Mixed Game Festival

Mixed Game Festival: What and Why?

The Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival is a recurring live event series that promotes and showcases non-Texas Hold’em poker variants. The brainchild of this site’s founder, Robbie Strazynski, the Mixed Game Festival is designed to offer players a chance to experience different poker variants for low stakes in a competitive and fun-filled environment.

The featured attraction of Mixed Game Festivals is $4/8 fixed limit dealer’s choice cash games, meaning that the full spectrum of poker variants from flop, draw, and stud categories is on display. Beyond the traditional mix of games you’d find contested at the WSOP Dealer’s Choice bracelet events, numerous Drawmaha variants are often played, as are the occasional “home game specials” with innovative tweaks to game rules, such as “Action” (Razz), “Super” (Stud), and “Blood River”.

In addition to the cash games, low buy-in mixed game tournaments such as O/E (Omaha 8 or Better/Stud 8 or Better) and H.O.R.S.E. are occasionally on the festival’s schedule.

Mixed Game Festival logo

What Makes a Mixed Game Series “Festive”?

Beyond the main attraction of cash games and the occasional tournament, Mixed Game Festivals always boast plenty of “extras” that turn these gatherings of mixed game aficionados and fans into truly festive occasions.

Poker Celebrities

If you’re not a high-stakes regular, the opportunity to play with top tier professional poker players, legends, and personalities usually only occurs by chance, if you randomly get seated at their tables in tournaments. These interactions always provide the recreational poker players and fans with memorable experiences and stories to tell.

Thankfully, many big name players and notables in the poker community understand the importance of growing the game at a grassroots level, and we’re fortunate that our Mixed Game Festivals have their active and ongoing support.

Past visitors to the Mixed Game Festival have included Poker Hall of Famers Linda Johnson and Eli Elezra, Women in Poker Hall of Famers Lupe Soto, Debbie Burkhead, and Jan Fisher, WSOP bracelet winners and WPT Champions like Greg Raymer, “Miami” John Cernuto, Dylan Linde, Ari Engel, Tony Dunst, Chris Wallace, Justin Saliba, Nathan Gamble, Andrew Yeh, Kevin Gerhart, Ethan “Rampage” Yau, Scott Abrams, Brian Hastings, Jonathan Little, and popular industry personalities like Ali Nejad, Matt Savage, Joey Ingram, and Norman Chad.

poker celebrities mixed game festival

Merchandise and Prizes

Throughout its history, the Mixed Game Festival has boasted some of the industry’s premier operators as title sponsors, including PokerStars, the World Poker Tour, and the Moneymaker Tour. Additional sponsors have included popular industry organizations like Pokercoaching.com, BBO Poker Tables, Faded Spade Playing Cards, RunGoodGear, D&B Poker, and PokerGO.

Through their support of our Mixed Game Festivals, the aforementioned companies have made it possible for us to give away tens of thousands of dollars worth of prizes and merchandise to attendees over the years.

More Than Just Poker

Aside from the poker, occasionally Mixed Game Festivals will feature special events such as poker trivia competitions, scavenger hunts, poker book signings, and beginner lessons. Past poker book signings have featured: Greg Raymer, Eli Elezra, Bernard Lee, Dylan Linde, Amanda Botfeld, and Chris Wallace. Instructors for our beginner lessons have included Linda Johnson, Lupe Soto, and Scott Abrams.

Typically, each festival will kick off with a pizza party. In the past, many frequent Mixed Game Festival attendees have further enhanced the atmosphere by bringing donuts, cookies, and other homemade treats for their fellow players to enjoy. Plus, Strazynski can usually be found handing out chocolates and candies throughout each festival.

Mixed Game Festival History




October 4-7, 2021 Westgate Las Vegas PSPC Platinum Pass


June 12-16, 2022 Resorts World Las Vegas Road to PSPC Package


October 25-27, 2022 Portomaso Casino, Malta Malta Poker Festival Seat


March 19-23, 2023 Resorts World Las Vegas EPT Prague Package


July 2-6, 2023 Resorts World Las Vegas EPT Cyprus Package


November 26-30, 2023 Resorts World Las Vegas WPT Voyage


February 25-29, 2024 Resorts World Las Vegas NAPT Package


June 16-20, 2024 Bellagio Las Vegas Moneymaker Tour Seats

Mixed Game Festival I

Our inaugural Mixed Game Festival at Westgate Las Vegas featured three days of cash games leading up to our grand finale $200 buy-in HORSE tournament. When the dust settled, 2004 WSOP Main Event champion Greg Raymer emerged victorious from a 124-player field to win $4,911 + a $30,000 Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players Championship II.

