Joe Cada is best known for winning the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event and becoming the youngest champion in history at age 21. He is primarily an online poker player and has more than $500,000 online tournament winnings to date. Now at the young age of 22, his total live tournament winnings exceed $8.5 million.
PokerStars, the largest poker site in the world and sponsor of Cada, have announced a new promotion that gives you the chance to fly to Las Vegas and meet the reigning champ. Winners will travel to Sin City, play in the newly announced North American Poker Tour (NAPT), and get to meet the 2009 WSOP Champion. The best part about the promotion is that players can participate and potentially qualify for free.
All you have to do is play in daily freerolls or $1.10 satellites to win your way into one of the Weekly Finals. If you make it there, you get to play for a seat in the Grand Final, which is where the prize package will be awarded. It includes entry into the NAPT Main Event at the Venetian, travel to and from major U.S. airports, five nights accommodation, a day with Cada, and $1,000 in spending money.
There are free-to-enter satellites for the Meet Joe Cada promotion running until February 12th that award seats to the Weekly Final. To register, open the PokerStars lobby and click on “Tourney” and then “Regional.” The daily freeroll takes place at 21:00 ET and the top 45 get seats in the Weekly Final. There are also $1.10 satellites running at 20:00 ET and 23:00 ET where one out of every five players entered get weekly Final Seats. The Weekly Finals take place at 18:30 ET on January 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st as well as February 7th and 13th. Each awards 18 seats in the Grand Final, which will take place at 21:00 ET on February 13th.
Spending a day with Cada affords the unique opportunity for any aspiring professional or casual poker player to pick the brain of one of the world’s best. Although he was not legally allowed to play in casinos prior to age 21 in the United States, Cada traveled to Canada to play live at the age of 19. According to industry sources, he went on a $150,000 downswing prior to the 2009 WSOP Main Event that required him to find a financial backer. From there, Cada turned his poker life around and won the WSOP Main Event. Now, he plays approximately 2,000 hands per day at PokerStars under the user name “jcada99” in both tournaments and cash games.
Cada’s story that took him to the top of the poker industry is one that many have identified with. His mother is a blackjack dealer and his father was hit by the recession, as his automotive job was eliminated in a layoff. He has become vocal in the press, fighting for rights to allow citizens of the United States to play online poker legally. In an interview with Time Magazine, Cada said, “”I support the right to play poker online. Poker isn’t gambling. It’s a hobby, an activity, a game. It’s not about luck… This is an important issue and hopefully we’ll see it resolved soon.”
The opportunity to meet a World Champion cannot have a dollar figure attached to it. The invitation to play in the NAPT Main Event in Las Vegas, however, is worth a pretty penny. The NAPT Main Event in Las Vegas will take place at the Venetian from February 20th to 24th, with a buy-in of $4,750+$250. Players who want to qualify for this event don’t have to go through the Meet Joe Cada promotion and can instead look to many of the satellites running on PokerStars.