Mixed Game Festival IV Day 4 Recap: Ethan Yau, Jonathan Little, and lots of WSOP Bracelet Winners Enter the Fray

Word must have gotten around Las Vegas that the Mixed Game Festival IV was in full swing in the Resorts World poker room. There was an $8/$16 game that was still running from the night before and the list to start new games was so long that you could not read the bottom of it on the room’s screen! At the peak of Day 4 there were a total six low-stakes mixed game tables running simultaneously, a new record for a Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival (Ed. note: Which we can’t wait to break next time!) Many players showed up to play, but also specifically to have a chance to meet their poker heroes.

First to make an appearance on Day 4 was 2014 WSOP $10K HORSE bracelet winner Chris “Fox” Wallace. He signed a few copies of his book Getting Started with HORSE for the participants and then joined the festivities by sitting down to play in the $8/$16 mixed cash game.

As we sat there playing poker, a new $4/8 dealer’s choice table opened up featuring Norman Chad, Jan Fisher, and the First Lady of Poker Linda Johnson, who all returned to join in the festivities having had a blast playing and mixing it up in the cash games on Day 3. The table quickly filled up with fans who wanted the chance to play a hand of poker with them!

Jonathan Little and Justin Saliba brought not only hats to give out to randomly selected players, but also a few fans alongside them who couldn’t wait for the opportunity to play small-stakes poker with the professional crushers. Jonathan hopped into one of the $4/$8 mixed cash games where he offered tips and tricks on what to look for in a hand to play depending on the game that was being played. He also played Drawmaha for the first time and seemed to enjoy learning the new poker variant. It was unique to see someone with over $7 million in lifetime tournament earnings and such a brilliant, successful career in poker learn a new variant for the first time and arguably be the least experienced one at the table, where the majority of the players were already familiar with Drawmaha. Learning and enjoying the game were high on everyone’s agenda, but the chance to win a few bucks of the pros was likely the highlight for most.

A surprise visitor, popular vlogger and poker pro Ethan “Rampage” Yau, then popped in to Resorts World to see what all the fuss was about and to splash around in the $4/$8 streets of mixed game poker. Rampage had never played mixed game and was learning every single new poker variant on the spot! His first game that he played was 7 Card Super Stud 8 or better. This variation of poker is the same as 7 Card Stud 8 or better, but you are dealt four cards facing down and one facing up. You then choose which two of the four cards dealt to you to keep and discard the other two cards. From there you play as you would normally would play in a stud game. Ethan looked like he was doing well and managed to win a few hands right away!

READ MORE: Mixed Games Poker Guide — Stud Games

PokerGO’s Tim Duckworth also made an appearance to show his support for the event once again, as he has attended two prior Mixed Game Festivals here in Las Vegas. He was all smiles and was kind enough to answer questions from fellow players at the table about how content is created for PokerGO. He stayed many hours playing poker before it was time to call it a night.

The game of the day that was played is currently called Squid Game but some of you may know it as Oklahoma. This game was popular among many players not only because it was fun but also, the dealers also had a little sweat on the outcome of the hand. This is an Omaha style game where players are dealt five cards and then see three full boards as they try to make the best possible high hand. The catch is that on the end; the river with the lowest card is eliminated. What happens if all three rivers are the same? Well, if that happens then no one who is playing the hand can win the pot since there is no longer a board they can use to make a poker hand. In this instance the pot is awarded to… the dealer!

An Awesome, Positive Vibe Prevails in the Poker Room

Overall, there was a ton of laughter and good times being shared by all who attended and played at the half dozen tables throughout the day. Players were thrilled to meet some of the best players and poker industry personalities and listen to stories they had to share about their careers. Many poker books were signed. Lots of swag was given out to players via randomly drawn splash pots, thanks to great sponsors like D&B Poker, BBO Poker Tables, and RunGoodGear. The atmosphere was abuzz with excitement as numerous players hopped from table to table to get a chance to play with the poker celebrities in attendance.

Some of the Mixed Game Festival regulars that were in attendance to participate in the festivities, who we’d like to give special shout outs to, were Ruth, Pat, Chuck, and Chance. These players helped keep the games friendly and were always happy to explain the rules to games if someone was not familiar with a game. More than once during the day I heard players compliment the friendliness of the community and how they made the game fun!

Grand Finale H.O.R.S.E. Tournament

The festival’s marquee event, a $260 H.O.R.S.E tournament, is set to begin at 2:05 PM Las Vegas time today, March 23rd. It will include a prize package sponsored by PokerStars to play at December’s European Poker Tour stop in Prague. You’ll get roundtrip airfare for one, four-nights’ accommodation, and the opportunity to mix it up with poker greats in a €550 buy-in mixed game tournament.

We’re expecting a field of over 100 players, including a who’s who of mixed game poker, to be duking it out at the felt for top prize and the value added prize package. The final day of Mixed Game Festival IV will also be your last chance to score some awesome merch and other great prizes… until the next festival!



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Brian Bizzy Gutierrez
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Brian “Bizzy” Gutierrez

Bizzy has tried to live life through traditional forms of employment. He started out as a cook, eventually went to school, and completed a degree in Information Security. In addition to being a cardplayer he is also a gamer, movie geek, comic collector, and traveler. Bizzy met his wife on one of many travels and […]

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