Walking into Resorts World’s poker room it felt peaceful and chill. Players names started to appear on the waitlist for Day 3 of the Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival IV around 11:30 AM PST and an hour later the games began. The not so early, early bird game had begun.
— Criminal Bizzy (@Criminal_Bizzy) March 21, 2023
We started playing seven handed and all agreed to start with one of Robbie Strazynski’s favorite games, “Hold’Em – Omaha” (a.k.a., “SOHE” or “SHOP”), a game where you are dealt six cards and then split your hand into one Hold’Em hand and one Omaha hand before the flop. Other poker games in the rotation included Drawmaha, 2-7 triple draw, Badugi, Omaha Best Best, Super Stud, and Badeucey. Apparently, someone called Razz on Robbie, but I was unable to find anyone who could corroborate his tweet.
— Robbie Strazynski (@cardplayerlife) March 21, 2023
Soon we were joined by Dylan Linde and we had a full game! Linde stopped by to enjoy playing some of the mixed games with the attendees of the Mixed Game Festival and to sign copies of his book Mastering Mixed Games, which can be obtained during the festival for a discounted price of $20, of which proceeds benefit the charity Poker Gives. They are a non-profit organization that distributes funds to assist military families, homeless veterans, and youth programs in Las Vegas, Nevada. While playing at the table, Dylan was happy to answer any questions about games and gave out advice about how hands were played. Scott, a newer player from Florida who is quickly finding the enjoyment of mixed games, took full advantage of this as he is learning how to navigate the poker hands.
The waitlist quickly filled up as more players started to find their way back to Day 3 of the Mixed Game Festival. Plenty of great merch, including hoodies (courtesy of PokerGO and RunGoodGear), portable poker table mats (courtesy of BBO Poker Tables), and books (courtesy of D&B Poker) were being given away to players via randomly drawn splash pots.
Players could find a mix game at many different levels. There main games for the festival were $4/$8 but if that wasn’t enough to get your blood pumping you could test your skill at $8/$16, and the regular $80/$160 and $300/$600 mixed were also running in the room. The room was full of poker players and you could hear the laughter emanating from all tables as they enjoyed themselves in playing the countless different variations of poker.
Poker Hall of Famer Eli Elezra came to Resorts World to join in on the fun and sign copies of his autobiography Pulling the Trigger. He decided to sit down and show Robbie how to play his stack and splashed around a bit while we all played Baduecy.
Numerous players were excited about getting the chance to play with Eli, but perhaps nobody more than Florida’s Brian Dowd, who recorded a short video to document the moment.
What’s it like playing $4/8 Dealer’s Choice with a Poker Hall of Famer?
Florida’s Brian Dowd shares his emotional experience sharing the felt with @elielezra1.
Day 4 starts within the hour. pic.twitter.com/ll1plDdwXt
— Robbie Strazynski (@cardplayerlife) March 22, 2023
Legendary poker commentator Norman Chad also came out to play. He was not due to appear until Day 4 but could not resist the chance to mixed it up at the felt. Players almost had the opportunity to watch him go heads up against Eli Elezra in a Dealer’s Choice game, but Norman politely declined, informing Eli that he was in attendance for the fans!
The games kept running into the night and until the wee hours of the morning. The mixed games outlasted all the other tables in the room. Some players even made a late night delivery order of pizza so that they could continue to play without having to leave the game. The final orbit we all agreed to play “Fun Under the Gun”. A game where the players are dealt their hands but then the under the gun player gets to look at their hand and decide what game to play. Typically this game is played with four cards but to give us more options the game was played with five. The $4/$8 game finally broke around 6:30 AM as players said they would see each other in a few hours to start another game. An $8/$16 game was still running, the last table with players in the room. It would not be surprising to see everyone bright an early, but not so early, for Day 4 of the Mixed Game Festival.
Day 4 and 5 Preview
Wednesday will feature the continuation of dealer’s choice cash games. WSOP $10K HORSE bracelet winner Chris “Fox” Wallace will be in attendance with his pen ready to sign copies of his book Getting Started with HORSE. Copies of the book can be obtained for $25, with proceeds benefitting Poker Gives. Thursday will feature the festival’s marquee event, a $260 H.O.R.S.E. tournament with a chance to win an EPT Prague prize package, sponsored by PokerStars. The package with an estimated total value of over $3,000 will include:
- €550 buy-in to a Mixed Game tournament
- Roundtrip airfare for one
- Four nights’ accommodation
Cardplayer Lifestyle’s Mixed Game Festival is truly one of the best events to look forward to in Las Vegas. Where else will you see poker celebrities who usually tee off for nosebleed stakes mixing it up with weekend warriors and home game heroes?
Many laughs, hugs, and bad beats are shared as players spend time catching up with each other and teaching different forms of poker. It doesn’t matter how good you are at poker; we just want to share our passion for the many, many games. Don’t be shy about joining us for a few orbits. Trust me, it will be the most fun you will ever have losing money. I myself didn’t book a win and I still ended the day — er, morning? — with a big smile.