“Sameness is the mother of disgust, diversity is the cure.”
From November 26th to 30th, Cardplayer Lifestyle and Robbie Strazynski will host the sixth edition of the Mixed Game Festival at the Resorts World Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Five days of hi(gh)s and lo(w)s of glitzy Omaholism will culminate in a $260 HORSE Main Event tournament.
The winner of the HORSE event will receive a WPT Voyage prize package
If that isn’t enough to tempt poker all-rounders, the winner of the HORSE event will receive a WPT Voyage prize package, courtesy of the good folks at WPT, who, by the way, will be just across the street at the Wynn starting November 29 for that WPT World Championship Festival.
The Mixed Game Festival also features a $260 Omaha 8/Stud 8 tournament on November 27th, a poker quiz on November 28th, the book launch of “Mastering Small Stakes No Limit Hold’em Tournaments” by Lexy Gavin-Mather on November 29th , and 24/7 cash games of all kinds in denominations of $4/$8 and $8/$16, with larger games available upon request.
VegasSlotsOnline news spoke to Robbie Strazynski to ask him about the Mixed Game Festival.
The biggest home game in the world
David Lappin: First of all, congratulations, Robbie. The Mixed Game Festival VI at Resorts World Las Vegas is a tempting prospect, especially with the $5,000 WPT Voyage prize package for the HORSE tournament champion. They always manage to add value to your events. Do you feel like this will address the imbalance in poker where all the love usually goes to the Hold’em players?
Robbie Strazynski: Thank you for your congratulations! I’m grateful to have the opportunity to hopefully bring mixed game poker lovers a great show for the sixth time, and it’s really great that the WPT is supporting Cardplayer Lifestyle’s latest live event with such an amazing grand prize package !
I never really thought of the situation as an “imbalance.” However, it has always annoyed me – as a lover, supporter and proponent of mixed game poker – that you can’t just walk into any poker room in the world and find a low stakes mixed game. At home games around the world, people play all sorts of poker variations, from stud games to flop games to draw games and even some crazy wild games.
an outlet for people who like non-hold’em poker variants at a fair price
That’s essentially always been the inspiration for running my mixed game festivals. to provide people who don’t like hold’em poker variants with a sales opportunity at a fair price. In a sense, we are hosting “the biggest home game in the world.”
Ultimately, I want to show how entertaining non-Hold’em variants can be, and all the added value, freebies and extras we try to incorporate into the Mixed Game Festival certainly add to that fun atmosphere.
Work on your game…and your tan
DL: They have partnered again with Resorts World Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. I had the opportunity to play there for the first time last year and I have to say that I really liked not only the poker room but also the facility. The food court and various shops right next to the poker room make the casino atmosphere less oppressive. This is something that I think most poker players really appreciate. How do you rate this location?
RS: Any poker room that goes out of its way – like Resorts World clearly does – to show its love to mixed game players has a special place in my heart. Across the board, from the room manager, Leon Wheeler, to the floor staff, dealers, and other staff, these are top-notch professionals who always welcome poker players with genuine affection.
I’ve been lucky enough to stay at the property a few times and it really is a first class facility. I have a particular fondness for the pool area, where I’m likely to be working on my tan on a Saturday before a mixed game festival starts. Additionally, the Alle Lounge on the top floor of the resort at number 66 is a really nice place to have a drink and offers incredible views of the entire city of Las Vegas day and night. It is a must.
Focus on the long term
DL: In the last article I wrote about the Mixed Game Festival, I called mixed game players “poker elephant men.” Part of it is the lack of love that you’ve already talked about. The other part is how difficult it is to develop mixed games when that love isn’t there. What’s the biggest thing an operator, live or online, could do to better market mixed games?
RS: Think and invest in the players long-term and appropriately. Sorry for the pictures, maybe it’s time more operators thought about shearing the sheep instead of skinning them. Certainly, you will always be able to deal more cash game hands per hour and therefore collect more hourly rake from NLHE. But players can (and unfortunately this happens often!) literally within minutes, and it may take a while, if at all, before they can get back to the table.
Mixed games tend to last hours, have significantly lower player turnover (also known as “churn”), and you will almost always notice a lively and chatty atmosphere. Players have fun, even at tables with higher stakes. The operator still makes money from hosting the games, albeit at a slower pace, and usually players are not harmed too much, no matter how great the disappointments they experience.
The marketing will essentially take care of itself. And the operators will still make a lot of money
Whether you win or lose, these players will keep playing because they had a great time. These players will naturally build loyalty to the venue/operator. Once you start thinking longer term and offer players an improved experience where their balance or discretionary money for playing poker is larger, the marketing essentially takes care of itself. And the operators will still make a lot of money!
To put it bluntly, I have literally been recommending Resorts World as THE go-to destination for every mixed game player I meet since they opened their doors a little over two years ago. It is no coincidence that we are organizing a mixed game festival there for the fourth time.
DL: The WPT Wynn will draw large crowds to Las Vegas in late November and December. This is good news for the Mixed Game Festival as Resorts World is right across the street. What numbers are you expecting for the HORSE Main Event?
RS: Luckily, we don’t seem to be facing too much “direct competition” in the city on this day, November 30th. I hope that some people who are already planning to take part in the WPT festivities will consider postponing their trip for a few days and also try to win a WPT Voyage grand prize package worth $5,000.
With a very reasonable buy-in of $260 ($220 + $40), we offer excellent value in addition to the prize pool expected to exceed $15,000. If we manage to attract over 100 runners, I will be a very happy host of the Mixed Game Festival!
Sleep on the plane
DL: And finally, Robbie…you are an author and editor. You translated Eli Elezra’s excellent autobiography. You’re running great Card player lifestyle Website. You are also a poker enthusiast who I know enjoys every moment you can have at the tables, be it a home game or a cash game on the road. In fact, the last time I saw you was in Las Vegas last December. I remember you left the next day and pulled an all-nighter, switching between different cash games on the strip. Can you describe how this passion for the game motivates you in your other endeavors?
RS: We have a great term in poker and it is “all-in”. By definition, our time in this world is limited. It is the one commodity that even the richest among us can no longer buy. So I believe it’s our job to try to make the most of the time we have. Whatever endeavor you choose, you should make the effort to be “all in.”
When you love what you do, it doesn’t really feel like work
I love poker. Due to my personal circumstances, as I am a father of three children and live in Israel, a career as a professional player was never really an option. But fortunately, through my media activities, I have found a way to live the card player lifestyle I have always craved. It took a leap of faith and a supreme level of commitment – along with luck from above and the support of many wonderful and talented people – to make it to this stage, but when you love what you are, it doesn’t really feel like it Work on.
When you don’t have truly legal live or online poker available to you, the rare opportunities you do take advantage of become something extra special, something you can truly treasure and not take for granted. So as far as the nighttime sessions I like to do on my travels, as Eli once memorably told me: “Sleep on the plane, Robbie.”
Everything in it
Starting at noon on November 26th, cards will be in the air as the Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival kicks off with a pizza party. This hybrid festival, which includes both cash games and tournaments, is sure to be a big hit with lovers of variety and will hopefully convince some Hold’em purists to try their hand at the mix. Robbie Strazynski is all in. Are you?