Coming off the success of their inaugural event earlier this year, the PokerGO Tour figured it was time to run a successful series again. The PokerGO Tour Mixed Games II series of non-Texas Hold’em tournaments started on Thursday with its first event, the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. battle. After a throng of players flooded the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas for action, Paul Volpe will lead the final seven men to the final table today.

Surprising Interest in Mixed Game Format

For a $10,000 mixed game format, there was a great deal of interest from the players assembled. There were 41 players gathered for the “shuffle up and deal” call, and that number rapidly went up over the late registration period. That provided for several tables that were formidably stocked with excellent players across the litany of disciplines.

It was an interesting mix, with some players who are viewed as “Hold’em” specialists stepping into the fray with outstanding non-Hold’em pros. Poker Hall of Famers John Hennigan came out for the opening of action, along with David Benyamine, John Monnette, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Julien Martini, and John Racener squaring off against such notable Texas Hold’em aficionados as Anthony Zinno and Dylan Linde. With such different philosophies in the mixed game format, it made for some fascinating play on Day One.

As these players squared off on the baize, several other mixed game specialists decided to take their shot. Hal Rotholz, Roland Israelashvili, Leonard August, Mack Lee, Calvin Anderson, David ‘Chino’ Rheem, and Daniel Negreanu all got in before the late registration period closed. At the end of that period, 72 entries were in the books to create a prize pool of $720,000, of which eleven players will earn a cash and the eventual champion the $187,200 first place prize.

Things didn’t start well for Volpe. From appearances, he had to use a second entry to get back into the tournament after a clash with David ‘ODB’ Baker left him on fumes. Volpe would make the most of that second effort, however, taking that second starting stack of 150,000 chips and turning it into 580,000 within two hours. He would add another 400K in chips after making a Wheel against Andrew Kelsall and, by early Friday morning, had cracked the two million chip mark.

By the time the final table was seated, Volpe was near three million chips and firmly in control of the action. That doesn’t mean his job is going to be easy on Friday, however, as he faces another Poker Hall of Famer in Eli Elezra, Dylan Linde, Rheem and Zinno:

1. Paul Volpe, 2.95 million
2. Eli Elezra, 2.14 million
3. David Funkhouser, 1.9 million
4. Dylan Linde, 1.26 million
5. Anthony Zinno, 945,000
6. David ‘Chino’ Rheem, 850,000
7. Dylan Weisman, 750,000

Action will resume at noon (Pacific Time) on Friday to crown a champion in Event #1 of the PGT Mixed Games II festival tonight.

Ten Days of Mixed Game Fun

The $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament that is opening the PGT Mixed Games II battles is the first of what will be nine different tournaments for the combatants. Such games as Omaha Hi/Lo, Deuce to Seven Lowball, Stud Hi/Lo, Badugi, Razz, and other more devious poker variants will receive their attention over the next ten days. Along with the differing games, the price of poker will increase as the schedule plays out.

The finale is set for October 13, when the $25,000 Ten-Game Championship Event will take to the PokerGO Studio stage. The champion of that event will have a pretty good leg up on taking the overall title, which will earn the player who earns the most points in the series a $25,000 bonus along with the PGT Gold Cup. For those who think that Texas Hold’em is the only game in town, the next ten days will demonstrate that there’s more to poker than two hole cards and a five-card board!

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