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Maria Ho photographed by Tiffany J Photography
|Residence||Arcadia, California, U.S.|
March 6, 1983 (age 33)
|World Series of Poker|
Main Event finish
|World Poker Tour|
Maria Ho (born March 6, 1983 in Taipei, Taiwan) is a poker player, television personality and host. She is one of the top ranked female poker players in the world (a 3-time Bluff (magazine) Reader's Choice Awards nominee for Favorite Female Poker Player) and for competing on the Emmy winning 15th season of The Amazing Race.
Ho is currently a co-host and commentator on CBS Sports The Final Table, the celebrity spokesperson for the WinStar World Casino, and the host of the Battle of Malta poker tournament. She has amassed over $1,975,000 dollars in live tournament winnings including 36 WSOP cashes, 3 World Series of Poker final tables, 5 WPT cashes, 1 World Poker Tour final table and several additional final tables on the professional poker circuit.
In 2009, Maria competed on the CBS Emmy Award winning television show The Amazing Race 15 with best friend and fellow poker pro (2008 WSOP last woman standing) Tiffany Michelle. She has also been seen on the third season of American Idol (where she made it to "Hollywood Week"), as a panelist on Anderson Cooper 360, and for two consecutive seasons as a featured player on the World Poker Tour's "Ones to Watch" (in 2011 and 2012).
Maria 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. She played for two consecutive years as a member of Team China in the Inaugural World Team Poker Invitational, helping her team secure a 1st Place victory in 2010. And in 2014, Ho replaced Kara Scott as the Battle of Malta poker tournament host, which she remains to this day.
Fluent in Mandarin and born into a traditional Chinese (Cantonese) family, younger sister of media personality and Clinical Psychologist Dr. judy ho. Maria's family moved from Taiwan to the United States when she was four years-old, eventually settling just outside Los Angeles in Arcadia, California.
It was in college that Maria was introduced to playing poker. 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. 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.
World Series of Poker
Maria'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 makes Maria the only player to ever hold the title Last Woman Standing three 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. She repeated this feat at the 2014 WSOP with a total of eight series cashes.
Host and Commentator
In 2013, Maria joined the Heartland Poker Tour season 9 broadcast team, as a co-host and strategic commentator. She was the first female in history to be hired to a poker television broadcast as the resident strategic commentator. She remained with the production for two years until she signed on as co-host and commentator of The Final Table, presented by Rush Street Productions (creators of Poker Night In America)
Beyond the poker tables, Maria works as a host and commentator, as a private coach, and as writer for several poker publications – which include authoring a chapter in the book Winning Women of Poker: Secret Strategies Revealed and as a columnist for Bluff Magazine (from 2011-2015).
Global Poker League
In 2016, Ho was named one of the Team Managers (for Team LA Sunsets) in the inaugural season of the Global Poker League, notably drafting Emmy winning actor Aaron Paul as one of her Wild Card picks.
- Worldpokertour.com: Maria Ho
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- "2011 WSOP Europe Main Event". wickedchopspoker.com. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
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- "WSOP 2014 Number of Cashes". thehendeonmob.com. 2014-07-13. Retrieved 2014-07-13.
- "Maria Ho Joines Heartland Poker Tour Broadcast Team for Season 9". bluff.com. Retrieved 2015-01-23.
- "Pro Player Becomes First Female Commentator in Poker". hptpoker.com. 2012-12-01. Retrieved 2015-01-23.
- "Maria Ho Leaves HPT To Join Poker Night The Tour". bluffmagazine.com. 2015-06-02. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
- "Poker Night In America Crew To Launch New Show The Final Table". pokerlistings.com. 2016-02-23. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
- "Seaside Publishing – Winning Women in Poker". seasidepublishing.com. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
- "Global Poker League reveals 12 franchises and managers". ESPN. 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- "Aaron Paul joins professional poker team Los Angeles Sunset of the Global Poker League". Global Poker League. 2016-04-11. Retrieved 2016-06-17.