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New Poker Room At Maryland Live! Casino Expected To Draw Big Crowds

HANOVER, Md. (WJZ)—Maryland's got game. The Maryland Live! Casino poker room is adding to the appeal of the state's number one gambling revenue maker.

Pat Warren has a preview of what to expect.

There's something for everybody.

"I like to play the slot machines," said Arlene Walko.

"I'm no slot guy," said Richard Hicks. "I'm a table man."

Not only does Maryland Live! have more slot machines than any casino in the state, it's turning out the highest number of tables.

Joe Weinberg, of the Cordish Companies, says it's the company philosophy.

"If you're going to do something, you do it well and you do it in a big way," Weinberg said.

On July 11, poker room construction was just getting underway. Six weeks later, here it is: 52 tables with varied limits expected to draw players from around the country.

"We have chair massages that will be available for players," said Weinberg, listing the amenities. "When you're sitting for a long period of time it's nice to get a little stress relief."

Poker operations director Mike Smith looks forward to a little stress relief himself.

"Somebody asked me if I was excited," Smith said. "I said 'Well, I'm about 90 percent excited and 10 percent scared to death.'"

But if Maryland Live! runs true to form it'll be a winner for the state.

The room opens with a month-long schedule of satellite tournaments open to the public.

"The best players believe they can win, make a living," Smith said.  "And even the ones who don't can relax and play for a long time. You get a lot of social networking and socializing going on."

"A lot of people love poker," says slots man Mike Walko, "so I think it's a good idea."

"I might go in there and try it," Arlene Walko said with a laugh.

Hicks can't wait.

"I'm on my way now," he said.

You can try your luck and test your skill starting Aug. 28.

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