I've been to both MGM National Harbor and Maryland Live and won't hesitate to compare the two. If you don't know too much about MGM National Harbor, you can find more information in this post. This time, I'm going to take a look at the main competitor to the other casino in Maryland.

The Introduction.

I visited Maryland Live on a Friday night with one of my friends. We arrived in a massive parking garage with free spaces available. The garage was filled and we had to park on the top. Once inside, we realized just how huge the casino is. We immediately headed to the Poker room, but were told that we needed to obtain a player card first.

This resulted in a significant and frustrating delay that neither of us wanted to deal with. After waiting in line, we finally obtained player cards and headed back to play some poker.

The Poker Room.

The number of tables at Maryland Live is absolutely insane. I would be shocked to find anyone unable to find a spot at a table there. My friend and I were seated immediately at a table on the second floor in a 1/2 NL game. This game was by far the most popular in the casino, but Omaha and higher limit games were available as well. The rake in these games is highly reasonable at 10% but with a $5 maximum per hand. I enjoyed the table and the atmosphere in which I was playing.

Atmosphere and Players.

My table included a mix of players that included older gentleman, middle-aged women, and younger men. The table that I was sitting down at could generally be characterized as a soft poker game defined by a lot of limping. This gave me quite a few good spots and I was able to take advantage by aggressively playing hands like AA and QQ.

This type of passive play was perfect and allowed me to more than double my original stack of $240 by the end of my session.

And I had fun doing it! The waiters were very willing to help, the manager in the room made it feel like home, and the table was generally friendly. This was in stark contrast to MGM National Harbor, which is understaffed in the poker room and a bit too stiff for my liking.

I really enjoyed the jabs players were taking at each other and the general friendliness of the game.

Final Commentary and Review.

If you're looking to play poker, Maryland Live will not disappoint. The initial experience was frustrating, but it was absolutely worth it in the end. I enjoyed the atmosphere, the poker, the players, and the casino. Poker players looking to have a good time will not be disappointed at Maryland Live.