Maria Ho photographed by Tiffany J Photography (March 2011)
|World Series of Poker|
Main Event finish
|World Poker Tour|
|Information accurate as of 21 January 2014.|
Maria Ho was born March 6, 1983 in Taipei, Taiwan and is a professional poker player and Celebrity Spokesperson for the WinStar World Casino. With over 1.4 million dollars in tournament earnings she is currently ranked 4th in the world among female poker players. Maria’s live tournament results include 21 WSOP cashes, 3 World Series of Poker final tables, 4 WPT cashes, a World Poker Tour final table and 4 additional final tables from Aussie Millions, River Poker Series and the Costa Caribe Poker Championships.
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, in 2011 and 2012, she was featured as one of the World Poker Tour's "Ones to Watch". In 2013, Maria joined season 9 of the Heartland Poker Tour as a member of their broadcast team, providing the final table strategic commentary.
Fluent in Mandarin and born into a traditional Chinese family, Maria's family moved from Taiwan to the United States when she was four-years-old, eventually settling just outside of 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.
Primarily a high stakes cash game and Limit Hold'em specialist, Maria's first 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. Between 2010-2011 Maria's poker game hit an all-time high with a streak of four final tables and two record-breaking runs, consisting of a 10th place final table finish at the World Poker Tour’s Bellagio Cup, a final table and 6th place finish at the WSOP South Africa Circuit Event, and a 2nd place finish in the Aussie Millions $10,000 buy-in 8-Game tournament.
At the 2011 World Series of Poker Maria played heads-up for a WSOP bracelet in Event #4 and broke records for the largest cash a female had ever had at the WSOP when she earned $540,020 for her second place finish. A few months later, at the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe, Maria finished the Main Event in 27th place, becoming the first and only player to ever hold the title Last Woman Standing at both the WSOP and WSOPE Main Events. Her streak continued in the 2012 World Series of Poker where she was named the most-cashing female of the Series, with six individual tournament 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.
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