HANOVER, Md. (WJZ) — What happens in Vegas now happens here in Maryland, too. Some of the best poker players in the world are filming a show right here in our own backyard.

Jessica Kartalija has more.

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Maryland Live! Casino is the hot spot for the show “Poker Night in America.”

“We’ve seen poker on TV before with championships and gold bracelets and money and excitement, but you know what? Poker is a game that anybody can play. Anyone can play and have fun and that’s what we want to capture in `Poker Night in America,'” said creative director Nolan Dalla.

The Las Vegas-based crew is filming invitation-only cash games inside the casino at Arundel Mills.

“It’s a great opportunity for the casino and a great opportunity for us to showcase the casino on national TV soon,” said Mike Smith, who handles poker operations for the casino.

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The 2012 World Series of Poker champ Greg Merson grew up in Howard County.

“I love it. I love poker and to be able to do something 15 minutes from where I grew up is awesome. It doesn’t even seem real sometimes when I pull up to this casino,” Merson said.

Other big names include Annapolis poker pro Christian Harder, Gavin Smith and Darvin Moon from western Maryland.

“We want to bring some of the best players in the world to this table, but we also want to give new players a chance to shine. Amateurs, people who dream of chasing the crown and the money and they’re here, too,” Dalla said.

The shoots will mark the first time a poker event has been filmed for television in Maryland.

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