Maria Ho

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Maria Ho
Maria Ho (portrait).jpg
Maria Ho (2011)
Nickname(s)None
ResidenceArcadia, California, U.S.
BornMarch 6, 1983 (1983-03-06) (age 36)
Taipei, Taiwan
World Series of Poker
Bracelet(s)None
Final table(s)4
Money finish(es)53[1]
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
38th, 2007
World Poker Tour
Title(s)None
Final table(s)3
Money finish(es)10[2]
Information accurate as of 6 June 2019.

Maria Ho (born March 6, 1983 in Taipei, Taiwan)[3] is a Taiwanese-American poker player and television host/commentator. One of the top ranked female poker players in the world, and a Women in Poker Hall of Fame inductee[4], she has over $3,800,000 in live tournament winnings.

Ho's live tournament poker record includes 53 WSOP cashes, 4 World Series of Poker final tables (and 1 WSOP Circuit final table), ten and three final tables on the World Poker Tour, and numerous additional final tables on the professional poker circuit.[5]

Outside of poker, she has been seen on many primetime television shows; making it to "Hollywood Week" on season 3 of American Idol, competing as the only all-female team on season 15 of The Amazing Race[6] and appearing as a celebrity guest on Deal or No Deal in January of 2019.[7]

Early life[edit]

Fluent in Mandarin and born into a traditional Chinese family, Maria grew up just outside Los Angeles in Arcadia, California, after her family moved from Taiwan to the United States when she was four-years-old. Maria's older sister is a media personality and psychologist, Dr. Judy Ho, who is known for hosting the CBS syndicated talk show Face The Truth.[8]

Ho started playing poker in college.[9] She was drawn to the psychology and competitive spirit of the game and soon went from playing games with college friends to playing limit cash games at nearby Indian casinos.[10] When Maria graduated from UCSD in 2005, with a major in Communications and a minor in Law, she had gone from playing low limits to high-stakes cash games and had grown her poker bankroll to the point that she felt confident to embark on a career as a professional poker player.[3]

Career[edit]

World Series of Poker[edit]

Maria Ho playing at the 2007 World Series

Ho's first major tournament success came at the 2007 World Series of Poker where she was the last woman remaining in the Championship Event, placing 38th out of 6,358 players and earning a $237,865 payday. She repeated this accomplishment in 2014, when she came in 77th place out of 6,683 players. Her 27th place "Last Woman Standing" finish at the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event[11] along with a 2017 6th place final table finish[12] makes Maria the only player to ever hold the title Last Woman Standing four times over and at both the WSOP and WSOPE Main Events.

At the 2012 World Series of Poker, Ho was the Most-Cashing Female of the series, with six individual tournament cashes.[13] She repeated this feat at the 2014 WSOP with a total of eight cashes.[14]

World Poker Tour[edit]

In March 2019, for a second year in a row, she final tabled the LA Poker Classic $25,000 High Roller tournament[15] and earned 1st place, earning her second highest live tournament score of $276,690. The following month she made the 6-handed TV final table of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Main Event[16] and placed 3rd for $344,960, which was the second highest cash of her tournament career.[17]

Host and Commentator[edit]

Ho has been the celebrity spokesperson for the WinStar World Casino since 2011.

In 2013, she joined the Heartland Poker Tour season 9 broadcast team as a co-host and strategic commentator[18]. She was the first female in history to be hired to a poker television broadcast as the resident strategic commentator[19], and remained with the production for two years[20] until she signed on as co-host and commentator of CBS Sports The Final Table[21].

Since then she has been seen as a host and commentator on NBC Sports' Super High Roller Bowl, Amazon eSports Mobile Masters Invitational series[22], Battle of Malta[23], and as a break desk commentator on ESPN's 2017 and 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event coverage.

In 2019, Ho won the Global Poker Award for Broadcaster of the Year[24].

She has also contributed her expertise to several print publications, and authored a chapter in the book Winning Women of Poker: Secret Strategies Revealed[25].

Invitationals[edit]

Ho has received invitations to play in various types of games all over the world. In 2008, she traveled to Hong Kong to play in the World Mahjong Tour, going head to head with various Chinese and Taiwanese celebrities and professional Mahjong players.[26]

For two consecutive years, she participated in the Inaugural World Team Poker Invitational, as a member of Team China, helping her team secure a 1st Place victory in 2010.[27]

In 2016, Ho was named one of 12 Team Managers (for Team LA Sunsets) in the inaugural season of the Global Poker League,[28][29] notably drafting Emmy winning actor Aaron Paul as one of her Wild Card picks,[30] as well as coaching her team to the championship match.

