Mixed Game Festival VII Day 5 Recap: Joe Santagata wins NAPT Package in H.E.R.O.S. Grand Finale!

By Mike Patrick
March 01, 2024

Another incredible week of mixed-game merriment is in the books at Resorts World Las Vegas as Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival VII wrapped up by crowning Joe Santagata of Las Vegas the $300 H.E.R.O.S. Main Event champion.

Santagata endured his way to the title after an over 12-hour day of play that included a 5-hour plus final table, and over an hour of heads-up play.

“It was a long day, but it was fun,” said the champion.

“We had a long battle at the final table. I was only all in twice all day, and that was at the final table.”

Santagata took home $3,345 for the win along with the added NAPT package courtesy of PokerStars valued at $3,000.

He’ll be flying to an NAPT stop this year, receiving four nights accommodation and entry into a $550 buy-in mixed-game event at that series for his win. The NAPT schedule will be announced soon.

“That’s awesome, very awesome. That’ll be a lot of fun, and I’ll see which places they’re going to have and then I’ll pick.”

Debi Cheek was the runner-up, collecting $2,048 for her second-place finish.

A total of 36 players entered the tournament with our O.E. runner-up and first membership winner John Rozance making another deep run, finishing 6th to go 2-for-2 in cashing our tournaments this week. Player of the Day: Debi Cheek

Her second-place prize wasn’t all Cheek won on Thursday.

Players were again incentivized to patch up with the Cardplayer Lifestyle logo as they played the tournament, and like Rozance, the last player standing wearing a patch earned themselves a one-year Premium membership to

Debi Cheek at Mixed Game Festival Player of the Day Debi Cheek

As the last patched-up player Thursday, Cheek earned the prize valued at over $1,700.

Already a proud member of Jonathan Little’s outstanding training site, she’ll have her membership extended one year for her accomplishment.

Thanks again to for being a generous sponsor of the Mixed Game Festival and providing these outstanding prizes.

Banana Game of the Day: Drawmaha 2-7

While not the wildest game played at MGF VII, Drawmaha variants are always a popular selection among players. A couple of notable hands in the same orbit earned Drawmaha 2-7 the honor of being our Banana Game of the Day.

Unfortunately for Carmen, one of the fine dealers here at Resorts World, he was on the wrong end of insane coolers in these hands.

First after holding quads, his share of the pot was taken away by a player who rivered a straight flush (yah, it was me – what can I say, I’ve been running real good this week), then just a couple of minutes later after making a full house, he was again denied any part of the pot as his opponent (not me – that would be a bit ridiculous) rolled over quads to take the pot.

While those were a rough few minutes for Carmen, we wanted to make sure to send him some love for being a great dealer and one of our favorite people to play with this week.

Bonus Banana Game of the Day: The Evolution of Oh No! Omaha

Oh No Omaha plaque

As promised, a streamlined version of our Day 4 Banana Game of the Day (you’re just going to have to read the recap for the details. I’m not trying to explain that s*** again) was played to much greater success.

While there were a few detractors, (hey, not everyone likes to gamble), playing this game as Limit Omaha high-only proved to be much more popular and less confusing.

A couple more rules were ironed out, including clarification that any players remaining in the hand were eligible to have their hands killed by that final post-showdown “death card”.

Of any game played Thursday, what has now evolved to be dubbed ‘Oh No! Omaha’ garnered the most reaction from players.

Oh No! Omaha has now earned its place as the third side of the “Death Triangle” rotation along with Murder Razz and Squid Game.

Onward to Mixed Game Festival VIII

That does it for us from Mixed Game Festival VII at Resorts World Las Vegas!

A huge thank you to all the players for making this another successful edition of the MGF!

Equally huge thanks to the staff at Resorts World and all of our amazing sponsors!

Keep your eyes peeled here at for details about the next edition of our Mixed Game Festival coming to you soon!

*Our coverage of Mixed Game Festival VII has been 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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