More High-Stakes Drama, Daniel Cates Takes Aim at Phil Hellmuth and Bryn Kenney

Daniel Cates is the latest pro to challenge Phil Hellmuth and Bryn Kenney after their recent claims of greatness.

Daniel Cates

Daniel Cates (pictured) is the latest pro to challenge Phil Hellmuth and Bryn Kenney. (Image: Triton Poker)

Hellmuth ruffled feathers with his “apex predator” comment during a match against Daniel Negreanu. Kenney stirred the pot a few days later by calling out Hellmuth, Phil Galfond, and Isaac Haxton.

Cates took exception to the grandstanding from both players and did what any self-respecting pro would do: he challenged them to a match.

Cates throws down the gauntlet

He invited Hellmuth and Kenney to donate money to his charity and play him.

“Why don’t you guys donate to my foundation. Oh and, um, also play me at poker,” Cates tweeted on April 10.

Hellmuth responded saying that he loved the idea. Kenney had a slightly different response.

“Posting online about donating to your charities that are probably very early in any process is weak and tagging me in it. This is an ego post, and nobody cares to play you heads-up,” Kenney clapped back.

Cates, aka Jungleman, admitted he’s not as accomplished as Kenney when it came to tournaments but, in his opinion, that’s it.

Kenney’s winnings don’t impress Cates

Cates says he doesn’t believe Kenney is one of the top poker players in the world simply because he has more tournament earnings than everyone else.

Cates is no stranger to heads-up matches. He was the man who almost broke Tom Dwan during their ill-fated Durrrr Challenge match in 2010.

Dwan was willing to play anyone except Phil Galfond back in 2009. He started the highly-anticipated series of matches against Patrik Antonius. That showdown was supposed to last 50,000 hands, but it didn’t get that far as Dwan moved $2 million ahead before the action fizzled out.

From that incomplete match, Dwan started another with Cates. But after Cates won $1.2 million in 19,335 hands, the action ground to halt. Delays and unfilled promises meant we never got a resolution to that match, but it didn’t stop Cates from establishing himself as one of the greats.

It also doesn’t appear to have dampened his desire for heads-up action. This time, however, a match with Kenney or Hellmuth would serve a much greater purpose.

The Dan Cates Foundation provides help and support for various organizations in Africa. In addition to promoting clean water initiatives, Cates is hoping to build hospitals in the region.

cates foundation

The Dan Cates Foundation has been helping in Africa. (Image: Instagram/Dan Cates Foundation)

How a heads-up match would fit in with the charity is unclear. However, if those less fortunate get something from it, and the poker community gets to watch another high-stakes showdown, that would be considered a win for everyone.

Written by
Daniel Smyth
Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America.

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