Cardplayer Lifestyle’s Mixed Game Festival IV capped off another successful series at Resorts World Las Vegas yesterday with a $260 H.O.R.S.E. tournament that drew appearances from some of the most familiar faces from throughout the poker community.
The fifth and final day of the festival marked the end of the fourth iteration of Robbie Strazynski’s gathering of mixed game fans and aficionados. Eighty-one players turned out to play for a total prize pool of $17,820 — along with the grand prize of a trip to EPT Prague to play in a mixed game event as a value added bonus for the winner.
The grand prize trip came courtesy of PokerStars, and it includes roundtrip airfare for one, four night’s accommodation, and a buy-in to a mixed game tournament up to €550 at this December’s PokerStars European Poker Tour stop in Prague.
The $260 finale kicked off at 2 p.m. and the field piled in quickly before registration closed at the end of the first break. Mixed game tournaments aren’t offered in Las Vegas as often as no-limit hold’em, so the chance to play H.O.R.S.E. for a free trip to Prague attracted some of the bigger names from the local poker scene.
Thanks to the 81 players who came out to @PokerRoomRWLV to play in our $260 @PokerLifeMedia HORSE tournament today, as #MixedGameFestival IV draws to a close.
Over $5.5k to the winner + and EPT Prague prize package sponsored by @PokerStars pic.twitter.com/FeBzNzlo5q
— Robbie Strazynski (@cardplayerlife) March 23, 2023
PokerGO’s Jeff Platt took a break from the US Poker Open at the Aria to jump into the tournament. He busted out before things could get serious, but he got his H.O.R.S.E. fix before a long weekend at the PokerGO Studio. World Series of Poker commentator Norman Chad also stopped by to say hello, along with Linda Johnson and Jan Fisher.
Many people come up to me and say, “Jeff, I bet you’d be so good at mixed games”
I say “yea, you’re probably right”
So I think I’ll go play the $260 HORSE tourney today at 2pm over at @pokerroomrwlv, the Main of the @pokerlifemedia Mixed Game Festival.
— Jeff Platt (@jeffplatt) March 23, 2023
“Miami John” Cernuto was among the others in attendance, and he was joined by two-time bracelet winner Ari Engel. Cernuto took down the Omaha 8/Stud 8 tournament earlier in the series, and Engel finished in second. Both players failed to qualify for the money in H.O.R.S.E., but they’ll likely be found together again soon at a final table in another mixed game tournament.
Finished 2nd (again) to the legend @MiamiJohnC in @PokerRoomRWLV @PokerLifeMedia @cardplayerlife 61 entry $260 OE tournament
— Ari Engel (@AriEngelPoker) March 21, 2023
The Final Table
The top 12 places paid a min-cash of $421 and the winner was slated to take home $5,517, along with the EPT Prague prize package worth over $3,000. Ryan Leonis had the bitter honor of busting out on the bubble, but his despair was short lived and he was refunded his $260 buy-in, courtesy of PokerCoaching.com’s bubble protection.
Tournament players battled for nearly 12 hours until Warren Coleman, Bill Watchman, and Denis Nesterenko were the only three players remaining just after 1 a.m. local time. Coleman hails from England and Watchman has several wins over the last decade in a number of poker variants. Interestingly enough, Nesterenko won a bracelet last year in the $1,500 2-7 Triple Draw event at the 2022 World Series of Poker.
Ryan Leonis is the bubble boy in 13th place of our @PokerLifeMedia #MixedGameFestival IV grand finale.
Gets his $260 buy in back courtesy of @PokerCoaching_ pic.twitter.com/lXUS9jOa3p
— Robbie Strazynski (@cardplayerlife) March 24, 2023
The final three players agreed to bring the tournament to an end and flipped for the trip to EPT Prague. Watchman won the runout and he will be headed to the Czech Republic in December for the poker trip of a lifetime.
Congratulations to Bill Watchman, of Las Vegas, for winning the @PokerStars-sponsored EPT Prague prize package and taking home over $4k in winnings after an ICM chop of @PokerLifeMedia #MixedGameFestival IV at @PokerRoomRWLV pic.twitter.com/ve66zC1cCa
— Robbie Strazynski (@cardplayerlife) March 24, 2023
A Look Back at Mixed Game Festival IV
Day 1 kicked off the fourth Mixed Game Festival with three tables of $4/$8 Dealer’s Choice and free pizza offered throughout the day. WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage was one of the poker personalities to check out the early action, and he was joined by a steady stream of poker players from near and far.
Day 2 gave way to the O8 tournament, won by the aforementioned Cernuto, who bested a field of 61 players to take the top prize of $4,375. Day 3 brought out book signings by Dylan Linde, Chris “Fox” Wallace, and Eli Elezra, with bomb pots and Mixed Game Festival merchandise flowing all week long, while Day 4 saw the Pokercoaching.com crew enter the fray, headed by Jonathan Little and Justin Saliba, along with popular poker vlogger Ethan “Rampage” Yau. The Day 5 finale was a fitting end to a week full of great mixed games and new friendships with poker players from around the world.
It was another successful festival in the books for Cardplayer Lifestyle, and players are already looking forward to the next one. Be sure to join the Cardplayer Lifestyle newsletter to be among the first to find out where and when the next Mixed Game Festival will be.