Interview with Jungleman about Girah

August 12, 2011 - 2:45 PM EDT

Daniel “Jungleman” Cates is famous in the poker world for playing high stakes and taking the Durrrr Challenge. Recently, he became involved in a controversy with José “Girah” Macedo.

Macedo became famous in the poker world in January when a new account on the Two Plus Two Poker forums posted that an anonymous Portuguese “poker prodigy” had won 2.5 million euros in a year. Both Cates and his friend, Haseeb “DOG IS HEAD” Qureshi, posted in the thread naming Macedo and remarking that they were impressed by his skill. Macedo later posted on Two Plus Two, telling a remarkable story of rapid success at poker. Many people, however, did not believe his story.

Cates and Qureshi staked Macedo and planned to live with him in Portugal. Qureshi was active in helping Macedo improve his reputation, and Macedo managed to become a LockPro Elite for LockPoker, on the Merge Gaming Network.

In April, Macedo competed in the Bluff Pro Challenge on Lock in which the player who won the most on the site during the month. Macedo was originally said to have won the challenge, but he was disqualified. LockPoker explained that he had been disqualified for letting someone else play on his account. That person actually lost money according to both LockPoker and Macedo. However, Qureshi revealed in a later blog post that Macedo had received a $100,000 chip dump from him.

On August 6th, various posters on Two Plus Two revealed that Macedo had been caught cheating players. Macedo had encouraged friends of his in a Skype chat group to play against an account that he said played poorly while he watched via the screen-sharing software TeamViewer. Macedo was actually using the information that he gained from sharing these players’ screens to cheat.

Qureshi and Cates were both involved in discussions with the cheated players as well as Macedo before the cheating was made public. Much of their behavior during this time period has been closely scrutinized, as has Macedo’s story and their relationship with Macedo in general.

The situation is extremely complicated, and Subject: Poker suggests that readers familiarize themselves with it by reading the many threads about the topic on Two Plus Two.

Qureshi has responded to many allegations on his blog. He has lost his status as a CardRunners coach, and says that he plans to leave the poker world.

Cates, however, had offered very little response to the situation until agreeing to do an interview with me yesterday. He agreed to allow Venessa Selbst, a respected high stakes poker player, to join the interview as well. Just hours after that interview concluded, Cates’s publicist contacted me to inform me that Cates had lied to us and that he would like to do another interview to explain. Both interviews appear below.

We had originally agreed, as a compromise between a text and voice interview, to conduct a voice interview but only to publish the transcript. Cates later agreed to publish the audio in the interest of transparency. Because of this confusion, the audio quality is quite poor–There is static, typing, and various sound effects from our respective computers audible on the recording–and much of the interview is conducted more casually than would be ideal. The interviews also have no clear introduction or closing statements. Subject: Poker apologizes for these problems.

Interview with Daniel Cates- Part I

(A transcript of this interview by Martha Micon is available here.1)

After this interview, Cates’s publicist contacted me to tell me that Cates had lied about Haseeb playing on Macedo’s account; it was actually him who played on the account. She said that he would like to do another interview to clarify.

Interview with Daniel Cates- Part II, First Half

As is obvious in the recording, Cates’s microphone starts to have problems here. We have removed a long discussion about how to fix the problem.

Interview with Daniel Cates- Part II, Second Half

We have removed a long discussion between the three of us about the pros and cons of releasing the audio. Cates eventually gave his consent.

Update 8/13/2011 4:27 PM EDT:

Martha Micon was kind enough to transcribe part one of the interview. The transcript is available here.2 Subject: Poker would like to thank Martha for taking the time to do this for our readers.

I would like to personally thank Vanessa Selbst for being extremely helpful throughout. Vanessa was incredibly flexible and donated much of her time and expertise to this interview. I would also like to thank Two Plus Two poster SGT RJ for helping me to prepare for this interview, as well as all the members of the poker community who suggested questions.

