Mixed Game Festival VI Day 2 Recap: Eli Elezra’s Surprise Visit & Dozens for the O/E Tourney

By Connor Richards
November 28, 2023

Day 2 of Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival VI at Resorts World Las Vegas had a lot to follow after a first day of mixed game action that featured a pizza party and a Poker Hall of Famer appearance. But Day 2 proved to be just as exciting. Not only did the dozens of attendees have the choice of hopping into a low-stakes cash game or taking a shot in the $260 buy-in Omaha 8/Stud 8 tournament, but yet another Poker Hall of Famer made a surprise appearance to the delight of the mixed game early birds.

For every big poker name in attendance on Monday, there were several home game heroes who traveled from all over the country and even from other countries to take part in the mixed game festivities. That was the case for Roger and Rob, two friends from Ontario, Canada who ventured to Sin City just to battle in their first Mixed Game Festival.

Mixed Game Festival VI

From left to right : Roger, Mark, and Rob

Hall of Famer Eli Elezra Plays White Chip Poker

The first $4/$8 Mixed Game Festival cash game started up around noon with players including Chuck Martin and our founder Robbie Strazynski in the mix. As the short-handed table grew, those early participants were pleasantly shocked to see none other than Poker Hall of Famer and five-time WSOP bracelet winner Eli Elezra pop in to play a few hands of “white chip poker” as he waited for his high-stakes table to open.

“I used to play $2,000/$4,000 at Bellagio!” Elezra exclaimed as he sat down and put out an $8 under-the-gun straddle in the Double Board Omaha game.

The high-stakes legend, who has made Mixed Game Festival appearances before, ending up scooping the pot and posed for a few fan photos before going back to the nosebleeds. The game went back to normal as players sighed that they “haven’t had a nut Badugi since 1975” and mimicked Canadian accents to bring laughs from Rob and Roger.

Eli Elezra poses for a photo

After several giveaways that included a Faded Spade 2-deck setup and a copy of D&B Poker and independent author Jim Donahue’s SOHE (Simultaneous Omaha and Hold’em), a second $4/$8 table opened open as some of the early O/E tournament casualties made a transition to cash.

Everyone loves winning free playing cards

Rivkin Wins O/E Tournament; Chang Last Woman Standing

As the cash game action was playing out across the room, the $260 Omaha 8/Stud 8 tournament field was growing and eventually reached 49 players for a prize pool of $10,780. Women in Poker Hall of Famers Linda Johnson and Jan Fisher were among the early entrants in the field, as were Poker.Org’s TJ Reid  and Robbie’s father, Dr. Josef Strazynski.

O/E tournament action

It took hours for the first player to bust but things picked up from there before the final table of eight formed with eight spots paid. Kathy Chang went out in 8th place for $392, but her spirits were high as she won a free 15-minute massage and a copy of Amanda Botfeld‘s A Girl’s Guide to Poker for being the last woman standing (women comprised 20% of the tournament field).

The tournament field dwindled further, and eventually Eric Rivkin was determined the winner via ICM chop to take home a little over $2,700. The New York native with more than $1 million in tournament earnings is clearly no rookie in the tournament streets and recently won a $160 No-Limit Hold’em Daily in the same Resorts World Poker Room for $1,405.

Most of Rivkin’s Hendon Mob cashes are of the NLH variety, but an emphasis on mixed game tournaments may be in order after his recent Omaha 8/Stud 8 victory. Player of the Day — Danielle White

While she didn’t arrive until later in the evening, you would be hard-pressed to name someone who brought more energy and high spirits to Day 2 of Mixed Game Festival VI than Danielle White.

Danielle White

A longtime poker dealer from Phoenix, White is a familiar face for anyone who has played a WSOP Mixed Game event or tuned into a final table stream on PokerGO. More recently, White dealt at the PokerStars NAPT and is sticking around Vegas for the upcoming WPT World Championship.

When she isn’t in the dealer’s chair, White can be found utilizing advantage play on the slot machines or traveling around the world. Earlier this year, White went on a solo trip across Europe that ended in Spain, where she was able to mingle with her friends in  the poker world who were there for EPT Barcelona.

And when she isn’t doing those things, White enjoys mixing it up at the poker table. Whether ordering shots of tequila for the table or carefully explaining the nuances of obscure poker variants, White always found ways to make her table mates smile on Monday evening. That included yesterday’s Player of the Day Bruce Briggs, who sparred with White in plenty of pots across a jumble of games that included Super Stud, Scrotum, Badeucey and Drawmaha.

Mixed Game Festival VI Continues…

That wraps up coverage of a second great day of the Mixed Game Festival VI at Resorts World Las Vegas. Day 3 is set to be just as exciting with a poker trivia competition starting at 11:30 a.m. before cash game action begins at noon. Still to come is a book signing by Amanda Botfeld on Day 4 and a $260 buy-in HORSE tournament with a $5,000 WPT Voyage Prize package added to the prize pool on Day 5.

MGF VI schedule

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



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Connor Richards
Written By.

Connor Richards

Connor Richards is a poker journalist and Global Poker Award finalist who travels around the world covering poker tournaments and writing about poker. Connor works as a US Editor and Live Reporter for PokerNews and holds a master’s degree in data journalism from Stanford University. Prior to working in the poker industry, Connor was a government reporter for […]