfond launched a heads-up challenge to the world of poker back in November 2019. While issuing the challenge, he described himself as a “washed-up ex-pro.” The Run It Once founder has remained undefeated in the challenge – he managed to score an epic comeback against his first opponent, online legend “VeniVidi1993” to ultimately claim victory with a modest €9,483 win, alongside a €100,000 side bet.
Galfond also triumphed in his second match against Ioannis “ActionFreak” Kontanatsios, earning almost €265,000 in total, including a side bet of €150,000.
Galfond went on to defeat his third challenger, Chance Kornuth. Both players initially agreed to play 35,000 hands, but the match eventually concluded after 24,500 hands, as Kornuth decided not to proceed. The Chip Leader Coaching founder ended up losing $726,500 in the battle, which also involved a $250K side bet.
Galfond also has a pending match with Bill Perkins. The hedge fund manager agreed to take on the challenge and play 50,000 hands against Galfond. The battle got underway in April 2020, but so far, both players have only completed 862 hands. Galfond is in the lead by $91,705.
Whether or not Cates will be successful in his mission to stop Galfond remains to be seen. One thing we do know is that it will be another exciting showdown between two elite players.

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