Mixed Game Festival VII Day 3 Recap: Poker’s Stars Come Out to Play

By Mike Patrick
February 28, 2024

The midway point of Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival VII saw peak levels of star power inside the Resorts World Las Vegas poker room.

Multiple WSOP bracelet winners, poker media stars, and one Poker Hall of Famer who has become a regular at the festival (likely because he gets to take a blowtorch to host Robbie Strazynski’s chip stack) all found a seat at one of the two $4/8 Dealer’s Choice tables throughout the day.

Indeed, Poker Hall of Famer Eli Elezra joined the festivities Tuesday mid-afternoon, joining a table with WSOP bracelet winner Scott Abrams. An encore appearance from Nathan Gamble, plus MGF VII debuts from Andrew Yeh and Chad Holloway rounded out the bracelet-holding contingent.

Eli Elezra

Holloway was then joined by his PokerNews Podcast co-hosts Connor Richards and Matt Hansen once the second table of the day opened at about 5 p.m. local time.

Before the night was through, veteran mixed game crusher and MGF VII O.E. 3rd place finisher David Levi joined the fray, bestowing the room with multiple boisterous chuckles while he enjoyed his time in the world’s best kitchen game.

Banana Game of the Day: Drawmaha Pick ‘em

Early in the day, the popular game of Drawmaha became even more popular, as a variant was introduced where before the button is dealt their fifth card, they must select a variant of Drawmaha to play that hand, based on what they see in their first four cards.

Throughout the day, the game was called multiple times with Zero, 49, Dugi, High, A-5, and 2-7 all entering the mix.

The wide assortment of Drawmaha Plaques

Not only did the game provide great action, but great banter as well with lines such as…

“I’m pretty sure that if you look long enough at this many cards and this many boards you’ll find something.”


“I’m supposed to know what to do here, I’m a poker player!” Player of the Day: Kamo

His full name may be a mystery and he kindly asked that his identity could remain a secret as well, but what’s no secret is our new friend Kamo’s passion for mixed games. Kamo has been a mainstay all week long at the festival after flying to Las Vegas for the first time from Tokyo, Japan, for the sole purpose of playing in the Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival.


Kamo’s enthusiasm was undeniable as he told us why he made this lengthy journey.

“Because I love mixed games and there are many famous people here who love mixed games. This is a precious place for me. I’m so happy!”

Kamo, who’s been a delight to play with all week because of his joyful personality was never more vibrant than when Elezra joined his table. Kamo happily shared the experience of playing with one of his poker heroes.

“He’s a great player. I’m so happy to play with him and Scott Abrams, and Robbie!”

Japan’s poker scene is an incredibly passionate one, but also very unique, as gambling for real money is illegal there. There are no casinos in Japan, but there are many play-money poker clubs where the game is taken as seriously as if it were for high stakes.

Kamo further detailed to us his involvement in that scene and how he developed his love for poker and mixed games.

“I play with friends and there are many (clubs), where you can’t bet real money but they can play very seriously. The Japanese people are disciplined, so they can play for no real money but very seriously.”

For more on the unique poker scene in Japan, you can check out my own journey to Tokyo in the summer of 2023.

Next up at Mixed Game Festival VII: Women’s Wednesday

Day 4 promises to be a big one as for the first time in Mixed Game Festival history, Cardplayer Lifestyle, in partnership with LIPS (Ladies International Poker Series) presents a unique opportunity for women to learn mixed games.

Women’s Wednesday, hosted by Poker Hall of Famer Linda Johnson will present a workshop introducing players to a pair of mixed game mainstays, Omaha 8 or Better and Razz. The event gets underway at 10 a.m. and will be followed by an ultra low-stakes $1/2 session at 11 a.m. where players brand new to these games will have a chance to practice what they’ve learned.

Women's Wednesday Mixed Game Festival VII

According to Women in Poker Hall of Famer and LIPS founder Lupe Soto, who will also be helping to run the instructional sessions, 28 women have already signed up for the event, so the start of Day 4 will unquestionably be the busiest of the festival thus far in terms of simultaneously running cash game tables.

Following this special event, regular $4/8 Dealer’s Choice games will get underway with everyone welcome to join in the fun.

Things are heating up at Mixed Game Festival VII as we enter the home stretch, with the $300 H.E.R.O.S. tournament featuring an added NAPT package courtesy of PokerStars on deck for the series finale on Thursday.

Stay with us for continuing coverage of Mixed Game Festival VII brought to you, with much appreciation, courtesy of PokerStars.



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Mike Patrick poker author
Written By.

Mike Patrick

A veteran of both the Canadian sports media industry and poker scene, Mike has made the jump into poker media with Having worked his way from intern to television producer and from home game hero to semi-professional poker player, Mike brings knowledge and a competitive outlook from his experiences in the newsroom and at […]