Mixed Game Festival VIII Day 2 Recap: Bananarama! Mixed Games in High Demand!

By Mike Patrick
June 18, 2024

Business is booming, baby!

Summer Camp in Las Vegas with the World Series of Poker and the many other events around town means the busiest time of the year in the desert for poker-hungry folks, with massive demand in every casino dealing our great game. Our Mixed Game Festival isn’t immune, as we found out on Monday.

The day started at noon with a pair of $4/8 Dealer’s Choice games running here at Bellagio with a third firing up at about 2 pm. However, from there things got dicey.

Because of that demand, tables were at a premium and the list for MGF VIII began to grow. At points of the day, we could have had up to five tables of mixed game madness running, but the availability unfortunately just wasn’t there immediately to satisfy the incredible demand.

People are literally coming from all over the world to check out MGF VIII! For instance, check out Robbie Strazynski‘s new Japanese friends, Tomoki from Okinawa (left) and Tomo from Tokyo (right).

Throughout the day, a new list of poker luminaries including instructors and high stakes crushers Justin Saliba and Aram Zobian, along with co-host of the DAT Poker Podcast (also featuring Daniel Negreanu and Terrence Chan), Adam Schwartz, who stopped by to say hi.

But even if you’re a tremendously accomplished superstar or host of one of the most popular podcasts in the poker world, it there ain’t a seat, there ain’t a seat!

So, what have we learned? If you want to hop into the biggest and best low-stakes mixed game action anywhere, get there early! Let’s fill the room when cards are in the air at noon and take over as much of the Bellagio poker room as we can! Player of the Day

On Day 1, our first player of the day was 88-year-old Henry Chow, who has been playing poker for almost 80 years. Well on Day 2, we went in the other direction.

Looking barely old enough to be in the room, and he is, 22-year-old Tanner Thompson of Arizona is our Day 2 recipient of the distinction.

Tanner has only been playing poker for about two years after getting his start in Texas where you can play under the age of 21. Currently, he’s in Las Vegas working as a poker dealer in a dynamic dealing duo with his mother.

“We started off in Texas working at the Lodge, now we’re traveling around. We hit the Wynn, we go to Reno, California, do everything, travel together as a mother/son duo.”

Remember that high demand we were talking about? Well, Tanner was a rare beneficiary of it, and his tale of what brought him to a table at Mixed Game Festival VIII is what we love to hear. Just hop in and give it a try.

“I just came out to play some $1/3 Hold’em and saw there was a $4/8 mix. There was a long wait so I was like, you know, I’ve never played mix before, let me just sit down and see what I can do.”

Yahtzee! Er, Badugi! We got another one!

We can’t stress this enough: even if you’ve never played mixed games before, the Mixed Game Festival is the BEST place to give them a try. We guarantee you’ll have an amazing time and a whole new world of poker will open up to you, as Tanner discovered.

“I’ve dealt the games so I at least know the rules of how to play. The theory; definitely not so much, but that’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m trying to learn and I think this is the best, and probably cheapest, way to do it.”

Tanner’s debut foray into playing mixed games earned him a prize of a 3-month Premium subscription to, which is right up his alley as well.

“I just love learning in general. I’m a big learner, I love studying languages and poker just really fits into my set of just being a good brain exercise to learn and try to solve these problems that are presented in front of you.”

Moneymaker Tour $400 Seat Giveaway

How’s this for rungood?

Lawrence Chen had entered the Mixed Game Festival VIII area with his roller bag in tow and just taken his seat. He hadn’t even been dealt a hand when the random drawing for our daily $400 Moneymaker Tour seat at MGM Grand began.

His seat gets called, he doesn’t even know what’s going on or anything about a giveaway, and next thing he’s being asked a trivia question about how many kids Chris Moneymaker has.

Lawrence correctly answers ‘three’ and boom, wins a $400 Moneymaker Tour seat!

Easy game, eh Lawrence?

Lawrence will be joining our Day 1 winner Rick Fuller and three more lucky Mixed Game Festival VIII winners in a $400 buy-in event during the inaugural Moneymaker Tour stop at MGM Grand Las Vegas between June 28-July 6.

Get Your Seat Early for Mixed Game Festival VIII Day 3!

Tuesday, we reach the midway point of our eighth Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival, which is already proving to be our biggest one yet.

Cards will be in the air at noon Las Vegas time, as they will be throughout the festival, and as we saw Monday, that popular demand is REALLY popular, so be sure to get there early to guarantee your seat!

We’ll have another $400 Moneymaker Tour seat to give away, another 3-month Premium subscription to, and plenty more prizes from our other awesome sponsors RunGoodGear, PokerGO, D&B Publishing, BBO Poker Tables, and Faded Spade Playing Cards.

Also, be sure to check out our media partners at Poker.Org for a taste of the fun of MGF VIII via their Instagram feed. Shout out to Mike Daniels, for doing a wonderful job on all the videos!

It’s toasty as heck outside in the Las Vegas sunshine, but inside the Bellagio, we’re cooking up some banana game flambe with as hot as the action and demand is for Mixed Game Festival VIII. Don’t miss being a part of the excitement!



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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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