Mixed Game Festival V Day 1 Recap: Setting the Stage for a Massive Week Ahead

By Hill Kerby
July 03, 2023

A palpable excitement was in the air to kick off the Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival V on Sunday at noon. The festival will run for five days through Thursday, July 6, featuring low-stakes dealer’s choice and mixed cash games, daily merchandise giveaways, a trivia competition, poker book signings, and more.

Players representing all corners of the globe began filling the poker room inside Resorts World Las Vegas a little after 11 a.m. and were eager to get the cards in the air. Play officially began closer to 12:15, as Cardplayer Lifestyle’s owner and founder Robbie Strazynski first welcomed everybody with a pizza party to ring in the festival.

Let the Games Begin!

Three full tables of players quickly devoured the pizzas and began selecting their games of choice.

The first giveaway came on the day’s first hand. Robbie announced that the best badugi in a split-pot game would also receive their choice of a Jim Donahue-authored poker book.

In some cases, players chose to subject others – namely Robbie – to Razz. Apparently, that’s a thing 😉

BBO Poker Tables Founder and CEO George Chao stopped by in the opening hours of the festival to sing his praises for the Mixed Game Festival V. Chao also delivered a half dozen portable table mats that will be given away to the winners of our Poker Trivia Competition on Monday, July 3, at 11:30 a.m, Scavenger Hunt on Tuesday July 4, at 11 a.m., and a few other luckily drawn random winners throughout the festival. Player of the Day – Nadi Medlege

New to the Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival V, we are featuring a “Player of the Day” each day during the festival, sponsored by As a reminder, all Mixed Game Festival V attendees can receive a free one-week membership to Premium just by asking Robbie in person for the special link. Read on for specific details of what that entails.

Nadi Medlege became the first ever Player of the Day. Medlege is in town from Lebanon and played a full session on Sunday, but not without taking a few moments to speak about his love for mixed game poker.

Medlege’s roots in poker date back to 2000. He started playing at the Aviation Club in Paris, and recently relocated to Lebanon to be closer to family, but only spends about half the year there.

As for the other half?

Well, Medlege takes two trips each year to Las Vegas and stays for about three months each time. When he’s in town, he said he always plays mixed games at Resorts World, usually playing $8/$16 or $20/$40.

Medlege credited the variety he enjoys in mixed games to his ability to play long sessions. He said it’s harder for him to play longer sessions of No-Limit Hold’em than mixed games, with his longest marathon session to date coming in at 32 hours.

He added, “I love mixed games, and I think it would be so good for the game if everybody learned them!”

Four Tables of Play Mark a Successful Day 1

Resorts World’s poker room was electric all day Sunday. The Mixed Game Festival V had a double-digit waiting list due to a packed house, along with the casino’s regular cash game offerings and another successful tournament for the room this summer.

A fourth table of play opened just after 8 p.m., easing the wait list and bringing even more energy to the room. A trio of veteran and newer industry writers, Yori Epskamp, Mike Patrick, and Jeremy Geist, took a break from their busy roles at PokerNews to jump into the action.

It didn’t take long before a post-it note made its way onto a placard on the felt for the game, Watermelon. Players each received four cards, just like Omaha, before the dealer brought three boards. Each board’s winner got a point at the end of the hand, and the player with the most points took down the pot.

Eventually, players took things to another level and ate watermelon while playing Watermelon!

Perhaps expected, players took full advantage of the dealer’s choice format, with fun variants being chosen on the regular. Badugi had a steady presence, often in split-pot games like Razzdugi, Drawmaha High-Dugi, and Badacey.

We’ll see if those games remain a constant over the remainder of the festival, or if players change things up a bit in the coming days.

Remaining Schedule of Events

One full day may be in the books, but we’re only 20% of the way through the fifth iteration of the Mixed Game Festival.

There’s still a full slate of events scheduled for the rest of the festival, and we look forward to seeing more new faces join the ones who are already looking forward to being with us all week. If you’re looking to pop in, please do! We’ll have cash games going until the wee hours of the morning, along with the following promotions:

  • Monday, July 3: Poker Trivia Competition at 11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, July 4: Scavenger Hunt at 11 a.m.
  • Book signings from mixed games legends like Poker Hall of Famer Eli Elezra and WSOP/WPT champion Dylan Linde
  • Celebrity visits from other famous names in the poker world. Players such as Greg Raymer, Linda Johnson, Jonathan Little, “Miami” John Cernuto, Justin Saliba, Jan Fisher, and Ari Engel have regularly appeared at past festivals.

MGF V Schedule

*Our daily coverage of Mixed Game Festival V is brought to you, with much appreciation, courtesy of PokerStars.



Sign up
Hill Kerby poker author
Written By.

Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby grew up with a deck of cards always within reach at his parents’ homes, and was one of the millions to get seriously into the game in 2003 thanks to Chris Moneymaker. He primarily played online until Black Friday in 2011, when he moved away from the game temporarily to finish school. Hill […]

Latest Post


Mixed Game Festival VIII

Pokercoaching All Access

WPTGlobal Welcome Offer

Don’t miss our top stories, exclusive offers and giveaways!