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High-stakes standout Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates wins 1st WSOP bracelet

Top high-stakes pro Dan “Jungleman” Cates has added “World Series of Poker bracelet winner” to his resume.

Cates won the $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship early Saturday at the Rio, defeating a field of 63 entries to earn his first bracelet and $954,020. He prevailed heads-up against Ryan Leng after a marathon final day that didn’t finish till after 3 a.m.

Leng, who was denied his fourth WSOP bracelet and second of this series, won $589,628. (The WSOP awards trophy bracelets for tournament victories.)

“I said I was gonna win, so I won,” Cates told PokerNews. “But it was pretty important because now I have more money to help the world and to continue a career outside of poker.”

Cates has nearly $10 million in career tournament earnings, according to the Hendon Mob Poker Database, but he is known more for high-stakes cash games, especially heads-up online.

The colorful Cates, who played dressed as the character Son Goku from the Japanese anime series “Dragon Ball Z,” was nearly out of the tournament three-handed, but he was able to bluff Leng in a Limit Hold’em hand to stay alive.

Paul Volpe finished third for $404,243.

The Poker Players Championship is a rotation of nine games.

Contact Jim Barnes at jbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.

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