Daniel Cates on the intersection of poker, Hollywood and social media
Poker and Hollywood have a long history. One could argue that the meteoric rise of poker in the early 2000s correlated directly with the release of the famous poker movie Rounders in 1998. Today it’s not uncommon to see Hollywood stars like Ben Affleck, James Woods, Ray Romano, Jason Alexander and Todd Phillips play in some of the most prestigious cash games and main events in the world.
What is less common is the transition from poker pros to Hollywood. Occasionally there is a poker film that is produced that includes contributions from poker pros, but not many poker pros have made the opposite leap.
A recent 2019 report found that over 100 million people play poker worldwide, 30 million of them in the US. Poker has fewer barriers to entry and is played at different levels of competition. There are far fewer people trying to break into the entertainment industry, but that doesn’t mean it’s easier. Fortunately, poker has proven to be a great networking tool for poker players.
Using Poker and Social Media for Hollywood
Daniel Cates, also known as his Handle Jungleman12, makes the leap to Hollywood with the goal of producing potentially more creative roles first and later. The good news for poker fans is that Cates is not leaving Poker. With a career profit of over $ 16 million, Cates is unlikely to deviate from the profession that has brought him so much success. Rather, he is using the connections (and probably the money) to get a head start in what is notoriously hard to break into.
For Cates, this new challenge comes at a time when the world is changing a lot and many people are starting to question what they really want to do. Cates, who blogged for most of the year, documented his journey of self-actualization and also expressed his intention to get more active in charitable initiatives around the world
Cates explains, “I’m really looking forward to a new creative journey that I’m excited about. This diversification of interests includes pursuing various projects in Hollywood. My main initial interest is to dive deep into producing and learn as much as possible. “
If anyone could face a challenge this size, it would be Cates. In his early poker years, Cates could not take a break in poker. His constant losses made him realize that he had to get better. His strategy was simple: find the best players (regulars) and most competitive games and play there. Go straight up and learn from the best.
This method has been described as “reverse game selection”. As a rule, poker players try to find tables with an edge. This advantage could be due to the fact that a lot of amateur or recreational players are playing, or something more subtle like avoiding certain professional players. This willingness to take on challenges directly has served Cates well in his professional life.
It will be interesting to see if he attacks Hollywood in the same capacity. A quick look at Cates’ Instagram reveals a long list of celebrity friendships, including Steve Aoki, Kevin Hart, and others. It seems like Cates naturally puts himself in the best position to be successful by connecting with top Hollywood talent.
Whatever the outcome, it will be exciting to follow Jungleman12 on his new journey and see if other professional poker players try the same jump.