Dan Cates Suffers Leaner 2015 and Thinner MarginsDecember 18, 2015 12:57 pm
As the online poker landscape becomes increasingly saturated with greater numbers of skillful players, the ability of the pros to maintain their edge and carve out a living for themselves has become a lot tougher. That includes even the game’s greats, such as Phil Ivey, 39, who had consistently been one of the biggest cash game winners online, before this year being rarely able to book a winning session, and finishing 2015 down $2,481,266 on PokerStars.
Another top pro who has also felt the pinch of late is Dan “Jungleman12” Cates, 26, who won $10,270,847 at Full Tilt between 2009 and 2014, but this year has so far lost $399,899 playing at PokerStars, even though he is still in profit overall on the site by $819,638. In an interesting interview with pokerlistings this week, Dan Cates subsequently offered his perspective on the continuing evolution of the game, and as he explains:
“The high-stakes games are still beatable because people still make mistakes, and people are lazy and whatever. You can still make a profit but the margins are getting thinner, and that means a lot. There is a kind of natural selection that occurs and personally I don’t think you can last forever, unless you play more in private games.”
Another factor Cates says is working against the pros is the high rake site’s such as PokerStars charge on small-edge games, such as 2-7 Triple Draw, compared to big-edge games, such as Hold’em. According to Cates, sites tend to unfairly treat such games the same, and consequently set unattractive rakes for players. Elaborating further, he then explains:
“The difference between a small-edge game and a big-edge game is that in a small-edge game you can’t really beat someone who plays sensibly.”
Over the years, Cates has even tried his hand at live tournaments and since 2010 has cashed 15 times for $3,480,076, including winning $288,234 this year. Nevertheless, Cates is not looking to subsidize his poker career by playing tournaments, mainly because of the variance involved, explaining that even if you are good you will still bust 85% of the time.
“A cash game is a pain for other reasons but you win quite often, and you can control how long you’re going to play. Two of the many reasons why I prefer cash games,” stated Cates.