Mixed Game Festival VII Day 4 Recap: Women’s Wednesday is an Absolute Hit!

By Mike Patrick
February 29, 2024

It was an early 10 a.m. start for Day 4 of Mixed Game Festival VII at Resorts World Las Vegas, but that didn’t stop it from being the busiest start of the day for the festival thus far.

Students at Mixed Game Festival VII Women's Wednesday

Three tables of players came in to learn mixed game staples Omaha 8 or Better and Razz from a trio of outstanding coaches in Poker Hall of Famer Linda Johnson, Women in Poker Hall of Famer and LIPS (Ladies International Poker Series) founder Lupe Soto, and 2023 WSOP $1,500 Big O champion Scott Abrams.

The field of 22 ladies and 2 men (participation was open to anyone) enjoyed a bakery buffet of muffins, cookies, and croissants provided by Soto before being divided up based on their skill levels.

Players brand new to O8 and Razz made up two tables, while the third table consisted of players familiar with the games, but looking to up their knowledge courtesy of some strategy tips from Johnson.

Linda Johnson and Lupe Soto

Linda Johnson speaks to students at MGF VII Women’s Wednesday

“I felt that the intermediate players really enjoyed it,” said Johnson. “They asked some good questions, they had some ‘uh huh’ moments, and I gave them a lot of strategy tips and they paid attention… I felt like it was really well received.”

Soto praised her beginner students as quick learners and said she wasn’t surprised.

“I find that when women do begin to play mixed games, they will pick up a mixed game quicker than a guy will. Their brains work that way, they’re mixed game thinkers.”

Following the instructional session, the players hopped into low-stakes cash games to practice their newfound mixed-game skills. The beginners played a table of $1/2 limit, while the intermediates played $4/8.

The tables continued to play for over an hour past the scheduled wrap-up time of noon, which added to host Robbie Strazynski’s happiness over the success of the event.

“I cannot think of a single room in maybe the entire world that would have three full tables at 10 a.m. and it’s just such a great partnership between Cardplayer Lifestyle and LIPS. I’m happy that I was able to work with Lupe to make this happen. It was great to see two tables continue even past the instructional period for another hour to play and everyone just seemed really happy to be here and learn non-Hold ‘em games. As far as I’m concerned, a success across the board.”

Lupe Soto Linda Johnson and Robbie Strazynski

Lupe Soto, Linda Johnson, and Robbie Strazynski Player of the Day: David Boge

As the Women’s Wednesday Razz and Omaha 8 games began, so too did the $4/8 Dealer’s Choice action.

David Boge, who came to MGF VII from his home in Arizona says he gets to play mixed games maybe a couple of times a month at his home casino of Lone Butte. Boge barely left his seat all day, (as he has all week) while having a blast and making the most of his opportunity to play cards for another full day.

Eli Elezra‘s appearance (Tuesday) was my favorite part, but you learn new games, and the table’s been pretty cool as far as camaraderie. Happy and not a lot of drama, so that’s always good. A lot of things that I liked about it.”

David B Player of the Day David Boge

Boge says he’s been playing mixed games for a few years, since a friendly initial encounter with some mixed game players immediately turned him onto the variants.

“The mixed players were really complaining that they couldn’t get a game started because they needed one more (player), and so I just said if you guys are willing to kind of let me sit through a few rounds, I’ll just sit down so you can start your game, then I’ll play. Now here I am, five years later, playing nothing but mix!”

From just sitting at the table to help players get their game going to exclusively playing mixed games, Boge says he’s become a fan of all mixed games within reason, but he does have his favorites.

“I enjoy the wackier stuff at lower limits. I’m a big draw guy so I love Drawmaha, that’s probably my favorite, all of the different variations of it.”

Boge says he’ll be taking his experiences at MGF VII back to Arizona and his new and improved home game.

“I actually just bought a brand-new home. I’m working on the backyard right now, it’ll be done in May and I’ll start hosting a game, so there are definitely a few of these that I’ll bring back home.”

Banana Game of the Day: “O No 8” / “O-No-Maha”

This one still needs some fine-tuning, but a discussion about how to add a third game to a mini “death” rotation of games led to quite an interesting new variant of Omaha 8 or Better.

Along with Squid Game (where the lowest river card dealt on three completed boards “kills” that board), and Murder Razz (where a king dealt face-up immediately “kills” that player’s hand), an exceptionally painful game was concocted based on Omaha 8 or Better, but with a very dangerous twist at the end of a hand.

Essentially, a hand of Omaha 8 or Better is dealt and completed, but if a hand goes to showdown, the winners’ hands are far from safe.

A pair of variations were tested.

The simplest was as follows:

  • After the winners are determined from any players remaining in the pot at showdown, all players (including losing players) hold onto their cards.
  • The dealer then peels off a single “death card” from the top of the deck.
  • If that card matches the rank of a card in a winning player’s hand, their hand is “killed” and they forfeit their section of the pot.
  • A player at showdown whose hand was once losing, is again now live and entitled to the pot.

An even more complex version was tested, where before hands are revealed at showdown and the “death card” is dealt, players would be able to protect one card, leaving only three of their hole cards to potentially “be killed.”

This option reduced variance, but added some questions about when the card would be protected, adding to the confusion of figuring out the subsequent winner(s) of the pot, should any original winners’ hands be killed.

After some further discussion, while it wasn’t tested (yet, there is one more day of the festival to go!), to simplify the conclusion of the hand and ensuing potential carnage, playing the game as strictly a high-only game with just one winner at risk seemed much more manageable.

Ultimately, whichever version is played adds a morbid element of chance at the conclusion of a hand, where your winning cards could end up in the muck based on the turn of one final card.

Not a game for those that don’t have some gamble in them.

Coming up at Mixed Game Festival VII: Day 5 – The Grand Finale

There’s just one day left in the festival and it’s going to be a big one. The week’s marquee event gets underway at noon PT on Thursday with the $300 H.E.R.O.S. tournament.

Not only will the winner take home the largest share of what will be a healthy prize pool, but the bonus of an NAPT prize package courtesy of PokerStars will be awarded to them as well.

The package includes a flight to an NAPT series from any North American airport, a $550 buy-in to any non-Hold ‘em event during the series, and four nights of accommodation at the host venue. The estimated value of the package is over $3,000.

PokerStars will be announcing the locations of NAPT stops a bit later this year.

Stay with us for the thrilling confusion err, conclusion (sorry, still trying to figure out the game of the day) to Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival VII.

*Our coverage of MGF VII is 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 […]

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