Galfond Challenge on Pause as Dan “Jungleman” Cates Takes a Break

The Galfond Challenge between Phil Galfond and Dan “Jungleman” Cates is over long before it was supposed to end … for now.

With less than one-third of the high-stakes pot-limit Omaha heads-up competition complete, “Jungleman” has decided to take a break. Galfond said he’s taking a “wait and see” approach but isn’t sure when his opponent will return to action. The reason why Cates is stepping away, at least for the time being, isn’t clear.

Galfond and Cates began a $100/$200 battle on last week. They’ve been playing at $10/$20 stakes due to deposit issues but the losing player will owe the winner the difference after the challenge ends, assuming it ever does.

Check out our player profile on Phil Galfond here!

Where the Galfond Challenge Stands

Day 1 of the Galfond Challenge kicked off at 8 a.m. PT on Feb. 2. Galfond booked a modest win of around $10,000, the equivalent of half of one buy-in, in what was a competitive match.

The following day, Cates controlled most of the contest and booked a $50,000 win. One day later, he won again, this time for a $35,000 profit. That was the last time the two have been in action.

As it stands, “Jungleman” holds a lead of about $77,500 through 2,250 hands. They had agreed to play 7,500 hands before determining a winner, so we’ll wait and see if and when the competition resumes. Galfond sent out a sarcastic tweet on Thursday seeking a new opponent, but he made it clear the current challenge against Cates isn’t officially over.

Hey, poker world!

— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond)

Galfond has never lost a Galfond Challenge. He first defeated online poker pro “Venividi1993” in 2020 after rallying from nearly a $1 million deficit over 25,000 hands. He then dominated another online pro, “ActionFreak,” mostly from start to finish in a 15,000-hand challenge. Next up was bracelet winner Chance Kornuth, who bought out after 7,500 hands facing a massive deficit.

In between those matches, he’s also competed in a few mini challenges against Bill Perkins, Brandon Adams, and Cates.

Complete Galfond Challenge History and Results