As the calendar gets ready to turn to March, the PokerGO Tour has warmed up its engines for its next “high roller” tournament series. This time around it isn’t strictly about Texas Hold’em, as the PGT Mixed Game Series takes to the stage at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas. Event #1 has opened the action at ARIA Resort & Casino, with the final table set to be played this afternoon.

Decent Showing for Opening Event

Event #1, a $5000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament, opened the 2024 PGT Mixed Games Series, and the players seemed to be ready for battle. Ten tables were in action for the opening “shuffle up and deal,” and with five players on each patch of felt, there were potential landmines on every table. The issue, as it can be with mixed game events, is that there are “other” players who are well-versed in the games being offered, which can sometimes surprise the notable names in the field.

One particular “Table of Death” was Table 3, which featured Chad Eveslage, John Monnette, and Talal Shakerchi arranged around the table. Ben Yu and Dylan Weisman held down the baize on Table 5, while Maxx Coleman, Calvin Anderson, and Zack all sat under the Table 10 banner. Add in the defending champion Rheem, along with Alex Livingston, Max Pescatori, and Dan Shak, and you have an idea of how difficult the 51 players who sat down to start Event #1 were.

The tournament did not get any easier as the late registrants joined the fray. David ‘ODB’ Baker, Jeremy Ausmus, Nick Pupillo, Eli Elezra, and Roland Israelashvili all would work their way to their chairs as the early action continued. By the end of the late registration period, a total of 87 entries had been received, building a $435,000 prize pool and paying out the final thirteen players. The eventual champion of Event #1 will draw first blood towards the 2024 PGT Mixed Games Series overall championship and a $117,450 payday.

Interesting Mix at Event #1 Final Table

Normally the mixed game tournament takes a bit of time to play through as, especially with the inclusion of the split-pot games (Omaha and Seven Card Hi/Lo), players can hang on for a spell. The gamble was evident from these players as they looked to move up the leaderboard. One of the victims of this early gamble was Katherine Fleck, who busted out only a few hours into the action, followed quickly by noted mixed game specialist Frankie O’Dell, Matt Woodward, and Zack.

Both Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu took advantage of the late registration process to come in right before its close, but they would go in different directions. Negreanu seemed to add to his stack the moment he sat down, while Hellmuth went in the opposite direction, with his end coming in a hand of Razz.

In a three-way pot with Weisman and Benny Glaser, Hellmuth would bet out his deuce-trey up cards on Fourth Street, but Weisman (showing a 2-10) and Glaser (6-K up cards) didn’t go away. Weisman caught a ten on Fifth Street to take over the lead, popping a 40K bet on the felt that only Hellmuth (Jack on Fifth Street) would call with his final chips. The cards were unveiled, and Hellmuth wasn’t in as good a position as he thought he was:

Hellmuth: (4-5) 2-3-J
Weisman: (A-6) 2-10-3

Weisman’s Jack on the turn wasn’t helpful, but Hellmuth got even less help as a five paired him (remember, Razz is the worst hand, not the best). Weisman only had to fade Seventh Street to eliminate Hellmuth and he did so in a grand manner, catching an eight to improve to eight-six, while Hellmuth’s ten didn’t improve him enough to keep him around the tournament.

Alas, the news would not end well for Weisman, either, with his elimination on the money bubble by Negreanu. Several players such as Elezra (eleventh place), Brian Rast (ninth place), and Jim Collopy (eighth place) did pick up some cash for their efforts. Monnette was the unfortunate final table “bubble boy,” dropping a hand of Seven Card Stud to Glaser to set the final table for action on Thursday:

1. Dennis Maschke, 2.5 million
2. Daniel Negreanu, 2.4 million
3. Benny Glaser, 2.375 million
4. Maksim Pisarenko, 2.1 million
5. Andrew Kelsall, 2.075 million
6. Mike Gorodinsky, 1.7 million

This is a wide-open tournament for anyone to win with the field bunched as tightly as it is. Maschke is the wild card here as there are absolutely ZERO records for him on the Hendon Mob database. With only 800K in chips separating the competitors, however, the PokerGO live stream of the tournament should be entertaining.

The 2024 version of the PGT Mixed Game Series is the third iteration of the schedule, which has proven to be successful for the tour and its broadcast partner, the streaming outlet PokerGO. The inaugural champion of the series was Dan Zack, who cashed five times on his way to earning the overall championship early in 2023. Later in 2023, a second version of the PGT Mixed Games Series was run, with David ‘Chino’ Rheem displaying his versatile poker talents with a victory and four other cashes on his way to taking the overall championship.

Who will be next? We will keep an eye on the proceedings to keep you updated on the 2024 PGT Mixed Games Series.

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