Posted by odiousgambit
Sep 13, 2012

M-Live Sept. 12

Without much warning, I got a nice offer for free play withing a very narrow window of time, on one day too. I had thought I'd have no problem showing up at the right time [luckily]. Later events have shown that I was showing up for something big, to my surprise. The email said it was to be a "sneak peek", so although I realized it might be busier than usual, turns out it was nightmare overcrowded. Word has it a lot of people were miffed, not getting in, or giving up trying. I almost turned around myself, but the incentive was pretty good and by the time I realized the problem, I could see I was only going to be a little late, within what was likely to be a normal grace period. I parked in a lot nearby and walked a quarter mile, assuming the garage was going to be hellish.

Inside, packed, but I usually deal with that OK. It's the bumper to bumper traffic situation I can't stand. Nonetheless, long lines everywhere, and hard to find a machine I wanted. Finally someone gets up from a seat that has e-craps. I sit down, see it is $10 min. Perhaps that was everywhere, and no way can I be picky. I decided to make a few bets and get out of there, knowing there would be long lines at the cashier. Bear in mind too, as far as I knew, information hard to come by, things were only going to get worse, and I wanted to get the hell out before rush hour.

I wanted to do the buffet again [see previous post], but with the line and my anxiety, forget it!

After thinking about it for a while, I have decided that what was going on was purely a situation where Cordish, the big tuna here, was going to speak, and his handlers have learned in order to schmooze him, there must be a big crowd. So they send out this generous free play offer to thousands of people all to come in this narrow little window of time! They really ought to be ashamed of themselves, such BS is un-neighborly and even unsafe due to the traffic mess. Truth be told, if all they did was have some big drawings, that probably would have brought plenty of people in. This was unnecessary and apparently caused more hard feelings than it was worth. Are they going to make it up to their patrons who got pissed?

But the money was there, and I did take it.


100xOdds Sep 14, 2012

how did you do w/the free $?

all on a single dont pass (max odds) then leave?

odiousgambit Sep 15, 2012

>how did you do w/the free $?

10 DPs/DCs with full odds, lost right off the bat but got on a winning streak and wound up over $100. Naturally, I wanted to continue, but not real happy with a $10 table and my anxiety about traffic when leaving [unfounded] I got up from my seat.

I have to assume they would know you took X amount from them and just tried to cash it, without gambling through it, BTW. At least that would be the rule if it was up to me! [g]

100xOdds Sep 15, 2012

but you did gamble thru it if u put it all on a single dp/full odds

ie: $70 free $

$10 dp/$60 odds

win or lose, you just gambled thru the free $ they gave you

odiousgambit Sep 15, 2012

yeah, I know, but I considered just taking the money... doubt if that works. That's why I mentioned it. I wagered enough in just a couple of minutes if you count free odds, and surely they do.

wrxrob Dec 04, 2012

The garage is not a nightmare if you park in the upper floors, especially 6 and 7.

As far as the craps are concerned, I'm sure you noticed you can no longer make 50 cent line and place bets. Now, they have gone to truly $5/10 minimums (except for the prop bets of course). The only unusual craps bets I notice still allowed, is the $1 horn (as opposed to the usual $4 at most tables) and the $5 buy bet on 4 and 10.

The bar is still $5 minimum, but most other rows, and the "island" is now $10.

I still like that you can use the free play on the tables, as opposed to being forced to drop those dollars in slot machines.

I am enjoying your blog, as you seem to hit the same casinos I most frequently visit (M-Live, Harrington)

Posted by odiousgambit
Sep 13, 2012

M-Live Buffet

I returned to M-Live the last week of August to find only the weekly offer of $5 on the account. Going by fortunately wasn't that inconvenient for me. I staked the $5 on the banker in Baccarat and watched it go bye-bye in one hand. I had told myself I wasn't going to stake more unless more was on the card, not really wanting to get sucked into a routine of going to this place unless it continued to pay to do so, at least theoretically. And I played no more, wanting to check out the buffet for some time, and this was my chance.

