Maryland Live! Poker Room Opens to Huge Crowds

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The Maryland Live! Casino opened its new poker room last Wednesday to the thrill of its customers, who lined up hours in advance just to be amongst the first to play there. The 52-table room cost approximately $20 million to build and features such amenities as phone charging ports in the table legs, roving masseuses, and safe deposit boxes.

According to, hundreds of people were already waiting in line by the noon opening time and more than one thousand were waiting an hour later. Many likely were there for the spectacle and to say they played there on opening day, and while crowds won’t be that enormous on a daily basis, the poker room is expected to be a strong draw. Located in Hanover, Maryland, the casino is just minutes south of Baltimore and a quick drive up the highway from Washington, D.C. Before the opening of the Maryland Live! poker room, players in the area had to drive quite a ways east (ex: Delaware Park in northern Delaware) or west (ex: Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, West Virginia) to play poker at a casino. Now people in two metropolitan areas don’t have far to go to get in on the action.

The poker room spreads the following games:

Fixed Limit Hold’em: $4/8, $8/16, $15/30
No-Limit Hold’em: $1/2, $2/5, $5/$10, $10/25
Fixed-Limit Omaha 8 or Better: $4/8 (1/2 Kill), $8/16
Pot-Limit Omaha: $2/2, $5/5

Higher limits and mixed games are available upon request.

On the tournament side, Maryland Live! holds a featured satellite into the Players Poker Championship (PPC) Aruba event every Sunday at 7:00pm. The buy-in is $520 and for every ten entries, a $5,000 PPC Aruba prize package, which includes the $2,500 Main Event buy-in, an additional $550 tournament buy-in, $360 flight credit, and six nights accommodations, will be awarded. Smaller prize packages will be awarded with the excess prize pool. One qualifier for the satellite runs each day at the casino.

There are other tournaments running during the week, as well, including bounty tourneys and mega stack turbo events. Buy-ins range from $120 to $330.

The first game was played at $1/2 ten-handed No-Limit Hold’em table. had the play-by-play (veteran online players, you may want to hop in your cars right now):

Nine (NINE!) players saw the flop of 4-5-6. Matt Portnoy led out with an $8 bet, Mike Stein raised to $32, and Amanda Pasko called (we assume Portnoy folded, though this was not explicitly mentioned). When the Q♣ was dealt on the turn, Stein bet $65 and once again, Pasko called. The river was the 7, which prompted Stein to bet again. That was all she wrote for Pasko, who folded, giving the historic pot to Stein. He flipped over 8-9 for the flopped flush and an apparently well-shuffled first deck.

2012 World Series of Poker Main Event champ Greg Merson, who hails from nearby Laurel, Maryland, checked out the poker room before it opened and was impressed. He told, “It has a feel that’s really elite amongst poker rooms in the U.S.”

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