Catering to mixed games lovers
From October 4-7, in the Westgate Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, lovers of mixed games will be treated to a poker festival designed by one of their own. The Inaugural Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival, announced on July 11, will be a cash game/tournament hybrid pitched at the lower stakes.
When the news broke, octogenarians in Las Vegas rejoiced as their new spiritual leader, Cardplayer Lifestyle’s founder Robbie Strazynski, was not just promising a festival catering to their favorite poker variants, but he had also secured a much coveted PokerStars Platinum Pass for the winner of the festival’s $200 HORSE Main Event. (I jest. There were some septuagenarians, too.)
A festival with a funky twist
The Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival will coincide with first week of the World Series of Poker, a smart move by Strazynski who understands that the poker buzz around then will be very real and he can potentially piggyback on that excitement. It is also a shrewd bit of scheduling because there are swaths of players who play smaller and love the mixed games.
Strazynski has also designed the festival in a very unique way. The first three days will be 72 hours of straight cash games, all dealt as Dealer’s Choice. On the fourth day, there will be a $200 HORSE tournament but with a funky twist that brings the festival together. Players who participated in cash games will receive extra chips in the tournament based on their hours of play, topping out at a double chip stack for 25 hours of cash game play.
VegasSlotsOnline News spoke to Strazynski, whose enthusiasm for mixed games is inexhaustible, but acknowledged the uphill battle players like him face in a Hold’em-centric poker world.
We believe that there’s a niche segment of the poker-loving public that’s just a bit underserved.”
“We believe that there’s a niche segment of the poker-loving public that’s just a bit underserved,” said Strazynski, adding: “Too often, low-stakes mixed games simply don’t run in brick and mortar casinos because it’s impossible for enough interested players to spontaneously and simultaneously assemble.”
Fortunately for Strazynski, the Westgate Casino was willing to commit to his “if you build it, they will come” vision.
“With plenty of advanced notice, we’re ready to make some massive mixed game magic happen!” Strazynski emphasized.
$30,000 Platinum Pass added
Part of that magic will be provided by PokerStars, who will be giving away a Platinum Pass to the winner of the $200 HORSE tournament. Receiving that promotional carrot is a huge boon for the Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival and that wasn’t lost on a grateful Strazynski.
“The first time I remember working directly together with PokerStars was about 5.5 years ago,” he said. “Since then, they’ve been exceptional in their consistent support of Cardplayer Lifestyle. Obviously, their giving me the opportunity to award a Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Championship (PSPC II) represents our biggest collaboration to date, and I couldn’t be more honored.”
The first and only PSPC was held in January 2019 in the Bahamas alongside the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA). It was the largest $25,000 buy-in in history with a prize pool of $26.5m. Over 300 of the 1,039 entrants were Platinum Pass winners, including eventual victor Ramón Colillas, who won $5.1m.
The second PSPC was initially scheduled for August 2020 in Barcelona, but was cancelled due to the pandemic. The same fate befell the 2021 edition, but PokerStars is clearly hoping that the 2022 festival can go ahead, with the first registered player emerging from The Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival.
It takes a village
Strazynski is optimistic that this festival will prove that there is a market for low stakes mixed games, a largely overlooked branch of poker. It might even become the template of how to attract new people to other variants.
I hope it’ll be the first of many such festivals”
“I’m so glad that my Cardplayer Lifestyle festival is able to provide a fun poker outlet for low-stakes mixed game players,” he said. “This is something that’s never been done before, and I hope it’ll be the first of many such festivals.”
Strazynski was keen to share the credit though, pointing to his partners and their contributions to this venture.
“It obviously takes a village to put an event like this together, so beyond the wonderful PR team at PokerStars, I specifically want to thank Chuck Palermo and Wan Choi at Westgate Las Vegas, as well as all the other great poker companies that have supplied merchandise and gift bags for me to give away at the Mixed Game Festival.”
The Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival at the Westgate Casino in Las Vegas looks set to be a fantastic celebration of poker and there will be no stone unturned in the pursuit of a top quality player experience.
“Now, I just have to make sure I don’t get fleeced at the felt during the three days of cash game play,” quipped Strazynski.