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"The Cage" Tourney/Cash Hybrid Unveiled at WPN

Online poker players who clamor for new, innovative concepts will likely applaud the latest offering known as “The Cage” introduced by the Winning Poker Network (WPN).

Seen as a hybrid of sorts that combines elements of both tournament and cash game action, The Cage is being heavily promoted by WPN flagship skin Americas Cardroom. The first Cage event is slated for October 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

$5,100 buy-in a bit steep for many

Here’s how it works. Players register for the $5,100 multi-table tournament and must be prepared to play for three hours, as a clock is counting down from 3:00 once the event begins.

All players will be armed with $5,000 in chips that retain their full value once the clock stops and the tournament ends. Play at the tables consists of a cash game format with three blind levels, one for each hour of play.

The levels are $10/$20 blinds with $2 antes in hour one, $25/$50 blinds with $5 antes in the second hour, and $50/$100 blinds with $10 antes in the final hour. Each table will be 6-player max. No re-buys or add-ons permitted.

Players who bust during the three hours are eliminated and those still standing after the clock hits 0:00 will have won whatever chips remain in their stack. In essence, it’s a cash game with a beginning and an end. But players can not leave at anytime and must remain in The Cage for the full three hours, unless they lose their chips.

We’re creating something new that’s guaranteed to cause the blood to fly,” said Americas Cardroom spokesman Michael Harris. “We’re raising the stakes with an unbelievable poker cash game that’s designed for players who are in it to win it.”

Qualifiers available for low stakes players

Those players on a tight budget who would love to participate but perhaps don’t have the $5,100 buy-in needn’t worry. Qualifiers are running now at Americas Cardroom that start at a mere $1.50 on up.

With the first Cage event more than a month away, there is ample time for lower stakes players to win their entry into the tourney/cash game hybrid that may revolutionize online poker. It certainly is an interesting concept that already has players talking.

How many times have you played at an online cash game where a certain player wins a big pot or two and takes the money and runs? You want another shot at your cash but the winner may have already disappeared.

That won’t happen at The Cage, where the 3-hour time limit guarantees that each player must continue competing until the clock winds down to 0:00. Taking the money and running is not an option.

It will be interesting to see the number of entries for the first Cage event on Oct. 8. Perhaps player demand will cause WPN to offer the game at lower stake levels. Perhaps, too, other poker rooms and networks are lining up to copy the concept.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.