From Sunday, March 19th through Thursday, March 23rd, Cardplayer Lifestyle will be hosting its 4th Mixed Game Festival. Returning to Resorts World in Las Vegas, the upcoming Mixed Game Festival IV is set to offer mixed game action along with giveaways and prizes to all in attendance. Hoping to provide our PokerCoaching members with some more information on the upcoming event, I had the privilege of chatting with Card Player Lifestyle Founder and Owner Robbie Strazynski about the upcoming Mixed Game Festival IV.
Attending Mixed Game Festival IV As A No-Limit Hold’em Player
During the 2022 World Series of Poker, I was invited to my first-ever Mixed Game Festival after meeting Robbie at a prior engagement. Having only ever played no-limit hold’em, I was apprehensive about playing games completely new to me with seasoned mixed game enthusiasts. While I was somewhat okay with losing some money, I was definitely not okay with looking foolish.
Even though my reservations were still very much with me as I arrived at the pristine Resorts World poker room, after meeting fellow attendees I was put at ease.
“This is the type of game where there are a lot more beginners, casual hobbyists, recs and home game heroes,” Robbie shared. “I don’t think anyone is grinding the $4/$8 or $8/$16 mixed to pay their rent. People playing are there for enjoyment. Obviously, they are playing to win, but there is no cutthroat ‘sharkiness’. Everyone is there to have a good time!”
Along with maintaining an emphasis on fun, Robbie explained how regular attendees at the Mixed Game Festival make it a point to assist new players.
“$4/$8 is the lowest stakes where you will be able to learn a whole number of games,” Robbie said. “It’s not ‘they don’t know that game let’s pick on them’, it’s more ‘let’s help them learn’.”
Robbie and I pictured at Mixed Game Festival II
Being tasked with learning over 80 mixed games can certainly feel daunting. While there is plenty for new mixed game players to learn, helpful regulars as well as the traditional subsets of games make the learning curve more forgiving.
“There are a lot of games, but you do get the hang of things pretty quickly,” Robbie said. “It’s an orbit just like in hold’em, you get 6-7 hands at a time to learn each game. It is just three categories of games. You have your flop games, so if you know hold’em and Omaha you understand flop games. Draw games you can master relatively easily. The mechanics become easy once you have enough reps built in, and you can get these reps in at a relatively low cost.”
If an uninformed NLH player was invited to a $4/$8 or $8/$16 mixed game, fears of torching their bankroll may outweigh their fears of not knowing how to play. Do not be afraid fellow $1/$2 NLH players, as the games played at the Mixed Game Festival are fixed-limit.
“Don’t forget the difference between a no-limit game and a fixed-limit game,” Robbie advised potential newcomers. “$8/$16 sounds a lot higher than $1/$2 or $2/$5, but it’s a mix!”
During the last Mixed Game Festival to take place at Resorts World, I brought $200 and was happily ready to contribute all of it to the mixed game cause. Despite my overwhelming lack of experience, I ended the day up $100! Any serious poker player maintains a watchful eye over their bankroll, but at the Mixed Game Festival poker penny pinchers don’t have to worry about torching multiple buy-ins.
“You can sit with the same $400 at a $8/$16 game or you can sit with $200 at a $4/$8 game and that can last you all day long,” Robbie said. “Bankroll-wise, you do not need to be worried at all about being ‘scared money’. You don’t have to worry that some pro or a suck-out will take your stack in one or two hands.”
The Mixed Game Festival Returns To Resorts World
In Las Vegas, there are plenty of options when it comes to finding a poker room to play in, but finding a poker room to host a quality, multi-day event can be a much bigger task. When it comes to Resorts World, the founder of Cardplayer Lifestyle explained how he could not imagine having the Mixed Game Festival anywhere else.
The impeccable Resorts World Poker Room
“They are the ones that cater the best to mixed game players,” Robbie said when discussing his partnership with Resorts World. “Every single dealer is fully trained and proficient in dealing all of the mixed games.”
Despite over eighty mixed games being available to festival attendees, every dealer at Resorts World is well-equipped to deal any poker variation thrown at them. Even if a player invents a new game on the fly, the dealers at Resorts World are able to pitch the cards exactly where they need to land. Robbie credits Director of Poker Operations Leon Wheeler for the exemplary abilities of the dealers and all the benefits Resorts World provides.
“I have to shout out Leon Wheeler,” Robbie said. “He does an absolutely impeccable job. He was there during the last Mixed Game Festival (in Las Vegas) and he said ‘happy to have you back any time, this is a great crowd and we are happy to have these people.’”
Tapping into his experience as the Director of Poker Operations, Wheeler has not only welcomed festival attendees with open arms but has also given great input on event offerings. While past Mixed Game Festivals at Resorts World exclusively offered cash games, this will be the first Vegas-based MGF to offer mixed game tournaments.
