||A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (November 2015)|
Maria Ho photographed by Tiffany J Photography (March 2011)
|Residence||Arcadia, California, U.S.|
|Born||March 6, 1983 (age 32)
|World Series of Poker|
Main Event finish
|World Poker Tour|
Maria Ho (born March 6, 1983 in Taipei, Taiwan) is a professional poker player and television personality, ranked the second female poker player in the world (as of June 2015). Ho is also a celebrity spokesperson for the WinStar World Casino and the co-host of Poker Night In America: The Tour.
Ho has amassed over 2.6 million dollars in poker earnings. Her live tournament results include 32 WSOP cashes, 3 World Series of Poker final tables, 4 WPT cashes, a World Poker Tour final table and 6 additional final tables on the professional poker circuit. She is a 3-time nominee Bluff (magazine) Reader's Choice Awards nominee for Favorite Female Player (2012, 2014, 2015).
In 2009, Maria competed on the CBS Emmy Award winning television show The Amazing Race 15 with fellow poker pro, and 2008 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).
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 to co-host Poker Night In America: The Tour, on CBS Sports.
Fluent in Mandarin and born into a traditional Chinese 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.
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 first and only player to ever hold the title Last Woman Standing three times over and at both the WSOP and WSOPE Main Events.
In 2011, Ho recorded the largest single cash by a female at the World Series of Poker when she finished second in Event #2 (the $5,000 NL Hold'Em event), winning $540,020.
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.
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 has also played 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.
Beyond the poker tables, Maria has shared her knowledge of the game as an on-camera host for WSOP.com, a commentator for the live WSOP final-table broadcasts on ESPN 360, 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).
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