Several Poker Pros and Five Amateurs from “Open Casting Call” Create Lots of Exciting High-Stakes Poker Action
“Poker Night in America” wrapped up its most recent television production, which was held at the hugely-successful Maryland Live Casino, located just south of Baltimore. The presence of a film crew on the scene to record the local poker action makes this the first event of its kind ever televised in “The Free State.” Multiple shows were recorded for a later series of broadcasts which will air on dates to announced in the near future.
Prior to the cameras rolling, the $1 MILLION LIVE! POKER CLASSIC took place March 10-24. Nine poker events were included on the action-packed schedule, culminating in the Main Event Championship, with a buy-in of $3,500. Remarkably, on the tournament’s final day, once eight players were remaining, the surviving players agreed to a deal and split the prize money.
However, the “reel” highlight of the two-week poker festival was the high-stakes cash game, which has become a staple production of “Poker Night in America.” Rather than focusing on tournament action, the cash game features players buying-in and playing with their own money. In order to sit in the cash game, players must agree to buy-in for at least $5,000 (there’s a $20,000 maximum).
Several notable poker players took the challenge. Foremost among those who attended was Greg Merson, a local poker pro who hit it big two years ago by winning the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event, otherwise known as the world championship. Other notable poker pros who attended and played on “Poker Night in America” included – Gavin Smith, David “ODB” Baker, Matt Glantz, Tom Schneider, Christian Harder, Jason Somerville, and Danielle Andersen. Local favorites Darvin Moon (who finished second in the 2009 world championship) and Steve Dannenmann (who finished second in the 2005 world championship) were also present.
One of the hallmarks of “Poker Night in America” is the opportunity to see new talent and give new players an opportunity to play with the pros. Several local players were up to the challenge – including Avi Rubin, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, and one of the foremost authorities in the world on software security and hacking. Rubin, an avid poker enthusiast, was like a kid in a candy store playing among the world’s best. No pushover himself, Rubin managed to make a profit in his first experience playing poker on television. “I had an incredible time,” Rubin said afterward. “I was picked as one of the casting call players and wasn’t sure what to expect. But this was great. I hope to do it again.”
Away from the table, those in attendance had just as much fun. Several poker players watched the college basketball tournament known as “March Madness.” There were pool games, and visits to the surrounding area. Poker Pro Tom Schneider, making his third “Poker Night in America” appearance, even brought his guitar and serenaded listeners with some original country-western tunes. Located in Hanover, Maryland, the host casino is conveniently situated in between Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC, near BWI Airport. The poker room is one of the nation’s busiest. It’s located on two floors and includes up to 50 poker tables.
Maryland Live Casino was “Poker Night in America’s” fourth shooting location. The initial production took place last August and was held at the Turning Stone Casino near Syracuse, New York. The next shows were filmed in Reno, NV at the Peppermill in November. Then, the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, PA hosted the most recent series in December. “Poker Night in America” has attracted many of the biggest names and most popular players in poker. In addition to those who showed up in Marlyand, celebrity poker pros who have played in past shows include — Mike “the Mouth” Matusow, Eli Elezra, Shaun Deeb, Lauren Billings, Shaun Buchanan, Phil Laak, David Williams, Layne Flack, Greg Raymer, Joe Cada, Kristi Arnett, Steven Mclaughlin, Todd Brunson, and several others.
The next televised stop will be announced soon.
For more information, please contact:
Carmen E. Gonzales
Director of Communications | Maryland Live! Casino
direct: 443-445-2901 | cell: 443-842-1992
Nolan Dalla (Creative Director—Poker Night in America)