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Daniel "jungleman" Cates Wins World Poker Tour Alpha8 Johannesburg

Daniel Cates

Day 2 of the World Poker Tour Alpha8 Johannesburg resumed play on Saturday with seven players remaining from the 10 entries that participated in the event. Daniel "jungleman" Cates began the day as the chip leader, and he would go on to finish in the top spot and earn $500,000 and the title.

1Daniel "jungleman" Cates$500,000
2Kinesh Pather$275,000
3Jason Mercier$200,000

According to the WPT live updates, Antonio Esfandiari, the only player to fire more than one bullet in this event, was eliminated on the second hand of Day 2. With the blinds at 1,500/3,000/500 in Level 10, Esfandiari called a raise to 6,500 out of the big blind from Kinesh Pather, who was in early position. The flop fell {Q-Hearts}{J-Diamonds}{7-Hearts}, and Esfandiari checked. Pather bet 7,500, and Esfandiari check-raised to 22,500. Pather moved all in, and Esfandiari called to put himself at risk for a little under 100,000.

Esfandiari tabled the {K-Hearts}{6-Hearts} for a flush draw, and he was up against Pather's {Q-Spades}{J-Hearts} for top two pair. The turn {4-Clubs} and river {10-Diamonds} served no help for Esfandiari, and he was eliminated in seventh place.

Following Esfandiari's elimination, two-time WPT Alpha8 champion Philipp Gruissem was sent to the rail in sixth place. Then, Erik Seidel was eliminated in fifth place to set the tournament up for the money bubble.

Entering four-handed play on the bubble, Jeff Gross was the short stack. Although he eventually worked his way into the chip lead, Gross would fall in fourth place and assume the very unwanted role of bubble boy. It took 136 hands of bubble action before Gross fell, and it happened in Level 14 with the blinds at 4,000/8,000/1,000.

Cates opened the action with a min-raise from under the gun to 16,000. Gross moved all in on the button for 145,000, and the other two players folded. Cates tank-called and turned over the {8-Diamonds}{8-Spades}. Gross was severely dominated with the {A-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}. The flop, turn, and river ran out {Q-Spades}{10-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}{J-Clubs}{3-Spades}, and Gross was gone.

With that pot, Cates extended his already lengthy lead over the other two players, Jason Mercier and Pather, and sent the field into the money.

During the next level, with the blinds at 5,000/10,000/1,000, Mercier moved all in from the small blind for around 50,000 in chips, and Cates called from the big blind with the {A-Diamonds}{A-Hearts}. Mercier had the {10-Hearts}{7-Clubs} and couldn't hit on the {9-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{3-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts}{K-Hearts} board. He was eliminated in third place for $200,000.

Heading into heads-up play, Cates had 836,000 in chips to Pather's 164,000, and things didn't take too long from there.

On the final hand, Pather raised all in from the button to 64,000. Cates called with the {J-Spades}{10-Diamonds} to have Pather at risk with the {K-Hearts}{J-Clubs}. Despite having a dominating hand, Pather couldn't hold up on the {10-Hearts}{9-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}{J-Hearts}{10-Clubs} board that gave Cates a full house and the victory. For his runner-up finish, Pather took home $275,000.

With the victory, Cates pushed his live lifetime tournament earnings over $1.1 million and notched the single largest score of his career.

That wraps up the fourth stop on the WPT Alpha8 tour. Although there are no future stops announced just yet, be sure to keep your browser locked right here on PokerNews for any updates to come.

*Lead photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour.

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