RECAPS: DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4

Mixed Game Festival II

Our second festival took us to Resorts World Las Vegas for the first time. For every hour of $4/8 dealer’s choice cash games played, each participant got an entry into an end-of-event drawing for a $2,000 PokerStars Road to PSPC package. The winner was Malta’s Martin Smith, who (perhaps fittingly) had logged the most hours of cash game play with an astonishing 60+.

RECAPS: DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5

Mixed Game Festival III

Our third festival took us beyond U.S. borders for the very first time. The three day affair saw a €5/€10 dealer’s choice cash game table running literally 24/7 throughout the festival, which was capped off by a 59-entry €230 buy-in HORSE event won by Romain Nardin, who won €4,000 + a seat in the €550 Malta Poker Festival Grand Final.


Mixed Game Festival IV

For our fourth festival, in addition to the cash games, we spread a pair of tournaments for the first time. All-time tournament cash leader “Miami” John Cernuto added to his total, winning our 61-player $260 O/E in marvelous fashion for $4,375, defeating Ari Engel heads up. Bill Watchman emerged from an 81-player $260 HORSE field after a 3-way chop to win $3,663 + the $3,000 EPT Prague prize package.

RECAPS: DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5

Mixed Game Festival V

Our fifth festival was the first in which our daily recaps began featuring a Player of the Day. This innovation helps to showcase how players from all walks of life get drawn to mixed game poker, and how fun-filled non-Hold’em variants can be regardless of whichever demographic you fall into. The $3,000 EPT Cyprus package grand prize was once again awarded based on a random drawing, which players getting an entry for each hour played. Alek Gillies, a literal mixed game first timer, got picked as the lucky winner on the festival’s final day.

RECAPS: DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5

Mixed Game Festival VI

Our sixth festival saw a pair of tournaments re-incorporated into the schedule along with a new sponsor, the World Poker Tour. Eric Rivkin won the $260 buy-in O/E event, defeating a 49-player field for $2,747. Meanwhile, Ari Engel pulled out all the stops to take down our $260 HORSE event, emerging victorious atop a 85-player field for $4,858 + the $5,000 WPT Voyage prize package.

RECAPS: DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5

Mixed Game Festival VII

Our seventh festival took us back to Resorts World Las Vegas and we also brought back PokerStars as our title sponsor. Our grand finale $300 H.E.R.O.S. tournament boasted a modest 36-player field, with top prize of $3,345 + the a $3,000 NAPT prize package being won by Joe Santagata. Meanwhile, veteran poker reporter and writer Mike Patrick won our 27-player $300 buy-in O/E event for $2,695.

RECAPS: DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5

Mixed Game Festival VIII

Our eighth festival took place at Bellagio Las Vegas for the very first time, from June 16-20, 2024. The title sponsor was the Moneymaker Tour, with the grand prize being five seats ($400 value apiece) to Moneymaker Tour side events. Randomly selected players had to answer trivia questions about Chris Moneymaker in order to win.

Mixed Game Plaques

For those who haven’t yet attended our Mixed Game Festivals, as well as for those who have and want to keep the fun going right from the comfort of your own homes, Cardplayer Lifestyle is pleased to offer branded mixed game plaques.

These professional-grade mixed game plaques are made to order by Poured Not Stirred, with over two dozen game variants available. When you purchase 5 plaques or more, a 15% discount will automatically be applied to your order.


Mixed Game Poker Strategy Resources

In addition to promoting the advancement of mixed game poker via our Mixed Game Festivals, Cardplayer Lifestyle has also published a good deal of mixed game poker strategy material over the years. The highest concentration of such content can be found in our excellent Mixed Games Poker Guide, as well as its subcomponents that go into great detail about Stud Games, Flop Games, and Draw Games.

Mixed Games