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Mixed Games Festival Returns to Las Vegas in June

17 Jun 2024
Jonathan Raab 17 Jun 2024
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  • Mixed Games Festival VIII to be held at Bellagio, Las Vegas
  • The five-day cash game festival runs from 16-20 June, 2024
  • MoneyMaker Tour $400 side event tickets to be won in daily competition
  • Free pizza and parking at the Bellagio!
Mixed Games Festival
Mixed Games Festival VIII will be held at the Bellagio Casino June 16-20, 2024

The Mixed Games Festival is set to host its eighth edition this summer at Bellagio Las Vegas. The five-day festival runs from 16-20 June and will focus entirely on cash games. With no tournaments on the schedule, the action will be centred on Dealer’s Choice games, which are played with a limit betting format. Games will be spread at $4/$8, $8/$16 and higher upon request.

The Bellagio is one of the most famous casinos in Las Vegas and its 25-year history has always been entwined with poker. Many high stakes games took place in Bobby’s Room and it hosted several major poker events, including the WPT Five Diamond Classic.

Who will be playing?

Previous editions of the Mixed Games Festival have attracted many notable attendees, including 2004 WSOP Main Event Champion Greg Raymer, who is a keen mixed games player. He even won the H.O.R.S.E tournament at a previous edition of the Mixed Games Festival and bagged himself a $30,000 Platinum Pass from event sponsor PokerStars, who coincidentally used to sponsor Raymer as a member of Team Pro.

Eli Elezra, Brian Hastings, Ari Engel, Joey Ingram, Norman Chad and Jonathan Little are past attendees as are Justin Saliba and Ethan ’Rampage’ Yau.  It’s hard to be certain on exactly who will turn up to this edition, but being positioned across the road from the WSOP, which has many non-Hold’em tournaments on its 99 bracelet event schedule, will surely work in its favour. 

The free pizza party that kicks-off the festival (see below) should also be good enough to secure the attendance of Allen Kessler. Add a few Reese's Cups to the mix and he might stay for the duration of the festival.

Moneymaker Tour

One thing the Mixed Game festival is famous for is the added value it gives to players and this time that little bit of extra comes from its sponsor, the MoneyMaker Tour. The tour named after 2003 WSOP Main Event Champion is also hosting a festival in Las Vegas, at MGM, which starts soon after the Mixed Game Festival. 

Every day at 7pm, a table and seat number will be drawn randomly and the player occupying that seat will be asked a Chris Moneymaker related trivia question. If they get it right, they will win entry to a $400 side event at the MoneyMaker Tour. If they get it wrong, another table and seat will be drawn and the process will be repeated until a winner is drawn.

How do Dealer's Choice Poker Games Work?

So, what games will be played during the Mixed Games Festival VIII? Dealer’s Choice is a game where the variant being played can change every hand, as the player who is the dealer in any given hand makes the decision about which game will be played. PokerWired spoke to Mixed Game Festival founder and host Robbie Strazynski to find out how the games are chosen.

It is a true dealers choice…basically what happen is we don’t really micro manage it, when players arrive at the table and the table opens up, each player usually picks a game or two and that becomes the rotation for that table.

Robbie also explained that if a player leaves and a new player joins, they will be shown all the different plaques with variant names on them and can pick one or two to add to the rotation, so it ends up being a mix of between 8-15 poker variants at each table.

I also asked Robbie if any game that a player can explain the mechanics of can be added to the rotation, even if there isn’t a plaque for it?

Sometimes with a really experienced group of mixed game players we’ll throw in extra permutations so long as the player calling it can explain it, such as Action Razz and Blood River (where the river has to be a red card).

Pizza Party!

Before the cards start to hit the felt, the Mixed Game Festival kicks off with a pizza party (caveat emptor, the pizza might not be kosher) at the venue on Sunday 16th June. Once the cheesy triangles are out of the way, they will be replaced by composite plastic rectangles and the games will commence. Rake will be capped at $5 per hand and players can avail themselves of free parking at the property with just three hours of play.

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