IMO the buffet was outstanding. Judging by a dearth of positive reviews I could find, It has to be true that another person would not have been impressed, and it is certainly true that there were some things you could pick at, mostly relating to spotty service. And none of it was too good to be true. For example even though New York Strip was served, it was in such a manner it might as well have been a cheaper cut; it was not steaks laid out but thin cuts lying in a sauce. Perhaps one's taste in buffets can be like taste in pizza, where what one person likes is completely contrary to what another does. But I thought it was the best buffet for the price that I had been to in a long, long time.

The $18 cost was reduced to $16 with player's card, not bad, not spectacular. But once with plate in hand, the Diner finds he has a choice of Seafood, Southern food [the section perhaps un-named], BBQ, Italian, and Asian. The Seafood section had shrimp and various fish, including portions of Mahi Mahi that would be a $25 entree at many restaurants, and more [my notes fail me now as to what].

A carving station had roast pork, and there was also an omelette station. Service was spotty, though, at either place. You find yourself waiting for someone to show up. I was too impatient for that, lots of goodies beckoned.

The Southern section [whatever it was called] had Collard greens cooked absolutely as authentic as you would want, with homestyle mac and cheese and chicken. I loaded up here first, loving that stuff.

The BBQ section had NY Strip, as mentioned, a good cut no matter how served, and also BBQ brisket and BBQ chicken.

The Italian section, un-named I think, was a little spotty, it probably varies. No pasta, which was odd, but surely they usually have it. Outstanding meatballs though.

Something big with me is to have a lot of good interesting vegetable dishes. I can really almost get desperate when traveling to try to keep to a balanced diet, and a buffet with lots of vegetables is a goldmine, allowing me to "catch up" [I really can nearly get ill if a bad diet follows me all vacation]. So even though it wasn't my problem this time, they had it, and I was glad to see it. The salad bar had spinach and 'spring mix', and also chick peas and kidney beans, the latter two items a real life saver sometimes when traveling. They had the classic mistake of not using dark red variety for the kidney beans; like I say, there are some things to pick at.

As for dessert, certainly there is a section for that, but believe it or not I have little interest in that at a buffet, I get too stuffed on what I really want, and I just don't check it out. But they have soft-serve Yogurt, and I had some of that. It was like soft-serve ice cream, and I wondered if that's what it was without a sign saying so. But my wife says the soft serve yogurt is like ice cream, so probably I just couldnt tell the difference.

I am sure there are some Casino buffets that are better, I'm not the expert, but at what price? This one does blow Harrington's [DE] buffet away, that much I can say.


wrxrob Dec 04, 2012

Thanks for the buffet review. I've been to MD Live several times, but have yet to try the buffet, due to the high number of bad reviews I've heard. Have you tried their snow crab night (Fri-Sat). I'm curious of the quality of snow crab before ponying up the high price they are asking for that buffet.

Posted by odiousgambit
Aug 22, 2012

Maryland Live trip 3

Tuesday returned to Maryland Live! and will continue to do so weekly if they continue to put money in my account.

This time I wanted to get the facts and took better notes.

I started with 308 points plus $15 from the house in cash. I ended with 975 points, finally remembering to check that.

This time around had a good long session. I marked as accurately as I could how many $5 line bets I made, all on the Don't or the DC, on a little notepad. 65 line bets. Sixty five over a 2 hour period! And, yes, I sometimes had as many as 3 going simultaneously. I guess I have been way over-estimating how much betting I was doing there, considering the pace. I also tried to mark how many times I put up free odds, although I had the feeling I might have failed to make a note on that a few times. In any case, counted 41 such; since it was 3x4x5x and the max, that was $30 each time. So my betting was $325 against the house edge, EV approx minus $3.70!! Four $1 bets on 'any craps' just for grins tips the EV to a bit over minus $4. My coin-in $1555 adding the free odds [and possibly more as I might have missed some free odds I bet]; at 1 for 2, the max rate they claim to offer, that would be 777.5 points. Instead I saw 667 added. I can't figure out any formula they might be
using from that. Would have earned only about 162 from non-free odds bets. On the face of it these points are nearly worthless, mind you, if you are just going by what they will promise officially.

