The José “Girah” Macedo cheating scandal is just the gift that keeps on giving. For a while, it looked like it was just Macedo who had some explaining to do (which he did), but now the poker world has found out that one of Macedo’s friends, Daniel “Jungleman” Cates, is not completely innocent of any wrongdoing.
To quickly review, Macedo became known as the “Portuguese Poker Prodigy” after running $30 up to over $2 million in just a few months as a teenager. In April, he became a member of Lock Poker’s LockPRO ELITE team. All the while, he befriended many of the top online players, including Cates and Haseeb “Dogishead” Qureshi, with whom he discussed strategy.
This summer, Macedo began encouraging some of his poker friends to play a couple apparent high stakes “fish” on both the iPoker Network and Merge Gaming Network, though for some reason, his friends were unable to beat these supposed terrible opponents. As it turned out, Macedo was watching his friends screens as they played (something they often did as a way to learn), but it was he who they were playing, not just some random, bad players. Because he could see their cards, he was able to look like a poor player, yet still make the right moves in order to win thousands of dollars.
His group of friends grew suspicious, not only because the mystery opponents seemed to play terribly while still being unbeatable, but also because every time they would log out, Macedo would also log off of Skype (which was used to communicate with his poker buddies). Eventually, the group got Macedo to confess to his scam and the excrement hit the fan.
Throughout the entire scam unveiling, Cates stayed relatively silent, claiming to know nothing about what was going on until it was all revealed. He and Qureshi had reportedly staked Macedo and were about to leave the United States to live with him in Portugal, so the whole scandal put a major wrench into their plans.
As part of the fallout from the scandal, Qureshi was relieved of his coaching duties at CardRunners.com, as it was revealed that he played on Macedo’s Lock Poker account (“Girahh”). This also caused Macedo to be disqualified from this year’s Bluff Pro Challenge on Lock Poker. Qureshi also admitted to chip dumping $100,000 to Macedo during the Challenge, but claimed it was just a way to fund Macedo’s account, not cheat. That reasoning has come into question, however, as it has been confirmed that while $10,000 is the transfer limit on Lock Poker, multiple transfers can be made, so it would be possible to send someone $100,000 legitimately.
As for Cates, he agreed to do an interview with Noah Stephens-Davidowitz and Vanessa Selbst for the poker news site SubjectPoker.com and basically said he had nothing to do with anything and that it was, in fact, Qureshi who played on Macedo’s account. Shortly thereafter, Cates’ publicist called Stephens-Davidowitz to request another interview because Cates had lied.
In the new interview, Cates admitted to playing on three of Macedo’s accounts, specifically during four sessions an April and May. In the interview, when asked about which sessions they were, Cates said, “If it was four tables of 25/50 PLO, it was like, for sure me.”
Naturally, the interviewers were skeptical that Cates had revealed the entire truth. When pressed for more, Cates was annoyed, responding:
“Those are the only ones. I just told you something that no one knows. There’s no way for you guys to tie me to the Toshisan account, to my knowledge…and also the same thing with the SamChauhaun account. How could you tie me to that? I just told you that. It’s really, really upsetting that you’re accusing me…that you’re basically suggesting that I’m lying some more. I’m not lying.”
Of course, there was the big question of why Cates lied in the first interview at all. To that, he said, “The reason why I lied was because…Haseeb basically, he understood that his reputation was basically fucked, so he wanted to just take the fall for me. He just basically did it. There was no discussion about that, he just did it.”
Cates claims that there was no grand plan behind the multi-accounting, that it was just something that happened.