Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Maryland Live! Casino ~ A review from my first visit

Maryland Live! Casino has had table games for a while now, and a few of my friends  went there the weekend the table games first opened.  I wasn't that enthusiastic about going right away.  I figured that the casino would take advantage of the excitement with high table minimums.  Needless to say, I decided to check it out for myself a few weeks ago. 

If you're a poker player, this post may not have anything for you.  I don't play poker and have no interest to check out whether there is a poker room.

Here are my observations:
  • People say that they've seen $15 table minimums.  As far as I'm concerned this is urban legend.  The $15 table minimum is just as real as the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot.
  • The ATMs will let you withdraw a maximum of $250 for each transaction and charge you $4 for the chance to do so.
  • There are lot of blackjack tables and not all of them use an automatic shuffler.
  • There are 6 craps tables
  • The craps tables offer 10X odds.  You can do the math.  A $25 point with maximum odds means that the gambler would have $275 on the table at any given time.  Personally, I would never regularly bet that large.  Odds are where a craps player can really make his/her money so if you have the bankroll and can afford to survive through one/two/three "coolers" by all means, go for it.
  • There are actually people who played $100 minimum craps.  Who are these people and what do they do for a living?!!?
  • I saw an old man get told to leave for card counting while playing blackjack.  I've seen the movie 21, but I'd never seen that before.  When I got home I started Googling card counting and there was a blog/article written about how casinos identify these people.  Sure enough, in retrospect, this guy was obviously counting.
    • He was in the high-limit room drinking coffee and not tipping the server nor the dealer.
    • He was playing the last 2 spots.
    • He was betting the minimum (i.e. $100/hand) in the high limit room and playing a couple of hands.
      • He started out never doubling down on 11 (i.e. which I noticed while I was sitting watching) but would hit and get 21 anyway.  You don't need to watch the movie Swingers to know that you "always" double down on 11.
      • He wasn't consistent with how he played his 16s. 
    • Next thing you knew:
      • He was increasing his bets and always doubling down on 11.
      • He split 9s.
        • At this point at least 2 casino supervisors/bosses etc. were watching him.  One of the older supervisors had a cell phone in his hand and he eventually moved towards the table, covered the shoe, told the dealer to shuffle immediately, and informed the guy playing that he was no longer going to be able to play at that casino any longer.  It was all pretty interesting.  I was chatting with my friend and watching baseball, but when the guy was told/asked to leave, I looked and he must've had close to $2,000 wagered on each hand for the next round.  If he'd won his next 2 hands he could've made close to $4,000 on that round alone.  Crazy stuff!
    • When the old man was asked to leave, he started fussing and asking why he had to go.  The supervisor made a remark that he should know why (i.e. or something to that effect).  The gambler wanted an explanation and made a small stink about not being able to win.  I've seen movies, so I was waiting for him to continue complaining and then get taken away, but that didn't happen. 
  • I'd heard that Maryland Live! Casino was really smoky.  I didn't experience this.  The place seems to have good ventilation.
  • It's a large casino, but not overly crowded.  I didn't want to deal with crowds of people, so I decided not to go on Friday or Saturday night. 
  • There are TVs playing music videos from the 80s/90s.  There are also TVs that show sporting events, so you don't have to worry about missing your favorite team play while you wager.
  • The Cheesecake Factory is near the casino entrance as soon as you come down the elevator after parking.
  • The casino is right next to the mall area.  I've never been shopping at Arundel Mills before, but I suggest shopping before you gamble.
  • If you live in the DC/VA/MD area, the only reason to skip Maryland Live! and go to Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, WV would be the lower table minimums...

Good luck!


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