M A R I A H O - B I O
M A R I A H O is a Hall of Fame professional poker player and TV host/commentator, born in Taipei, Taiwan and was raised in the United States. With over 3.9 million dollars in live poker tournament earnings she is one of the most successful women in the game, and was inducted into the Women in Poker HALL OF FAME in 2018, the first year she was nominated and eligible.
Notable accolades and accomplishments include winning the 2019 Global Poker Award for Broadcaster of the Year, being a 3-time nominee for Favorite Female Player by the Bluff Reader's Choice Awards, competing as the only all-female team on the Emmy-winning 15th season of The Amazing Race, and she is the only player to be a WSOP(E) Main Event Last Woman Standing four times over (2007, 2011, 2014, 2017).
Maria’s impressive resume of live tournament results include:
64 WSOP cashes // 5 final tables
13 WPT cashes // 7 final tables
49 additional cashes on the professional circuit // 15 of which were final tables
Beyond the poker tables Maria shares her knowledge of the game as a poker coach, host and commentator. In 2013, she was the the first woman in history hired to a poker television series as the primary strategic commentator. She remained with the Heartland Poker Tour for two seasons before moving on to co-host and commentate on a variety of poker programs, including CBS Sports' The Final Table, NBC Sports' Super High Roller Bowl, Amazon eSports' Mobile Masters, and most recently she has spent consecutive years providing commentary and analysis on the World Series of Poker Main Event break desk coverage on ESPN.
Fluent in Mandarin and raised in a traditional Chinese family, no one ever expected Maria to become a
poker player, but poker and performing were always in the cards. Maria’s family moved from Taiwan the USA when she was four-years-old, eventually settling just outside of Los Angeles in Arcadia, California. In college Maria was introduced to poker and she soon went from cleaning up at friendly house games to playing Limit Hold'Em at the nearby Indian casino. By the time Maria graduated from UCSD in 2005, with a major in Communications and a minor in Law, she had gone from playing low limits to playing high stakes cash games, and growing her poker bankroll to the point that she felt confident to embark on a career as a professional poker player.
Ho’s enviable professional poker career started off on the industry's largest stage - at the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event, where she was the Last Woman Standing, finishing 38th out of 6,358 players for a payday of $237,865. She would go on to repeat this accomplishment in 2014, when she came in 77th out of 6,683. Combined with her 27th place Last Woman Standing finish at the 2011 WSOPE Main Event and 2017 WSOPE Main Event 6th place finish, Ho is the only player in history to obtain the WSOP Last Woman Standing title, a record four times. To date, Maria is the first and only player to ever hold the titles of Last Woman Standing at both the WSOP (U.S.) and WSOP Europe main events.
2011 continued to be a record-breaking year for Ho. At the 2011 World Series of Poker, Maria played heads-up for a WSOP bracelet in Event #4 ($5,000 No-Limit Hold’em) and earned $540,020 for her 2nd place finish. It was the largest single cash a female had ever had at the World Series of Poker. Her impressive streak of WSOP feats continued in 2012, where she was the Most-Cashing Female at the World Series of Poker that year (with six individual tournament cashes). She bested this record in 2014, with 8 individual cashes and was again named the Most-Cashing Female of the 2014 WSOP.
Maria has received invitations to compete 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 Chinese and Taiwanese celebrities and professional Mahjong players. She played as a member of Team China two consecutive years at the World Team Poker Invitational, helping her team secure a 1st place victory in 2010. In 2014, she was announced as the face and host of the Battle of Malta poker tournament, hosting the tournament consecutive years through 2016. And, in 2016 she had the honor of being named one of 12 Team Managers for the inaugural season of the Global Poker
League; coaching her team (L.A. Sunset) to the championship match.
The celebrity spokesperson for the WinStar World Casino and a television personality and host, Maria has been seen on a variety of TV shows. In 2009, she competed on the CBS Emmy award winning 15th season of THE AMAZING RACE with her best friend and fellow WSOP Last Woman Standing, Tiffany Michelle. The two made up the only all-female team of the season and finished three episodes shy of the finish line. Other television appearances include season three of AMERICAN IDOL (making it to the “Hollywood Week” rounds), as a panelist on Anderson Cooper 360, and as a featured "Ones to Watch" player on season 9 and 10 of the World Poker Tour.
Maria splits her time between Los Angeles, Vancouver and Las Vegas. When she’s not traveling the poker tournament circuit, or for fundraisers and red carpet events, she enjoys singing and performing music gigs in and around Los Angeles, and working with her family’s successful real estate firm. She also devotes significant time to charitable endeavors and is proud to be an active volunteer in her community.