In a bizarre poker headline this week, American online poker pro Daniel Cates, who plays under the screen names Jungleman and w00ki3z, was denied entry into Canada. Cates was attempting to move to Canada to continue his online nosebleed play, as he posted on his Twitter July 26th, “leaving for Vancouver tomorrow, time to crush online again :)” Apparently the border patrol were not happy with his answers to their questions and sent him packing back to the United states.
Cates made a huge name for himself in the poker world the last two years by being the top online winner in cash games in 2010, winning over $5 Million. He then cemented his rising star status further by taking a $1 Million lead against Tom Dwan in their 50,000 hand Durrrr Challenge. Daniel “Jungleman” Cates has proved that he is one of the top nosebleed players in the world, as well as arguably the top heads-up NLHE specialist.
And all that before reaching the age of 21! This was Cates’ first WSOP, after finally becoming legally of age to play in a casino (online poker allows players 18 and up). Before the World Series of Poker, this summer Cates said in an interview that he planned to move out of the country after the WSOP.
Everything seemed to be going well with Cates’ relocation, but then these Tweets began to roll in from Cates in the following days, “Apparently I need a visa to play poker for a living in Canada? Anyone know about the immigration laws here?”
“In a ridiculous twist, I have been (denied entry) from Canada for being an illegal immigrant… Going to Seattle tomorrow to try to get temp visa.”
That top American players would leave the country to continue playing was to be expected, such as Phil Galfond, who recently made the move to Canada successfully. That they would face difficulties crossing borders comes as a surprise to most. This week’s border incident with Cates shows that not only average American Joe’s, but also the American pros have been affected by the USA online poker crackdown. Even with lots of money in the bank, moving to a new country comes with its own challenges and obstacles to overcome.
The latest update from Daniel Cates is that he is consulting with a lawyer and is entertaining the idea of choosing a different country to make his new home. As fans of his epic nosebleed battles, we hope to see Cates’ migration issues settled and to see him back online playing the nosebleeds in a hurry!