Gold Coast Festival May 2023

The Southport Sharks was home base for Mixed Games Academy from 21/5-28/5. Running 9 events over 8 days plus a “Player of the Series” competition.

There can be only one, in each event … lets see who they all were!

We kicked things off with an ‘OG’ 8 Game mix including:

  • Limit 2-7 Triple Draw
  • Limit Holdem
  • Stud Hi/Lo – 8 or better
  • Razz
  • Omaha Hi/Lo – 8 or better
  • Seven Card Stud
  • No Limit Holdem
  • Pot Limit Omaha

Something for everyone in this mix including Fixed Limit, No Limit and Pot limit betting structures.

We had a total of 23 entries creating a prize pool of $11,730

MGA payouts reward 10% of total entries +2, which meant the top four would share the entire pool, chopped up as follows:

1st – $4,690

2nd – $2,935

3rd – $2,345

4th – $1,760

The field was made up of a lot of the regular suspects including the standard inclusion of two Australian Poker Hall of Famers. Gary Benson and Graeme Putt were kind enough to hang with the kids and provide some cheap lessons.

But in the end there can only be one! And this time, the one would be none other than Lucas Durante from Melbourne. Lucas had a significant chip lead for most of the final table, absolutely running his own mixed game academy! The top placings were as follows:

1st – Lucas Durante 

2nd – Gary Benson 

3rd – Tony Seremet

4th – Evan Mijo

Bubble – Mena Tawfik

While the winners photo may indicate this game was won in Holdem, the damage was done two hands earlier in a big 2-7 hand where Gary was convinced by Lucas’s confident betting style that his 9-6 low was behind and that is was correct to break and draw one on the last draw. This would see Gary show a Q-6 low and Lucas tabled a 987 rubbing just a little salt into the wound. This had crippled Gary’s stack and the Holdem all-in was fairly standard, raise, all-in, call … run it once, Lucas wins – GG Gary, well done gents!

Event 2 of the festival was our “fixed limit only” event with the acronym of T.E.R.O.S. which included the following mix:

  • 2-7 Triple Draw 
  • Stud Hi/Lo – 8 or better
  • Razz
  • Omaha Hi/Lo – 8 or better
  • Seven Card Stud

The fixed limit streets are always a grind, the games run longer due to the limit betting structure and overall the “average” big bets for each stack gets smaller and smaller … 

We had a total of 22 entries and a prizepool of $11,220. Top four players paid, as follows:

1st – Tony Seremet – $4,490

2nd – John Caridad – $2,805

3rd – Simon Chahine – $2,245

4th – Kurt Tucker – $1,680

Bubble – Volodymyr Platonenko

Day 2 and Tony not only tallies his second cash but his first mixed game trophy! This put Tony well in the lead for the Player of the Series race!

Tuesday saw us turn our attention to the Big Bet Mix of games which included:

  • Pot Limit 2-7 Triple Draw
  • No Limit 2-7 Single Draw
  • No Limit 5 card single draw
  • No Limit Holdem
  • Pot Limit Omaha
  • Pot Limit Omaha hi/lo – 8 or better 
  • Big O

This was a cruel game, nothing fixed limit to hide behind, all stacks at risk at all times!

A total of 25 entries generating a total prizepool of $7,740 with the top 5 cashing as follows:

1st – Eugene “Trix” Portlen – $2,760

2nd – Damian Gore – $1,860

3rd – Victor Salazar – $1.110

4th – Gary Benson – $890

5th – Harris Soetikno – $820

Bubble – Kurt Tucker

This result saw none other than Australian Hall of famer, Gary Benson, bridge the gap between himself and Tony Seremet in the POTS race … while Tony still had a clear lead after 3 events, these star studded fields were going to make it hard to hold on to!

Continuing with the “Big bet Tuesday” theme we ended the day with a PLO hi/Lo – 8 or better tournament.

A total of 28 entries and a total prizepool of $14,280 with the top 5 players paid, as follows:

1st – Sal Ribbera – $5,290

2nd – Graham Woodbine – $3,570

3rd – Andrew “Maddog” Shanahan – $2,140 

4th – Tony Seremet – $1,710 

5th – Simon Chahine – $1,570

Bubble – Harris Soetikno

Another cash for Tony Seremet sees him add some air between himself and the POTS players trying to chase him down!

Simon is quickly becoming a regular in these mixed fields and has been able to add an MGA trophy to the awards cabinet! This mix was all draw games with fixed limit betting structures:

  • 2-7 Triple Draw
  • Badeucey
  • Ace to 5
  • Badacey 
  • Badugi

A triple draw bonanza!

