The Winning Poker recently started hosting bi-monthly Live Cage events in Costa Rica. The events have a buy-in of $5,000 and last two days, but you can qualify for the events – plus win your hotel accommodation and travel expenses – by playing in weekly satellites with a buy-in of just $55.00.
Players at Americas Cardroom and Black Chip Poker will be familiar with the online Cage – a weekly five-hour “cash game” with blinds and antes that increase every hour. Typically the Cage has a $1,000 buy-in – with chips being worth $1.00 each – and only players who survive the five hours of action cash in the events. There is no standing up and walking away halfway through the event – unless you bust.
During big tournament series the Winning Poker Network hosts more valuable Cage events. During last month´s OSS Cub3d series, one online Cage event had a buy-in of $5,000 – with chips still worth $1.00 each, but with higher blinds and antes. Now the Network has decided to recreate the $5,000 buy-in online Cage in a live format, and is giving players the opportunity to satellite into bi-monthly Live Cage events being held every two months in Costa Rica. The next one is scheduled for May 25th to May 28th.
How to Qualify for WPN´s Live Cage Events
Each Sunday, Americas Cardroom and Black Chip Poker – the two leading sites on the Winning Poker Network – host a “Beast and Sit & Crush Live Cage Satellite” at 6:00pm (ET). The satellite has a $55.00 buy-in and guarantees a minimum of three packages to the next Cage Live event in Costa Rica. Last Sunday´s event also paid out $2,800 to the fourth placed player. The packages are well worth winning as they include:
- The $5,000 + $250 buy-in to the Live Cage event.
- Accommodation at the Taormina Hotel and Casino.
- $1,000 in spending money.
- $800 towards travelling expenses.
The structure of the tournament is pretty good. Players start with 5,000 chips and the blinds increase every fifteen minutes. Late registration is open for eight levels (2 hours) – during which unlimited re-entries are allowed. By the end of late registration the blinds have increased to 150/300 with a 15 chip ante; however, registering late for this tournament is not recommended.
The reason why I do not recommended late registration is that hundreds of seats into this satellite are awarded every week through the “Beast” and “Sit & Crush” promotions. Not every player who wins a seat via the promotions can play in the satellite. These players are registered automatically and “sit out” until they bust. Consequently, there is a lot of dead money on the tables during the early levels – dead money that is easier to add to your chip stack the earlier you start playing in the tournament.
How the First Live Cage Event Went
The first Live Cage event took place over the weekend of March 16th to March 19th. Twenty-one players qualified for the inaugural event or bought in directly and were treated to an experience that included a tour of the Winning Poker Network´s facilities in Costa Rica and a night on the town in WPN´s Party Bus. Ten players survived two days of action, the biggest winner being Connecticut native Stanley Lee who is a regular player on the US live poker circuit.
|Player||Chip Stack||Player||Chip Stack|
|Stanley Lee||$19,875||Joe Williams||$9,430|
|Hugo Barboza||$13,810||Brandon Merril||$8,830|
|Diego Montezuma||$13,065||Jose Sanchez||$7,045|
|Phil Nagy||$10,785||Farhad Sinari||$6,415|
|Alex Brenes||$9,640||Nick Niegarth||$6,105|
In a post-game interview, Lee described the whole Live Cage experience as “amazing”, while other players commented that the blend of tournament and cash poker was one that was yet to be mastered and therefore everybody has the chance to win big in the Live Cage events. In the video below the Network´s latest professional – Jeff Boski – gives his thoughts on the event and comments he can only see the Live Cage events getting bigger.
Will You Enter the Ring in Costa Rica?
With a month to go until the next Live Cage takes place, there are plenty of opportunities remaining to win a package to the event at Americas Cardroom and Black Chip Poker. You don´t necessary even have to pony up the $55.00 buy-in to the “Beast and Sit & Crush Live Cage Satellite” as you can win your seat for free via the Beast leaderboard promotion by playing cash games, or via the Sit & Crush leaderboard promotion by playing Sit & Go games.
Furthermore, if you would like to play in a Cage-style game before next Sunday´s satellite qualifier, try playing in one of the Playpen games hosted by the Network every Friday. These have a buy-in of $11.00 (each chip is worth $0.01) and last just short of an hour. Although you are unlikely to win as much as Stanley Lee by playing in the Playpen games, these games give you the opportunity to try the cash game/tournament format to see if you are good enough to enter the ring in Costa Rica.