Mixed Game Festival III Day 3: All Good Things Come to an End

By Ivan Potocki
October 28, 2022

Yesterday was the last official day of Mixed Game Festival III, and, once again, players started to gather for some dealer’s choice cash game action at Portomaso Casino here in Malta at around 2 PM. A few of the most degenerate dedicated 😉 ones were there right from the start, while a few more fresh – as well as familiar – faces joined later on.

The action on the felt was similar to that of the previous day, with everyone choosing a game they liked the most and virtually no limits as to what games were allowed — save for for one notable exception…

Things would get pretty crazy at times, even for some seasoned mixed game regulars. For some variations, dealers had to consult the players, but overall everyone was very chill about it. One other notable change from the previous day’s cash game action was the introduction of €1/€1 pot limit mixed games that were interspersed with the €5/€10 fixed limit ones. Betting per player was capped at €150 though, so things didn’t get too out of hand, and no player really got “stung” too hard.

I spoke to a few of the players – both Malta locals as well as those who flew in from abroad to attend – to hear what they had to say about Mixed Game Festival III, what it meant to them, and whether it was all they had hoped for and looked forward to.

Full Focus on Having Fun

Being a poker player myself, I understand that people don’t like being distracted while at the table, so I did my best to catch them between the hands and chat with them. Everyone I talked to was more than happy to take a few minutes and share their thoughts about the Festival and mixed games in general.

Milko van Winden, from Pokercode, was one of those who came to attend the Mixed Game Festival for the first time. He wanted to get involved since the very first one, but the two that took place in the US were, unfortunately, out of reach. But when Robbie announced the one in Malta, he knew he had to come.

Hailing from the Netherlands, this festival provided a great opportunity for him not only to play some mixed games as this is no longer an option in his country (even online), but also to reconnect with a friend who relocated to Malta over a year ago. So, it was a win-win proposition in multiple ways.

Martin Smith is a local player, and he kindly invited me to sit down and join the fun. Unlike many people you might meet at the poker tables, it was clear he wasn’t doing it with a goal of “taking my money.” He was genuinely having a great time and enjoying himself and just wanted others to share that joy. He was one of those players who pretty much played every minute of both cash game sessions, as well as in the Day 1 HORSE tournament.

This was Martin’s second time joining the Mixed Game Festival after playing in Las Vegas earlier this year (and winning the event’s grand prize!). He told me, and I was a bit surprised to hear, that the mixed game live scene in Malta was quite lively and that they played cash games regularly, a couple of times a week. Martin also told me he doesn’t play Hold’em all that often and explained what playing mixed games meant for him:

“I love mixed games for the challenge of having to think about a different game every few hands. We all want to win each other’s money, obviously, but we are here to be sociable and have fun.”

As the action was unfolding, another player made an appearance, rocking a T-shirt from the previous Mixed Game Festival. He knew Robbie and a few other players at the table, and, as it turned out, he was on a cruise that so happened to stop at Malta during the Festival. Jerry just couldn’t miss the opportunity to come over, say hi, and play some poker.

Until Next Time!

I left the cash game area around 2 AM. As I was leaving, players were debating starting a second table as a few more people were supposed to arrive. So, although it was late into the night, the last thing anyone was thinking about was quitting. Most players were already discussing potential plans to have an unscheduled Saturday night session, too!

Having felt the atmosphere and after talking to some of them, I can certainly understand why. If you enjoy the game of poker for the fun and challenge of it, you’ll hardly find a better bunch of people to play with. As Martin nicely put it, they want to take each other’s money, but that’s just a small secondary part of the whole experience. It’s about the fun and camaraderie that you just can’t put a price tag on.

Mixed Game Festival III may officially be over, but I have a distinct feeling that considering how well everything went, there will be future festivals to come in Malta, other places in Europe, and other further flung destination as well.



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Ivan Potocki poker author
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Ivan Potocki

Ivan Potocki transitioned to poker writing after playing more or less full-time for about five years. He first discovered poker while studying English Language and Literature at the University of Sarajevo. What started with freerolls and micro-stakes games led to a love for poker, opening gates to a whole different world. After finishing his studies […]

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