In fact, the $3,500 buy-in WPT Maryland at Live! Casino Main Event is set to go off at the Maryland Live! Casino in Hanover, MD from September 30 to October 4. This year, the event comes with a $2 million prize pool guarantee. However, that might be tough to meet, considering the very same event drew 554 entries, creating a $1,772,800 prize pool in October 2016.
The WPT Maryland Main Event has grown substantially in its first two years on the tour. However, Maryland Live! Casino and the WPT are expecting to take a big leap forward this year and putting up a big guarantee to prove the event is ready.
The WPT Maryland at Live! Casino Main Event is a best-stack forward tournament with unlimited re-entries and two starting flights. Plus, registration is open until the start of Day 2 on Monday, October 2.
The WPT is hosting a player’s welcome party Friday, September 29 at The Prime Rib steakhouse at Maryland Live! Casino from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. local time.
Medical school dropout shocks the world at WPT Maryland
At last season’s WPT Maryland Live! Main Event, medical school dropout Zachary Smiley stole the headlines, capturing the title and $356,536 first-place prize. In fact, Smiley’s win overshadowed three top storylines heading into the final table of six.
Upstart Cate Hall made the WPT Maryland final table for the second year in a row. Hall finished fifth in 2015, but could not match that feat, finishing sixth last year. Benjamin Zamani was at his third final table of the season and taking a huge lead in the WPT Player of the Year race regardless of where he finished. He ended up fifth and went on to capture WPT Player of the Year honors.
Plus, Darren Elias had the chance to win his third WPT title. However, Elias could do no better than fourth.
Ultimately, Elias did go on to win his third WPT title at the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic in Niagara Falls, Canada earlier this year. He joined Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, Anthony Zinno, and Chino Rheem as just the fifth player to earn three WPT titles in the tour’s 16 season history.
Mermelstein makes it two at inaugural WPT Maryland Live!
A year earlier, Aaron Mermelstein won his second WPT title at the inaugural WPT Maryland Live! Main Event. He got the best of a field of 337 players. The 2015 final table also included Hall and 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event champ Greg Merson. Mermelstein collected a $250,222 first-place prize for the win.
Of course, the WPT Maryland final table will be filmed for broadcast as part of the Season 16 WPT television schedule on FOX Sports Regional Networks. Plus, the upstart poker content subscription service PokerGO will feature a live stream of the final table October 4.
Maryland Live! Casino opened in June 2012. It is owned and operated by The Cordish Companies. The property now features over 4,200 slots and electronic table games, 189 table games, and a 52-table live poker room.
The Poker Room at Maryland Live! Casino features 24-hour action spread out over two floors. Maryland Live! Casino staff say it is one of the largest poker rooms in the United States and certainly the biggest in the Baltimore, MD–Washington, DC area.
The Poker Room at Maryland Live! Casino has also been running a series of side events and WPT satellites since September 22.
Additional amenities at Maryland Live! Casino include nine restaurants, the 250-room hotel Live! Lofts boutique hotel, Live! Center Stage entertainment center, and the Arundel Mills shopping mall.
The 300-plus room Live! Hotel is currently under construction and scheduled to open sometime in 2018.
Photo credit: World Poker Tour Flickr Page