We had 18 entries to this event with a total prizepool of $9,180 seeing the official placings pay the top 4, however a “bubble saver” deal was agreed by the players and they created an unofficial 5th prize giving the bubble a $400 payout for their time. No points for POTS but a generous act by this final table. Placings and payouts as follows:

1st – Simon Knapp – $3,010

2nd – Joan Allen – $2,250

3rd –    Dave Mundy – $2,250

4th – Eugene “Trix” Portlen – $1,270

Soft Bubble – Liz Boyden $400

Hard Bubble – Lucas Durante

This result, in terms of player of the series, saw no change to Tony’s position, however there had been 7 other players ante up $600 each toward a cash prize for the highest points getter for the series. After the Lowball tourney, Tony still led the overall points for the glory and trophy but Trix laddered his way into the top spot for the cash! Can he hang on???

This was going to be a tough sell to non mixed game players when we decided to bring a 21 game mix of all fixed limit, no limit and pot limit poker variants to choose from each orbit!

We still managed 13 entries for the event with a prizepool of $8,290 split between the top 3 players as follows:

1st – Todd Aguila – $4,140

2nd – Kurt Tucker – $2,490

3rd – John Caridad – $1,660

Bubble – Joan Allen

With this cash John laddered up in the POTS race, sitting second place for the cash … third place overall … 

A world first! Never had a mix of games included this variant of Archie before! 

So, what is Archie?

Archie is a 5 card, split pot, triple draw game with two qualifying hand requirements:

High hand – pair of 6’s or better – 50% of pot

Low hand  – eight of better (lower) for the low – 50% of pot

The mix was put together so we had another fixed limit betting mix as a high/low split covering one game from each discipline I.e. one draw game, one stud game and one flop game.

We had 22 entries to this inaugural Archie – O8 – Stud 8 mix and split the $11,220 prizepool as follows:

1st – John Caridad $4,500

2nd – Gary Benson – $2,800

3rd – Joan Allen – $2,240

4th – Lisa Shanahan – $1,680

Bubble – Liz Boyden

John, Gary and Joan all participating in the “cash” side of the POTS comp ladder up and this win sees John take the lead!

The MGA main event, it’s a 10 game mix of fixed, pot and no limit betting structures and draw, stud and flop poker variants.

  • NLH
  • Seven Card Stud
  • Omaha Hi/lo – 8 or better
  • Razz
  • PLO
  • Limit Holdem
  • No Limit 2-7 Single Draw
  • Stud Hi/Lo – 8 or better
  • Razz
  • Limit 2-7 Triple Draw

It’s a deeper stack, longer blinds and deeper structure than all other games to give all players their chance to rise to the top and prove who is the best of the best!

We had 19 runners and $19,500 prizepool, paying the top 4 as follows:

1st – Tony Seremet – $7,800

2nd – Lucas Durante – $4,870

3rd – Joan Allen – $3,900

4th – Gary Benson – $2,930

Bubble – Tim Marsters   

Tony has secured the lead and created a larger gap between himself and “the rest” in this POTS comp, going into the last tournament he can be beaten, will he hang on?? 

What a closing event this turned out to be yet again! The game is cruel, especially when tallying up who can still outlast you for the Player of the Series competition.

One of the people’s champions, none other than Simon “Wahesh” Chahine taking down event 9 of the festival!

Wahesh navigated this final table like the pro we expect, putting everyone to the test at key points and, ultimately, taking down the title for his first MGA title.

We had 35 entries to this game with $10,415 in the prizepool and paying the top 6 players for their efforts, as follows:

1st – Simon “Wahesh” Chahine $3,650

2nd – Sal Ribbera – $2,290

3rd – Sal Fazzino – $1,560

4th – Tony Seremet – $1,145 

5th – Craig Abernathy – $935 

6th – Lucas Durante – $835  

Bubble     Jade Mitchell

What an absolute stella performance by Tony Seremet this week. It’s hard to argue with the stats, Tony cashed in five events and won two titles!

Absolutely crushing the POTS race with almost 70 points between himself and second place.

So the accolades, trophy and bragging rights is rightfully held by Tony Seremet, congratulations Tony on a very successful mixed game campaign this week.

That only leaves the question of the POTS prizepool $4,200 with top 2 paid $2,940 and $1,260 … Gary Benson was able to secure second place overall on the POTS ladder which put him in first place for the cash and John Caridad became runner up and adds to his successful week.

I would like to thank Amanda Abernathy who kindly donated a customised MGA drink bottle for the Player of the Year to go along with the trophy and accolades. 

A big thank you to all who played and supported the MGA festival this week.

A special thanks to our sponsors, firstly Andrews group who continue to partner with us on every tour as a major sponsor, Andrew’s Airport Parking, Busy Beaver Airport Parking and Big Boy Car rentals … make sure you check out our sponsors page for details on deals available for when you next travel!

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Finally, our sponsors at Esteem Vitality, specialising in  women’s health, fitness and overall wellness.

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Onwards and upwards for MGA, we will now commence a series of “Mixed Games only” events covering off different price points and disciplines.

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