Although there were several big stories concerning the top professionals in the game in 2010, the hidden gem was definitely Daniel “jungleman12″ Cates. The online superstar not only finished 2010 with the biggest earnings for online play, but he’s also gained a tremendous amount of notoriety for taking on the world’s best players in the process.
Cates gained most of his exposure this year by taking on Tom “durrrr” Dwan in the Durrrr Challenge, which involves playing 50,000 hands on Full Tilt Poker and Dwan putting up a 3:1 sidebet of $1.5 million to his opponents $500,000 that he’ll finish ahead when the dust settles. The games of choice are either Pot-Limit Omaha or No-Limit Hold’em, and Cates chose the latter. So far, Cates is up over $500,000 in the challenge.
But despite Cates’ success against Dwan, most of his profits for the year came from his play at heads-up No-Limit Hold’em against other opponents, a game in which many regard Cates as the best in the world. He’s amassed well over $3 million from No-Limit Hold’em alone. But despite Cates success in that genre, he’s been steadily improving his play at PLO, and has showed impressive results over the course of the year. He’s also gained over $1 million dollars in PLO in 2010.
Currently, Cates is just shy at $4.9 million of breaking the $5 million mark for 2010.
During the year, Cates broke that mark as he peaked at around $5.3 million in early December. Last night however he was close to eclipsing that goal again, as he continued his grudge match against his recent rival Patrik Antonius. The pair has been regularly playing $300/$600 HA, which is a mix of Pot-Limit Hold’em and Omaha.
The battle started early yesterday evening, with Cates being down over $230,000 during the first two hours of play. Nevertheless as Cates has done several times this year, he mounted an unbelievable comeback in the next 3 hours of play. Not only did he manage to recover all of his losses, but he gained an additional $382K when the play finally finished. After Cates’ six-figure setback in the session, he became nearly unstoppable, losing only $19K on one of the two tables the players were competing on simultaneously.
Cates additionally earned $120K from a 154-hand session against luckexpress10 at $500/$1000 Cap PLO. Overall, he finished $502K in the black for last night’s efforts.
Although Antonius lost over $382K during his battle with jungleman12, he still finishes 2010 with $932K in earnings.
Several other big names were also busy on the online felt last night, as Gus Hansen had a successful night winning $150K in just 58 hands of Pot-Limit Omaha cap. Despite Hansen’s strong push towards the end of 2010, he still finished $1.78 million in the red.
Zi “Urindanger” Dang also walked away with $38K in profit, as did HalOzination with $69K for the evening.
The big losers for the night were of course Patrik Antonius (-$382K), DrugsOrMe (-$150K), luckexpress10 (-$108K) and Jared “harrington25″ Bleznik (-$106K).
Be alert for more updates from HSR heading into the new year!