They had an odd thing going on with those points that I couldnt figure out. A statement on a little screen that gives you info on your player's card kept saying "200 countdown for next point". Then it would change to "100 countdown for next point" after a while, and then go back again. Made no sense to me as the running total for the points I was earning had nothing to do with that.

When I got the seat I wanted, I was watching the 7s per 100 stats again. It stayed low again; I watched it go from 11 to 13, digging me out of a hole - not that a couple of 7s didnt hit my darkside line bets. I think this means the 7s have been MIA pretty much every time I have gone there, although on my first visit it was just my impression with no facts. Could this conceivably mean dice under a dome might have such a bias? I'm already convinced it is nay, for various reasons, and won't check it out. I think if there was a flaw for dome dice, it would be in the nature of the dice remembering the last roll from how they lay, and developing a pattern. I doubt that too but it least I can picture it. I can see no reason why 7s would be unfavored by any such flaw.

A guy sat next to me and stared gasping, I thought he was losing. Then I hear him say "the field is hot!". I swear he wasn't there 5 minutes and he says "I'm cashing out, I just won $1000"; I saw his ticket and indeed he had. My guess is he was parlaying his bets on the field.

As far as my own luck, Maryland has refused to allow me a session win so far, although my losses have been no biggie. So I guess they are getting the last laugh, loading money onto the player's card but then seeing me lose it and more. But if they will keep doing it, I will keep going back, yessir.


teddys Aug 23, 2012

May you have the cold streak to end all cold streaks :)

odiousgambit Aug 23, 2012

If that is what it takes, but I'll go for a hot streak to end all cold streaks too! [g]

100xOdds Aug 23, 2012

last week when i was there, it was a COLD streak. the longest streak w/o a 7 was only 6 numbers according to the game display sscreeen.

7's were rolling left and right. luckily i was playing Dark. unlucky in that when i decided to press my bet from $35 to $100 (plus 6x odds), the point hit :(

went back to break even. oh well, another day...

FleaStiff Aug 25, 2012

could that countdown to next point mean that "any points that are in our computer will be posted to your account in 100 seconds"?

odiousgambit Aug 25, 2012


7's were rolling left and right. luckily i was playing Dark. unlucky in that when i decided to press my bet from $35 to $100 (plus 6x odds), the point hit :(

More 7s favors the darkside, but it is kind of funny how slowly that benefit can kick in. I think it is even possible in the short term to be no benefit at all, due to bad luck having them kick in on the line bet and not the darksides odds bet.


could that countdown to next point mean that "any points that are in our computer will be posted to your account in 100 seconds"?

Maybe, but it seemed a lot longer than that many seconds. And I would see points accumulate in the meantime.

There seem to be many mysteries to solve at M-Live. Thanks for the comments.

Posted by odiousgambit
Aug 10, 2012

Maryland Live! Relived

Went to Maryland Live Thursday 8/9/12; no big deal this can be a short one.

I had pretty much figured I wasn't going back so soon, having been there in June to check out their version of my favorite game, Craps. It's e-craps, and I was glad I checked it out, but this is not "doing it for me" enough to replace the real table game.

I did sign up for the player's card though. So a few weeks ago I get an email saying there was a total of $20 loaded on it somehow. This definitely was not earned from my play, so I figure, let's see how this goes. They keep loading the money on, I will keep going.

As I hoped, no problems with traffic or being crowded by going early [10 AM] during the week. Wound up going through the $20 and a bit into my bankroll as no doubt they were sure I would.

I have completely failed to keep track of my comp points, so I have no way of knowing if any of that $20 came from my points, or if all of it was as an introductory offer coming after I got my card, instead of before I got my card. For sure none of it should really have come from my play, the EV of which for my entire experience including this last one [about $5] not amounting to more than $12 in losses, and no, I am not kidding, since my action is almost entirely line bets with the free odds. So a very generous rebate from the prior trip would have been only about 1/3 of the approx. minus $7 EV of that first trip. I started with 143 points on the card and failed again to see what points I had when I left there this time. I am just not used to giving a damn, knowing they should be amounting to zilch. I am sure some day I will go back, so maybe I'll be more used to the contraption you place your bets on [horsing around with that has been a distraction] and get a better handle on the points.

