Ari Engel Wins Mixed Game Festival VI $260 HEROS Tournament, WPT Voyage Prize Package

By Christina Bradfield
December 01, 2023

The exciting conclusion of Cardplayer Lifestyle’s Mixed Game Festival VI at Resorts World, Las Vegas saw Ari Engel winning $4,858 and the $5,000 World Poker Tour Voyage Prize Package after a heads-up chop with Jamie Wheeler in the $260 buy-in HEROS Tournament on Thursday. Ari beat a field which included tons of crushers like Jeff Madsen, Linda Johnson, “Miami” John Cernuto, Scott Abrams, and Bob Mather.

Ari has been having a banner year and has over $8 million in live earnings according to Hendon Mob. He is also atop the leaderboard in WSOP Circuit Rings with 16. His top cash so far has come from 2016’s Aussie Millions for over $1.1 million. He was heads-up with “Miami” John Cernuto at March’s Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival IV.

HEROS Mixed Game Festival Grand Finale

The HEROS Mixed Game Festival VI grand finale started at noon, ending after 1am. The prize pool reached a rock solid $18,700, with 13 players cashing out of a field of 85, and the winner winning $4,858 along with the $5000 WPT Voyage Prize package.

The day was kicked off by special guest WPT commentator Tony Dunst announcing shuffle up and deal!

Poker mixed game enthusiasts ran the gamut from recreational players that have attended multiple Cardplayer Lifestyle Festivals, to newcomers that were experiencing either the tournament or cash games which ran simultaneously to the tournament later in the day.

TJ Reid

Representatives of multiple media outlets came to play and support the tournament such as TJ Reid from Poker.Org, who came in sixth on his birthday, to the WPT’s own Eric Lusch who finished in 4th place, and Chad Holloway from PokerNews, who had a stacked table including Linda Johnson, “Miami” John Cernuto, Jeff Madsen, and Jeanne David.

Marsha Waggoner

Marsha Waggoner, Jan Fisher, Louise Francoeur, Debi Cheek, and Holly Gordon were also in attendance. Women comprised approximately 15% of the players, and every woman in attendance received copies of  Amanda Botfeld’s A Girl’s Guide to Poker. Player of the Day — Sarah Howell

Sarah Howell nabbed the last Player of the Day title. “I’ve wanted to attend all week, but I finally made it out today!” she exclaimed. A Vegas local, she came to the festival for the first time earlier this year. The kindness and generosity of other players helping her navigate different mixed games (and how much fun she had), had her yearning to return for MGF VI.

Sarah loves the math and psychology of mixed games, the competition, and the interesting people you meet at the tables. She’s also an avid advocate of rescue dogs. She just recently experienced her first foster fail, and now has Kingsley and Spike as a part of her family.

Sarah Howell

The Mixed Game Festival’s mascot returned for the last day with its’ owner Ruth to finish out the festival and was joined by Jonathan Hamilton’s card protector “Rowlet”.

Jonathan Hamilton

More Day 5 Action

Josef Strazynski, Robbie Strazynski’s father, beat out half the field, and Eli Elezra, five-time WSOP bracelet winner, again made his way through the festival on his way into his high-stakes game in an adjoining room.

Josef Strazynski

Splash pots were also randomly handed out to players in the tournament. One  included the book “Dramaha” by Jim Donahue and a PokerGO drawstring bag which was awarded to Tyler Willse.

Tyler Willse

Matt Savage, World Poker Tour Executive Tour Director, flew in from Florida and made his way directly to the Resorts World Poker Room to award Ari with the $5,000 WPT Voyage Prize Package, making an exciting end to the tournament and festival.

Resorts World, as always, did an amazing job of hosting the event and providing the perfect backdrop to the festival.

Leon Wheeler and David Slowik

More and more, attendees of Cardplayer Lifestyle’s Mixed Game Festivals are becoming like a family, one that invites new people to come and enjoy more options in which to play poker. It’s a village of mixed game enthusiasts, and your seat awaits you at the next Festival!

Our Daily coverage of Mixed Game Festival VI is brought to you, with much appreciation, courtesy of WPT Voyage.



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Christina Bradfield poker author
Written By.

Christina Bradfield

Christina Bradfield is an author currently living in Las Vegas. Her love for poker began at a young age when her mother introduced her to Texas Hold’em in a home game where she learned not to put her cash winnings in her pockets.

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