Dan 'Jungleman' Cates calls Phil Hellmuth Out over Ultimate Bet Scandal Involvement

April 27, 2022
Andrew Burnett

As the cheating hysteria of the past week reaches levels not seen since pre-Black Friday days, Jungleman Dan Cates has harked back to those dark days by calling out Phil Hellmuth for his role in the Ultimate Bet scandal....

Jungleman’s finger-pointing was a response to the Poker Brat commenting on the recent cheating accusations and revelations aimed at several of poker’s biggest names – Ali Imsirovic, Jake Schindler and Bryn Kenney chief among them.

Hellmuth tweeted: “These guys have damaged poker. Their scandals will scare away millions of players (esp online players). Imagine that you’re a young player, and you look up to these guys, so you seek them out, only to find out that they are cheaters. So, you pursue another profession: sad!”

When pulled up about his comment – “Really stupid to equate such different things, but it is Twitter”, said one fan – Jungleman doubled down...

If you are new to poker, or have a bad memory, Ultimate Bet was embroiled in a superuser cheating scandal in the early-mid noughties.

Players lost $multi-millions as Russ Hamilton used and handed out God-mode access that allowed cheats to view their opponent’s hole cards.

In poker, things don’t get any worse than someone knowing exactly what you have, and a similar cheating scandal was blown open on UB’s sister site, Absolute Poker.

However, Hellmuth – an Ultimate Bet sponsored pro at the time – claims he was the man who effectively launched the investigation, which came as news to many in the industry...

Hellmuth also tweeted out: “Let’s not forget, in the midst of all of the noise reverberating globally over current scandals, that there are millions of decent folks in the poker world. There are tons of upstanding people, honorable people, nice people: both men and women. Every profession has 5% bad guys…”

While on that point, it was amateur poker detectives – the you and me of the poker community – along with a whistle-blower who leaked a screenshot of the UB management system – who were the real heroes of the hour, blowing the whole scam wide open.

Matt Berkey also saw fit to comment on the issue, landing his usual hard-hitting blow...

More than a decade on from the Ultimate Bet/Absolute Poker scandal that took an estimated $22million+ and cheating from unwitting players, the world of poker is yet again embroiled in controversy.

Poker book author, Barry Carter, listed various forms of cheating, trying to find a “hierarchy of wrongness”...

“Worst forms of poker cheating ranked. Do you agree with this list and order? What common ones have I missed? Obviously they are all bad,” wrote Carter of his list...

  • 1) SuperUser
  • 2) Collusion
  • 3) Bots
  • 4) Peeking at opponent's hole cards
  • 5) Ghosting
  • 6) RTA
  • 7) Multi-accounting
  • 8) Shared accounting
  • 9) Soft play

With the exception of numbers 1 and 3, every single cheating infraction on that list has been in the headlines this week.

  • Ali Imsirovic has been accused of RTA and “rubbernecking”, which is the term for number 4 on Carter's list.
  • Jake Schindler is also suspected of using RTA (Real-Time Assistance) to cheat the high stakes online MTT games.
  • Bryn Kenney has been outed by a former horse on multiple counts of 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8!
  • Alex Foxen, the highstakes pro who blew the whole cheating allegations of the past week or so open, has been accused by Kahle Burns of soft-playing with his wife, Kristen Bicknell Foxen.

And since we started with Jungleman Dan Cates, it seems only fair that we remind the poker community that he has also been guilty of his fair share of wrongdoing.

Cates admitted ghosting in a private game that involved Bill Perkins, with Dan Bilzerian outing the Jungleman two years ago.

Cates later “apologised” for being caught, stating: “While I don't think it's fair that I’ve been singled out for something many were much more guilty of, I accept that as a role model for the poker community my punishment should be disproportionate compared to a normal player.

He added: “I hold myself to a high standard of ethics and aspire to be devoid of inequity, but I still make mistakes and am sorry for my actions. I will do my best to behave better in the future.”

The big question on everyone’s lips is, “Who’s next?” and there will doubtless be a few very worried highstakes players wondering if their name will appear in the headlines.

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