Awards & Accolades[edit]

Notable accolades include the 2019 Global Poker Award for Broadcaster of the Year[31], being inducted into the Women In Poker Hall of Fame the very first year she was eligible and nominated (in 2018)[32], three consecutive nominations as Favorite Female Poker Player by the Bluff Reader's Choice Awards, and on seasons 9 and 10 of the World Poker Tour she was named as one of WPT's "Ones to Watch"[33].

References[edit]

  1. ^ WSOP.com profile
  2. ^ World Poker Tour profile
  3. ^ a b "Maria Ho Bio". MariaHo.com. Archived from the original on August 15, 2010. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  4. ^ "Lupe Soto, Maria Ho Selected for Women in Poker Hall of Fame Class of 2018". pokernews.com. May 1, 2018. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  5. ^ "Maria Ho". thehendenmob.com. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  6. ^ "Amazing Race Cast, season 15". CBS.com. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  7. ^ "Maria Ho Makes A Return to Reality TV Wednesday Night On CNBC". Cardplayer Magazine. January 9, 2019. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  8. ^ "CTD Gets Ready to 'Face the Truth'". Broadcasting Cable. August 9, 2018. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  9. ^ "Alumna Maria Ho Goes All In". Triton Mag. May 10, 2016. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  10. ^ "The PokerNews Interview: Maria Ho". PokerNews. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  11. ^ "2011 WSOP Europe Main Event". wickedchopspoker.com. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  12. ^ "Maria Ho Bags Chip Lead Again with Six Remaining in WSOPE Main Event". pokernews.com. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  13. ^ "Main Event Snapshot with Maria Ho". bluffmagazine.com. July 8, 2012. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  14. ^ "WSOP 2014 Number of Cashes". thehendeonmob.com. July 13, 2014. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  15. ^ "Maria Ho Scores Birthday LAPC High Roller Win After Defeating Kristen Bicknell Heads-Up". CardPlayer.com. March 6, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  16. ^ "James Carroll and Maria Ho Lead The 2019 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Final Table". CardPlayer.com. April 17, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  17. ^ "James Carroll Wins Second WPT Title in Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown". PokerNews.com. May 31, 2019. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  18. ^ "Maria Ho Joines Heartland Poker Tour Broadcast Team for Season 9". bluff.com. Archived from the original on January 24, 2015. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  19. ^ "Pro Player Becomes First Female Commentator in Poker". hptpoker.com. December 1, 2012. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  20. ^ "Maria Ho Leaves HPT To Join Poker Night The Tour". bluffmagazine.com. June 2, 2015. Retrieved March 1, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ "Poker Night In America Crew To Launch New Show The Final Table". pokerlistings.com. February 23, 2016. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  22. ^ "Maria Ho Partners with Amazon to Host Mobile Masters Invitational". PokerNews. June 23, 2017. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  23. ^ "Maria Ho Takes the Mic as 2014 PokerListings Battle of Malta Host". Poker Listings. May 1, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  24. ^ "Global Poker Awards Results". PokerNews. April 6, 2019. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  25. ^ "Seaside Publishing – Winning Women in Poker". seasidepublishing.com. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  26. ^ "World Mahjong Tour Announces its Celebrity Invitational Televised Tournament". worldmahjongtour.com. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  27. ^ "China Wins World Team Poker". bluffeurope.com. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  28. ^ "Global Poker League reveals 12 franchises and managers". ESPN. January 13, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  29. ^ "Maria Ho: A GPL Team that is the Epitome of Strength". Poker Update. April 3, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  30. ^ "Aaron Paul joins professional poker team Los Angeles Sunset of the Global Poker League". Global Poker League. April 11, 2016. Archived from the original on June 17, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  31. ^ "Inaugural Global Poker Awards Honor Poker Finest From 2018". Poker News Daily. April 5, 2019. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  32. ^ "Maria Ho on Her Induction to the Women In Poker Hall of Fame". Poker News Daily. May 2, 2018. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  33. ^ "World Poker Tour Introduces WPT Season X Ones to Watch". World Poker Tour. February 7, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2019.

External links[edit]