Edited on 8/12/2011 3:31 PM EDT: Changed the misworded partial sentence “Cates eventually agreed to.” to “Cates eventually gave his consent.”
Edited on 8/12/2011 6:03 PM EDT: Switched recordings to versions with better audio quality, with thanks to Joe Tall from DeucesCracked. The originals can be found here.
Edited on 8/13/2011 4:43 PM EDT: We accidentally called Martha Micon Marsha. Thanks to @DougLeePoker for the quick correction and apologies to Martha for the mistake.


  1. Note that Subject: Poker did not create this document, and we take no responsibility for its accuracy.
  2. Note that Subject: Poker did not create this document, and we take no responsibility for its accuracy.

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35 Responses to Interview with Jungleman about Girah

  1. HuckWeed
    August 12, 2011 at 2:57 PM EDT

    Hi, thanks for putting the time into doing the interview (extra kudos to Selbst)… where can we find a link to the transcript, or is there only the above audio recordings? Thanks again!

    • Thomas Bakker
      August 12, 2011 at 3:01 PM EDT

      Unfortunately, there are currently only these audio recordings. If we would have transcribed all of it, it would have taken much longer before we could have released the interview.

    • Noah Stephens-Davidowitz
      August 12, 2011 at 3:07 PM EDT

      To follow up on what Thomas said, we have done part of the transcribing. I don’t think that we’ll finish it since the interview is out already, but I think it’s fairly likely that someone in the community will. We encourage such a person to e-mail before he does so, so that he doesn’t have to redo parts that we have completed.

      • HuckWeed
        August 12, 2011 at 3:29 PM EDT

        Thanks for the quick and informative replies… is there any way you can release the following audio recording as well, if only for the sake of transparency:

        “We have removed a long discussion between the three of us about the pros and cons of releasing the audio. Cates eventually agreed to.”

  2. JohnUK
    August 12, 2011 at 5:58 PM EDT

    Part way through, I wish all the press where as good as you guys… Feels like Daniel is the mark to me..

    • goodforpoker
      August 12, 2011 at 6:57 PM EDT

      mark? really? you think Qureshi is smart enough to manipulate one of the best HUNL players in the world? Wouldn’t the better player be more likely the one taking advantage of the other…

      • uncertain
        August 13, 2011 at 1:19 AM EDT

        I’m 40 mins in and I agree that Daniel seems like the mark. While I can only speculate about Qureshi’s true nature, if he really was a con man then manipulating a person like Cates who has recognized poor social/interpersonal skills would be child’s play.

        Add to this the fact that Cates is a multimillionaire world-class poker player/gambler with the accompanying relative lack of respect for money and he seems like a near perfect mark. “Oh yeah, Haseeb owes me $100k or something, but I’m sure he’ll pay it back…” I’m sure most poker players can scale their own stakes up to where $100k doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

        It would truly be a shame if Cates was taken advantage of because of his situation (wealth, fame, and Aspergers?) but the world is pretty full of scum.

        Daniel obviously multiaccounted (played some on Macedo’s account) but there’s a world of difference between doing that and downright scamming people.

  3. goodforpoker
    August 12, 2011 at 6:01 PM EDT

    Thanks for doing so much leg work to deliver a very revealing interview. The whole ‘Girah’ story is making us wonder about the extent of the ‘gray area’ in poker that Cates discusses. For someone at the top of the mountain to have these views is pretty sobering.

  4. Seth
    August 12, 2011 at 6:20 PM EDT

    Unfortunately I think there’s likely still more to be revealed here. Like a lot of kids his age, Cates’ moral compass seems to swing more in whatever direction is convenient and easiest at that given point in time instead of ever pointing towards true north.

    • Ben
      August 12, 2011 at 9:24 PM EDT

      Wow. Vanessa is the shit. I hope durrrr goes on a heater when they play again and breaks this kid…or ftp f*cks him. Dude sounds like a tool.

  5. Chump Change
    August 12, 2011 at 10:18 PM EDT

    Noah, check your 2p2 PMs

    • David
      August 14, 2011 at 12:45 AM EDT

      Do you really not have a better way to contact him then posting here?

      • Chump Change
        August 15, 2011 at 6:54 PM EDT

        You mean like a 2p2 PM?

