Strazynski, from Zweigbergk Show Poker’s Elephant Men Love
High stakes poker is loved and rightly so. These players are putting a lot on the line. Whether it’s their own money or their backer’s, huge sums of money are passed back and forth, a money dance at the top tier of the great poker pyramid.
Mid-stakes tournament players get love, and rightly so. They compete at the “Felt of Dreams” where large multiples of the buy-in can be won. The amateurs and pros, the recs and regs, the enthusiasts and the battle-hardened all swim in a sea of variance, their edge unrealizable but their optimism intact.
The TV cash game players are getting love and rightly so. you span. They play seven-deuce. They spray the pots. They make high-wire bluffs and calls that are endlessly scrutinized by the “chat pros.” You are risking more than just your money. They risk their reputation if their pressured characters are exposed.
They are the innovators of poker, inventing new games for a sparse audience
But what about the mixed game players? They sit in the dark corner of the casino or maybe, if they’re lucky, hidden in a private room. Out of sight, out of mind, they are the innovators of poker, inventing new games for a sparse audience. As poker all-rounders, they have sacrificed specialization in favor of variety. The elephant people of poker are the loveless. Until now.
A five-day festival of diversity
From March 19-23, Cardplayer Lifestyle and their affable leader Robbie Strazynski are hosting the fourth edition of the Mixed Game Festival, a five-day celebration of diversity at the Resorts World Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. PokerStars is sponsoring the festival and has added a €3,000 ($3,204) EPT Prague Mixed Game package for the HORSE tournament winner.
Cash game action will be non-stop throughout the festival with stakes as low as $4/$8, with higher stakes available upon request. Previous mixed game festivals have featured just one tournament to accompany the plethora of mixed game cash tables. This time there will be two: a $260 Omaha 8/Stud 8 tournament on Monday, March 20th, kicking off the $260 HORSE Main Event on Thursday, March 23rd.
Alongside the EPT Prague prize package, the Mixed Game Festival organized a trio of book signings to add to the party atmosphere. On Tuesday, March 21st, WSOP bracelet winner Dylan Linde will be signing copies of his book, Master mixed games. Then, on Wednesday, March 22nd, WSOP bracelet winner Chris Wallace will be autographing copies of his book. First steps with HORSE. Meanwhile, Poker Hall of Famer Eli Elezra will be in attendance to sign copies of his autobiography. pull trigger at the discounted price of $10.
Rebecca McAdam, Director of Partnerships & PR at PokerStars, stressed the importance of events like this. “It offers a home game atmosphere and environment for players who like to try their hand at a variety of games, but of course with serious competition,” she said. “We’re very excited to be a part of this by giving the community something that continues the post-Vegas shenanigans journey!”
On the other side of the pond
Across the pond, The Festival Series and their cheerful director Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk are gearing up for their second event of the year in Malta. Satellites are already underway on Unibet Poker, pumping out €1,600 ($1,709) packages for a trip to the sunny archipelago from May 15th to 22nd.
PLO, Sviten Special and Chinese poker tournaments mixed in between
The Festival Series had a hugely successful stop at Nottingham’s Dusk Till Dawn in February. Ignacio Menedez took home the first prize of £38,595 ($41,214) after a heads-up deal with Sean O’Donnell in the 609 Runner £450 ($481) No-Limit Hold’em Main Event. However, a key feature of The Festival Series is the mix of formats featuring PLO, Sviten Special and Chinese poker tournaments. There is also some overlap with the other casino game tournaments: roulette, blackjack, slots and even sports betting.
Kris Bergvall, Head of Poker at Unibet, highlighted the player-centric aspect of the Festival Series:
“Malta is one of Europe’s greatest poker destinations and Unibet Poker is excited to create ways for our players to go there to play a multi-format festival that prides itself on its player experience.”
Questions and answers by Strazynski and by Zweigbergk
VegasSlotsOnline News contacted both Strazynski and von Zweigbergk to ask them a few questions about their respective events.
VSO: These kinds of festivals are important in and of themselves, but what kind of participation do you think is a success?
Strazynski: So our festival is a hybrid festival that includes both cash games and tournaments. I’m hoping to get at least 50 players to our Omaha8/Stud8 tournament, which I personally think would be a decent turnout for a “random Monday in March”. I’d like to think that hopefully we’ll get doubles for our Thursday HORSE tournament which comes with the additional EPT Prague prize package for the winner.
For the Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday cash games, I would love it if we could run three low stakes Dealer’s Choice tables simultaneously.
we’re still the new kid on the block
by Zweigbergk: Success is always when friends and players are happy with the events and tournaments we run. In numbers, an increase in total registrations compared to the same tournament in the previous event means we’re making progress and spreading the word.
The Festival series isn’t even two years old, so we’re still the new kid on the block. Nevertheless, in absolute numbers I would like to thank my hero Dr. Quote Evil: “A million dollars!”
VSOQ: What’s your elevator pitch for players who play Hold’em and not much else to try out the other games?
Strazynski: While “hold’em” and “poker” may seem like synonymous terms, poker encompasses dozens of variants, and I would strongly argue that you are not a “complete” poker player until you master the full range of draw, flop and stud cards. games.
What I love about the mix, aside from the games themselves, is that most of the games are fixed limit, meaning it doesn’t “cost your bankroll” as you learn each game. You can sit for hours playing a $4/$8 game on the same $200, have a great time with the other players while you learn all the games, and never have to worry about your money being gone instantly.
I can’t go back to Hold’em; it is too boring!”
If that’s not enough to convince you, I’d say that changing the game in each orbit keeps the mind fresh and active. So many people who tried mixed games for the first time at our Mixed Game Festival said to me, “I can’t go back to hold’em; it is too boring!”
by Zweigbergk: Do you like to whine when your AA doesn’t last? I can guarantee that you will enjoy PLO 4/5/6 even more when you play it.
VSO: Mixed game players are the elephant people of poker. Argue.
Strazynski: I don’t know about elephant people, but poker is full of characters and we’re always looking for more. I promise if you sit down at the table at the Cardplayer Lifestyle Mixed Game Festival you will find plenty.
by Zweigbergk: Hahaha, the mixed crowd is definitely a special breed. I remember the EPT days when the Finns started having bigger pots when they played Chinese poker in the bars or at parties after hours. We invented amazing games like Sviten Special, Thriller, The Pyramid, Indian Poker and added gambling elements like three boards and scoring systems. We also introduced more Joker or Joker variants. If you can imagine it, we played it!
We may be elephant people, but I think we deserve the middle deere!
The mixed game players are indeed endearing and thanks to Strazynski, von Zweigbergk and her kind, they get some. In the words of John Merrick, played by John Hurt in The Elephant Man:
“I’m not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human! I’m a man!”
https://www.vegasslotsonline.com/news/2023/03/17/strazynski-and-von-zweigbergk-showing-love-to-pokers-elephant-men/ Strazynski, from Zweigbergk Show Poker’s Elephant Men Love