Mixed Game Festival VIII Day 1 Recap: Bigger and Better Than Ever at Bellagio!

By Mike Patrick
June 17, 2024

Since its debut in 2021, the Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival has become a recurring staple on the poker calendar and one of the more anticipated niche live poker series in Las Vegas (and beyond). Many great venues have hosted our celebration of ‘banana’ games, but this eighth incarnation of our event sees us “hit the big time” with our debut smack in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip at the glamourous Bellagio Hotel and Casino.

The action got underway at noon Sunday with three tables of fun and friendly $4/8 mixed-game action. Not long after, a fourth table opened and for six hours the venue’s overflow poker area in the sportsbook saw pots splash around like the glorious fountains that welcome players to the Bellagio.

Of those 32 poker players at tables within the first hour of play, no less than 10 women occupied those seats!

One of the first of many rewards for those early arrivals was the traditional MGF opening day pizza party at 1 pm. That was just the beginning of the giveaways. Along with collecting pots, players won bonus prizes and merchandise from our sponsors — PokerGO, D&B Publishing, BBO Poker Tables, and Faded Spade Playing Cards — throughout the day.

Along with those prizes, players could win or buy one of our now-famed Mixed Game Festival T-shirts (produced by another one of our great sponsors, RunGoodGear), with proceeds going towards Poker Gives, a non-profit organization that donates to the homeless, military veterans, and needy families in the Las Vegas area. A special shout-out goes to Canada’s Darren Johnson (you might have read about him before) who donated $200 with receipt of his T-shirt.

One of the biggest attractions of any edition of the Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival is the presence of some of the biggest names in poker who hop right into the mix, joining players for some of the low-stakes fun.

Poker Hall of Famer Linda Johnson, Women in Poker Hall of Famer Lupe Soto, non-poker Hall of Famer Norman Chad (hi Norman, we love ya!), and extoller of the great game of Pot-Limit Omaha and one of the most popular men in poker Joey Ingram were among Sunday’s dignitaries.

Giving a special shout out to our past contributing writer, PokerNews’ Calum Grant, who logged 16.5 hours of play yesterday, outlasting our founder Robbie Strazynski‘s “mere” 15, and walked away with $236 in profit after having bought in for $600. When Robbie left at 3am, two full $4/8 dealer’s tables were still running!

Moneymaker Tour Giveaway

Grand prizes are always the icing on the proverbial cake of any of our festivals, and MGF VIII is no different. This time around we’ve partnered with the Moneymaker Tour to give away five $400 seats to a side event during their Las Vegas debut at MGM Grand from June 28-July 6.

Congrats go out to our first winner, Rick Fuller who was randomly selected and then correctly answered a Chris Moneymaker-related question to earn his seat.

We’ll be giving away a $400 seat on all five days of the festival, so if you’re coming down to Bellagio to take part, be sure to brush up on your Moneymaker knowledge and you, too, could win a seat for this rapidly-growing and exciting tour! Player of the Day

The other big daily prize available to players throughout the festival goes to our player of the day. The selected player receives a 3-month Premium subscription to the outstanding training site led by superstar and coach extraordinaire Jonathan Little with his tremendously accomplished team of coaches.

MGF VIII’s first recipient is long-time Mixed Game Festival supporter Henry Chow of Houston, Texas, who has now joined us for five editions dating back to our inaugural festival in 2021.

Henry Chow Mixed Game Festival VIII

Henry’s reason for his continued return to the festival is pretty simple and complimentary.

“I enjoy the games and you run a great show.”

Good enough for us Henry!

The 88-year-old from Houston plays primarily $20/40 in limit games with some $1/2 and $2/5 No-Limit Hold ‘em mixed in. He also plays tournaments, coming out every summer for the World Series of Poker with over $150,000 in tournament winnings listed on his Hendon Mob profile.

Of his impressive 88 years on Earth, an astonishing 78 of them have involved this game that we love!

“I’ve been playing since I was 10 years old! We used to have a family gathering at my grandparents’ dining room table. After dinner, we’d just play nickel / dime / penny stud. (Poker) is a very good game. A game of skill and socializing. I enjoy playing, It keeps your mind sharp and I enjoy being around people.”

Congrats Henry, and thanks for your continued support, we hope to see you at our festivals for many years to come!

What’s on Deck for Mixed Game Festival VIII Day 2

We’re off and running for our biggest Mixed Game Festival yet!

The action continues at noon Monday for Day 2 with another Moneymaker Tour seat, another 3-month subscription, and tons more merchandise to give away to players.

Plus, more poker stars and celebrities could pop in at any time. You never know who might show up! After all, the World Series of Poker is right across the street, just a few minutes walk away…

Head on down to the world’s biggest and best home game as the 8th edition of the Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival continues at the famed Bellagio Hotel and Casino at the heart of the Las Vegas strip.



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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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