  6. dp03
    August 12, 2011 at 11:34 PM EDT

    I’m nowhere near a high stakes player, I played a bit on line and I sometimes play 1-2, with the occasional 2-5 mixed in.

    With that said, I want to say thank you for publishing this information. It helps the poker world from the top all the way down to us recreational players.

  7. james
    August 12, 2011 at 11:53 PM EDT

    Could you do an article summarising the interview. It is really long.

  8. t
    August 13, 2011 at 2:59 AM EDT

    Is this guy (cates) even “big” enough to be worth all that “hype”, I mean, he is no durrr or Ivey, not even close!!!

    I know he plays HS from time to time(prob with borrowed money) and thinks he is “big s$$t” but is that enough to for that attention and discussion?

    Anyway, he is the kim kardashian of poker imo…

  9. Dex Warnington
    August 13, 2011 at 4:03 AM EDT

    Hats of to Subject:Poker. One of very few sites that publish poker information which actually looks like journalism, not advertisments.

  10. donald whitehouse
    August 13, 2011 at 7:32 AM EDT

    listening a second time and dan really doesn’t come across well here imo. he doesn’t want to accept blame, doesn’t want to even blame haseeb. lied to begin with then expects people to believe him afterwards,very vague about alot of points or seems to not remember clearly, shows arrogance instead of seeking forgivness. not buying the naive kid theory here anymore.

    another black eye on the poker community.

    own up dude.

  11. Alfredo Mansuelo
    August 13, 2011 at 8:44 AM EDT

    Cates is a punk.

  12. Teamsters
    August 13, 2011 at 8:59 AM EDT

    I knew there were teams out there, but this is scary!!! Skype groups, sweatin’ each others action, how many top tier players have access to these shared accounts??, playin as low as 5/10 to get action, on how many sites??, takin thousands of thousands of dollars a day!!! U still lyin Jungleman, its fuckin obvious, coverin for the team thats made millions of millions of dollars!!!!!!!!!!

  13. dway
    August 13, 2011 at 10:06 AM EDT

    Just shipped you guys some monies on paypal. Hope others do the same.
    I will try to ship some each time you make a big contribution like this.

    This whole episiode makes me feel really embarrassed (again) about the poker community.
    I used to be proud, hopefully I will be again.

    Nice work.

  14. Kentucky Gaming
    August 13, 2011 at 3:27 PM EDT

    Excellent work. You are correct about the audio quality. It is horrible but it gets the job done for someone who knows what to listen for.

  15. LearnedHand13
    August 14, 2011 at 1:16 AM EDT

    Great job with this interview. Vanessa, good deposition counselor. Amazing that someone this bad at life can be that good at poker. Surprising that neither one of his “life coaches” told him that an interview would be a bad idea. Next time you shouldn’t use your “life coaches” name and likeness to dump $100k or fail to negotiate a price for their services.

    Either he is a complete moron for not taking a more active roll in his monetary investments and for vouching without personal knowledge or he’s a scum bag who, at a minimum, used his reputation to gain an advantage off the tables and then multi accounted to give himself an edge by hiding his reputation. In this case, I think it is clearly a solid case of both. He admitted to multi-accounting and the fact that he has proven himself as a liar until he can’t get away with it anymore makes it possible that he multi-accounted on PS or FTP. Don’t think he can be trusted.

  16. Alexander Knopf
    August 14, 2011 at 4:29 AM EDT

    Cates really looks bad in that interview, i think much worse than he should.
    I’m currently staked (for a fraction of the amount) and no one checks my account, they check results on sharkscope, they didn’t give me a whole lot of money, but i personally would have a big problem with giving anyone my passwords. not checking the account of someone you stake every day shouldn’t be looked at as something assisting in something potentially unethical.
    Long story short, i wouldn’t like to be blamed for something that happened when someone i trusted managed a stake and the stakee (that i never knew well to begin with) did something clearly unethical. (obviously covering shit up after the fact or even not speaking up about things you know happened is quite the different story)

  17. dave
    August 14, 2011 at 6:49 AM EDT

    cates just comes across bad

  18. Eric
    August 16, 2011 at 5:46 PM EDT

    Cates look bad because he cheated and lied about it, not because he didn’t keep close tabs on Jose. He multiaccounted and deceived other people. He tried to cover it up. He did interview #1 and denied/lied about many things. He played on Jose’s account. He did a lot more and lied about it. He came clean on it. I wouldn’t put money on the fact that he came clean on everything. What he did was 100% wrong.