Changes I noticed: the bet increment now in Craps is $1, not 50 cents. The minimum bet is now always $5 [or $10 with unpredictable location for where will be what min.], meaning you can no longer bet the lowest increment on your next bet just because you already bet $5 somewhere. The middle table bets though always can be placed for the lowest increment [$1].

Something else that may have just eluded me last time was, if you play at the bar, there are some constant statistics being shown on the big screen for Craps and Sic Bo, along with the current action. I have decided to always play the dark side exclusively when I go there, as it is so easy to be discreet. They displayed the frequencies of the last 100 rolls, carefully explaining it was by percent, which since it was 100 rolls was the same as the actual number, which I thought was funny. I watched as the number of 7s rolled dropped from 13 to 10 for the last 100, so clearly it was not a good day for the dark side before I got there and certainly not after I started betting. I am thinking '10' is about as low as the number of 7s get, which is not to say I didn't get burned on the come-out at least once with a 7.

Well, that is about it and may be about it for much more action there in MD, assuming they don't just keep throwing money at me. Just have to have that real Craps table to get motivated to go more. A planned trip to Harrington in Sept is looking good now.


odiousgambit Aug 12, 2012

Ran Wincraps for about 1000, 100 roll games to get an idea how rare 10 7s per 100 rolls was.

Roughly half a dozen times was it less than ten, out of the 1000 games. So, not outrageously unheard of, the low being 5. The mean should be trending towards 16.67 as I run more games, of course.

Still, it was fairly rare to see.

100xOdds Aug 12, 2012

The first time i got a bonus at MAryland Live (end of June/beginning of July), they converted my ~4500 points to $85 which is $0.02/point. Normally it's 600points = $1 or $0.0017/point. I had no problem w/this. :)

I now have 17500 points. For Aug, they have a promo where on Sun, I get a free mystery bonus. ie: no points converted.

last sun, it was only $15. today is was $50! :)

i dont know if it's targeted or not.

check it out. You might have one...

Goto the players club and ask.

Posted by odiousgambit
Jun 24, 2012

Maryland Live!

Like Jeopardy!, the exclamation point is part of the name.

So on Thursday I left from Harrington and went straight to Arundel Mills Maryland [very close to Baltimore, just south a bit] to check out electronic table games and the scene there. Maryland legislation has OK'd slots only very recently, and has not approved table games. In case anyone doubted earlier reports, I can confirm it is not just slots as gamblers define slots, but also Craps, Sic Bo, Double Zero Roulette, Baccarat, and maybe something else since I didn't take other than mental notes. Maryland is giving the all-clear now to anything as long as it is electronic, a different definition of "slots" for sure. The real slots were getting plenty of action Thursday afternoon.

The garage is huge and there are no tickets or anything, you just drive off when leaving. The trick is not to try parking immediately next to the first elevators but to go on up, if you want to avoid having to back up after discovering the first sections are full and dead ends [not the case further up]. There is valet parking if you want it.

Walking in there was a substantial line to sign up for a Player's Card, I was a bit tired after the driving, and I just had to skip that at first. Turns out you have to have one to get free soft drinks, this at the bar anyway, where I paid $1 for a small coke that did get refilled free.

In the Casino there is a section close to the middle with a bar, and next to the bar is an island with huge dice in one dome and a roulette wheel under another dome. I couldn't sit there at first, so I sat at the bar rather than at a satellite island, making at least 3 areas to look for a seat. The minimum at the bar and at the main island was $5, and I am wondering if that isn't just the minimum period now; earlier reports indicated satellites were $10 minimum but I bet that has changed [did not sit at non-bar satellite though].

The Craps is advertised online as having ''the excitement of the traditional game with an exciting new twist". The game seemed completely fair with normal rules; no "twist" that I could figure out. No side bets other than traditional proposition bets unless I missed it. The game stopped after the last roll [shown on your screen by a video of the dice under the dome] and then this roll was simulated and announced electronically [not by bartender], all taking about 5 seconds. Then there is a count-down of 25 more seconds till the next roll, which takes a few seconds. So there is a constant pace of something less than 120 rolls per hour, but probably more than 100; IIRC this pace is similar to a real table when full, and slower than a near empty real table. It was 3x4x5x when I was there, as others had said to expect.