“Last time it was all cash games,” Robbie recounted. “When we were brainstorming (Leon Wheeler) asked ‘do you want to add some tournaments? Let’s do two of them!’ He was very active in the process and it was great.”
Along with the impressive staff, Mixed Game Festival attendees can also look forward to playing in one of the nicest poker rooms in Las Vegas. Offering comfortable seats, quality poker tables, and a drink machine that can concoct nearly any caffeinated beverage imaginable, the Resorts World poker room provides the high roller experience to players of all stakes. If you enjoy playing poker in peak comfort, Mixed Game Festival IV is the event for you.
Who Will Be Attending Mixed Game Festival IV?
Not only will Mixed Game Festival IV offer attendees the chance to learn and play mixed games, they will also have an opportunity to meet professional poker players and key figures in the industry. Hosting impressive featured guests, past Mixed Game Festivals have included the likes of 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Greg Raymer, popular poker YouTuber Joey Ingram, and poker commentator Ali Nejad.
Members of Team PokerCoaching have also been known to make their presence felt at past Mixed Game Festivals. Last year, our very own Justin Saliba took a break from crushing MTT’s to try his hand at some mixed games.
Robbie with two-time WSOP bracelet winner and PokerCoaching coach Justin Saliba
While you may find other opportunities to meet some of your favorite poker players and figures, the Mixed Game Festival is one of the few places to play and learn from poker’s best. When not offering attendees signed copies of his book Winning Tournament Strategies, Greg Raymer could be found at the poker table, playing and sharing how to excel at mixed games.
Discussing who is set to appear at Mixed Game Festival IV, Robbie shared some truly exciting names.
“Dylan Linde, Chris Wallace, and Eli Elezra will all be doing book signings,” Robbie said. “Nathan Gamble will absolutely be coming. Norman Chad is really trying to come and Matt Savage hopes to attend as well.”
Here are the book signings being offered at Mixed Game Festival IV:
Tuesday, March 21st: WSOP bracelet winner Dylan Linde will be signing copies of his book Mastering Mixed Games, available for purchase at a discounted price of $25.
Wednesday, March 22nd: WSOP bracelet winner Chris Wallace will be signing copies of his book Getting Started With HORSE at a discounted price of $25.
Date To Be Determined: Poker Hall of Famer Eli Elezra will be signing copies of his autobiography Pulling the Trigger for a discounted price of $10.
(A portion of all proceeds derived from the book sales will be donated to Poker Gives, a non-profit organization that distributes funds to assist military families, homeless veterans, and youth programs in Las Vegas.)
Greg Raymer and I posing with my newly purchased copy of Winning Tournament Strategies
Whether planned or potential, when the Mixed Game Festival comes to Las Vegas you never know who may make an appearance. If you want a chance to win a pot against a WSOP bracelet winner or a Poker Hall of Famer, Mixed Game Festival IV may provide you with an opportunity.
What To Know Prior To Attending Mixed Game Festival IV
Cardplayer Lifestyle will kick off Mixed Game Festival IV by offering early attendees on Sunday, March 19th with a free pizza party starting at noon. $4/$8 and $8/$16 mixed cash games will be offered throughout the festival (games begin at noon), as well as the following mixed game tournaments:
$260 buy-in O8/Stud 8 Tournament: Monday, March 20th at 2 PM
$260 buy-in H.O.R.S.E Tournament: Thursday, March 23rd at 2 PM
Tournament players will benefit from some exciting promotions included in each of the two events.
PokerCoaching.com will be offering bubble protection for tournament players who barely miss the money, as well as a free month of PokerCoaching premium for every player that reaches a final table. If you are a fan of “last longer” bets, PokerCoaching will also provide a year’s worth of premium access to the last player remaining in each tournament wearing a PokerCoaching.com patch.
Daily merchandise giveaways featuring premier poker industry brands like RunGoodGear, BBO Poker Tables, D&B Poker Publishing, and PokerGO will be occurring throughout the festival!
Serving as the “grand finale” of the festival, the winner of the $260 H.O.R.S.E tournament will receive a prize package that includes entry to a €550 buy-in, mixed game tournament at the European Poker Tour’s Prague series this December. Provided by PokerStars, the package will include coverage of travel and lodging costs along with the tournament entry fee. One of the biggest giveaways in the history of the Mixed Game Festival, the people over at PokerStars have made an already “can’t-miss” event even more alluring.
With prizes, pizza, and premium PokerCoaching and PokerStars packages, the money on the table isn’t the only thing you may miss out on if you are in Sin City and fail to attend Mixed Game Festival IV. From personal experience, I can say the Mixed Game Festival has provided me with some of my favorite moments while being at the poker table. If you are reading this and happen to be in Las Vegas from March 19th through the 23rd, I hope to see you at Resorts World!