A day after major news outlets proclaimed winter storm “Janus” it struck the United States East Coast harshly. I had the privilege after this inclement weather of meeting one-on-one with the Maryland Live Director of Poker, Mike Smith.
Mike growing up in California was happy to let it be known his preference for warmer weather conditions.
While growing up in California Mike expressed his time spent acquiring his joy for playing poker in his Grandparents kitchen amongst other children in the family.
An older Mike moved to Las Vegas at the tender age of 19 and went to the University of Las Vegas where he studied political Science before dropping out of College.
Shortly after his decision he then went on to spend 13 years in a Las Vegas poker room.
Another 2 years of his life was spent working at the Sycuan, California Indian reservation poker room, and Hardrock Hollywood Casino (2005).
In the midst of the changes Mike has maintained his spirit for traveling, and has accumulated 16 years of transfers and promotions.
His last 8 years were spent in Florida where I was quickly reminded that there are no slots, and majority of gaming is with Indian reservations.
All these accolades but Mike emphatically made it known with all his time spent in Vegas he has no interest in settling in Las Vegas.
The most recent crowning achievement of Mike is for the first time in his career Mike did the buying of ordering supplies, and for the first time ever working a two story poker room. Speaking of a two story poker room he mentioned some of the challenges it present including handling security, satisfying patron on both floors, and most importantly maintaining communications lines especially among his staff.
A few things to note about Mike:
- Has never visited Atlantic City
- Tournament Director for the Players Poker Championship - Aruba
- Reason for choosing his job is “Did not want to work for a living” – Mike
Being granted the opportunity to go behind the scenes and interact with the architect in what some hail as one of the East coast best poker rooms speaks volumes. Anyone planning a trip out to the DC-Baltimore area should put Maryland Live poker room on there list of things to see and do list.
Director of Poker
Maryland Live! Casino
7002 Arundel Mills Circle
Hanover, MD 21706
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