    Qureshi looks like bigger scum. The guy is a total scam artist with zero credibility. Where the f*** is Jose? Is there any evidence that he exists?

    Thanks for investigating this and bringing it to light.

  19. Eric
    August 16, 2011 at 5:59 PM EDT

    Also, not once in all those interviews did I hear Cates apologize for any of this. I didn’t hear any sense of remorse, only disappointment because this became public and hurt his reputation.

    He was specifically questioned about using another account, and (if I recall correctly) if he felt bad about it, and he said he lost $20,000 so he why should he feel bad about it. He expresses outrage, dropping F bombs, that people would accuse him of certain things, but he can’t grasp why anyone would be outraged with his behavior. In his mind he has justified all of this and doesn’t feel bad about it. He doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand what he has become.

  20. Joey
    August 16, 2011 at 11:18 PM EDT

    I love NoahSD’s blogs, he’s given a lot of useful info freely that took him a lot of work to get.

    With all the love I have for him, he comes across horrible in these interviews. He seems completely unbiased and attacks Cates constantly. is there some backstory to explain that?

    • d1PLOd0cus
      August 25, 2011 at 6:00 PM EDT

      I take issue with this comment. I think you mean completely biased, but I believe your typo was subconsciously correct. Perhaps the day 1 interview was more measured and respectful, but there again, Cates does turn round a day later and admit to lying to them.

      Top notch work by NH and VS, and I’m also gonna do a ‘dway’ and show my appreciation via paypal.

  21. chris johnson
    August 23, 2011 at 8:50 AM EDT

    Jungleman makes himself look so foolish in both of these interviews, and it seems completely obvious that hes lying in both. When someone asks you a simple question and you say “let me think” that to me means that he is thinking of how he really wants to answer vs what the truth really is, because if someone really couldnt remember or had to really stop and think about so many things in their own very recent past, than that person is in no way smart enough to play poker at levels that Jungleman does. even in the second interview he is OBVIOUSLY still not being completely truthful. all this makes you wonder about all the millions he made and what other kind of shady shit he and Jose and Hassib were doing.

  22. Daniel Cheetham
    August 23, 2011 at 11:26 PM EDT

    This guy is a cheat. Multi-accounting is against the TOS of all major sites.
    He has no clear ethical standards. Any person implicated in any such scandal should be banned forever from playing online.
    Any online poker site that wishes to have any sort of credibility would do well to fully investigate and ban these players.
    He may have won millions but if he has no qualms about cheating people in one instance, how can anyone believe for certain that his
    past winnings have been won legitimately.
    I am disgusted by people like this.
    Great work on the interview guys. Thanks.

    • Mario Zeledon
      September 11, 2011 at 9:58 PM EDT

      Perhaps it´s a little early to pass judgement on Cates. It´s clear he did make several mistakes so I´m not saying he is without fault, but it´s even more clearl he has really bad social skills which invevitably affect how we perceive what he is actually trying to say.
      I do beleive he is hidding things, but there´s the chance that it´s not for the reasons we think.

  23. Whaaaaaaaaaat
    March 23, 2012 at 3:21 AM EDT

    This is the funniest interview ever. It’s two people trying to get to the bottom of something that is pretty pointless lol.

  24. mason
    August 10, 2012 at 5:43 AM EDT

    Dan’s a good guy, and a poker genius, so I don’t think he deserves too much heat. He made some semi-shady deals with Haseeb and Girah, and every thing that could have possibly gone wrong went wrong, causing it all to blow up in his face. He should have either denied any interviews or been completely 100% straight up from the beginning, and not told all the little lies. I hope Dan continues crushing, and Haseeb finds happiness walking the earth, or whatever he plans to do.

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