I immediately decided Darkside is the way to go. Nobody cares around the DC area even at real tables anyway, and you have a certain degree of privacy here; what the next player is playing is not easy to determine unless he cheers results. I stuck to $5 bets and found that indeed the 50 cent increment is playable on a different bet once you make that bet. So I would sometimes add DC bets for 50 cents. The Casino isn't stupid, though, get this: I allowed my $5 line bet to be resolved and left some DC bets for 50c plus odds up, with less than $5 risked [actually by accident]. I realized this as the dice were rolled and watched my DC bets go away! OK, the money was returned to me, but at that point I had the odds on my side on those bets! Grrr! Maybe I finally found the "twist"!

Later as an experiment I wanted to see what would happen to a right bettor accidentally going less than minimum. I made a 50c come bet that went up for a point to make, and then the line bet resolved. The 50c bet stayed for the next rolls. Then there was a 7-out and of course the 50c bet lost at that point. I wanted to find out then what would happen if 50c was all you were betting this way and you *made* your point! But this experiment never got made, see below, so I can't tell you on that. I think the bottom line is you want to be paying attention to your $5 minimum or risk getting screwed.

After playing for a while I was up a bit but truthfully now getting tired, plus the electronic table didn't have the holding power of a real table. Time to leave. Walking by the Player's Club booth, the line seemed shorter and I wasn't so hot and bothered, so I got in line, a line that actually moved quickly. I had a card in no time, so I decided to walk back and see what that would do. Info handed to me said:

$1 coin in=1 pt
$2 coin in=1 pt for "electronic table games"
600=$1 free slot play or comps

It seemed $1200 bet and you get a casino/merchant-dedicated dollar back by playing craps? Well, you get soft drinks free too. This time I found a spot at the main Island and put my card in. To my surprise the points were adding up quickly, when I looked there were 88 racked up in no time, and no way had I bet $176 yet on the line, or even $88 I was fairly sure. The free odds were counted!? Craps players catch a break!? I should have been keeping better records, I had planned to for this write-up, but frankly the newness of the gadget was taking too much of my attention. Noticing I kept losing my line bet with odds, I started checking out how long it had been since a 7 had been rolled. The screen kept a constant history of the current hand in the lower right corner, and an extended history was available to be called up in the bottom left. Forgetting my wizardly 'training' I started betting max odds and making DC bets too, figuring the 7 was surely coming, but I was getting clobbered instead. When the 7 finally came, it was a come-out roll and I didn't have any big bets out. So, that was it for me, my training kicked back in and I decided I wasn't chasing losses. Losing over $100 this session disturbed me enough to just want to get out of there, so I forgot to check out what happens to a 50c come bet if it wins during a phase when you had less than the minimum going, and also forgot to check out what happened to my Club points.

As I was driving home I had to wonder yet again how the Casino eerily always seems to win lately, going after my big bets when I make them, but I was over it soon and reflecting on how I had enjoyed my day. I had a lot of fun and the overall loss for the day was no big deal.

As for Maryland Live!, I was expecting to give it a C- but for a weekday experience I think C+ might be it, and I can see going back, just not too soon.

PS: at MD Live! Craps your odds bets are turned off during the come-out, even playing 'the Don't'... there is an icon you use to turn them back on.

down $2956 since 2005
within budget ...... In the Black $98


FrGamble Jun 24, 2012

Thanks odiousgambit for your two good reports. I'm curious does Harrington or MD Live! win?

odiousgambit Jun 24, 2012

Thanks, Padre, Harrington has to win as the real table games trump anything electronic. Maryland Live! has something going though with the closer proximity to me.

btw Harrington is apparently getting adventurous with the different new bets, I guess you noticed the threads. Some kind of Craps Mecca developing there?

FrGamble Jun 24, 2012

Yeah I'm so proud of Harrington. I just hope it doesn't lose that kind of small town feel and get too crowded.