Maria Ho is a Hall of Fame professional poker player and award-winning TV broadcaster and strategic commentator who has amassed over $5,000,000 in live and online poker tournament earnings. She is a dual citizen: born in Taipei, Taiwan and immigrated with her parents to the USA when she was four-years-old.
Maria is one of the most recognized and successful female poker pros in the world. In 2011, she became the #2 ranked female player worldwide and as of 2023 is ranked #3 on the World Series of Poker's All-Time Female Money Earners.
Outside of poker, Maria has competed on The Amazing Race, where she was part of the only all-female team on season 15, on season 3 of American Idol (making it to "Hollywood Week"), on back-to-back seasons of CNBC's Stock Draft and she has appeared as a featured celebrity guest on Deal Or No Deal.
Maria attended the University of California, San Diego and graduated in 2005 with a major in Communications and a minor in Law. She pursued her passion for music and performing as a member of UCSD's A capella group (the D.O.T.s). She also performed in several musicals, including The Marriage of Figaro and Anything Goes.
It was in college that Maria learned to play poker with classmates. She eventually began frequenting the local Indian Casinos, where she honed her cash game skills and moved up stakes as a Limit Hold'Em player.
In 2007, Maria got the attention of the professional poker world when she was the Last Woman Standing in the World Series of Poker Main Event (televised on ESPN), finishing 38th out of 6,358 players for a payday of $237,865. This is a feat she went on to repeat at the 2014 Main Event, making her one of only two women in history to hold this title two-times over. In 2011, she broke another WSOP record - achieving the largest single cash by a woman when she earned $540,020 for her 2nd place finish in WSOP Event #4.
In 2013, Maria was the the first woman in history hired to a poker television series (Heartland Poker Tour) as the primary strategic commentator. To this day she is one of few women to function in this role, having commentated on productions like ESPN's World Series of Poker, Fox Sports' World Poker Tour, CBS Sports' The Final Table, NBC Sports' Super High Roller Bowl, Amazon eSports' Mobile Masters and the majority of PokerGO's programming.
In 2019 and 2020, Maria received Global Poker Award nominations for 'Broadcaster of the Year', and took home the award in 2019.
Maria was inducted into the Women In Poker Hall of Fame in 2018, the very first year she became eligible for nomination.
Passionate about philanthropy, Maria donates her time and resources to charitable endeavors worldwide, including being a volunteer with L.A. Works in her hometown of Los Angeles. Since 2015, she has annually participated in the Tiger Woods Foundation 'Tiger Jam' charity event, and for the past nine years has played host to NASCAR Foundation's annual poker fundraiser.