Award Winner: Maria Ho Discusses Career, Awards, and Deep Run at WPT Showdown

Apr 15, 2019

By Sean Chaffin

Maria Ho

As Day 3 played out in the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown on Monday, a familiar name surged to one of the top spots. Fresh off winning a Global Poker Award and a televised final table at the WPT LAPC Rockstar Energy High Roller event on FOX Sports Regional Networks, Ho has been on a huge run here in South Florida and hoping it continues to the final table at HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas.

“That meant a lot to me,” she says. “It’s one thing to win poker tournaments and things like that because sometimes you get lucky. You don’t feel like you worked as hard as you could have for something like that. But in the broadcasting spectrum, I do feel like I’ve put in a lot of time, effort, and energy, so it almost feels more rewarding because I do feel like I’ve given a lot of my efforts toward that lately.”

In October, Ho added a WPTDeepStacks title in Johannesburg for $69,166. She now has $3.3 million in live tournament winnings, including $585,299 on the WPT. Despite that, Ho believes adding her name to the Champions Cup would help solidify her career on the felt.

“It would mean so much,” she says. “I’ve been playing poker professionally for 14 years now, and unfortunately I’m still lacking that one major win. I know that it doesn’t define my career, but the World Poker Tour is very prestigious so it would mean a lot.”

After being named Broadcaster of the year at the Global Poker Awards, Ho took to Twitter to discuss her career. Along with being grateful for the award, she also discussed her role as a broadcaster. Ho studied communications at the University of California-San Diego, and is now pleased to be making use of her skills and degree in the world of broadcasting and media.

“It feels really good because it’s been 15 years since I graduated,” she says. “I didn’t necessarily know that I would be going down that path after the first five or 10 years passed. I just thought, ‘Okay, well I guess my parents have a right to be mad at me forever.’ But it’s nice to have it come full circle and it feels like the right thing, that I’ve always wanted to be somewhere in that direction. So I feel like I landed where I should be.”

Her work has appeared on ESPN, PokerGO, and other outlets. She has become one of the top voices in poker whether hosting event coverage or offering strategy analysis.

After playing a handful of WPT events this season, Ho has big plans for the World Series of Poker this summer. That includes playing 30-40 events and she’ll also be broadcasting as well.

When it comes to poker, would Ho rather be in the broadcast booth or at the poker table?

“To be honest, I enjoy both of them in such different ways,” she says. “But I probably wouldn’t be as good of a broadcaster if I wasn’t playing a lot of poker because I think being at the tables helps me inform with a lot of the strategic side of my commentary. I really do love both.”

Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and his work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.


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