Mar 02, 2014
Maria Ho captures Big Win at PokerStars
By RTR Dennis
With her television appearances on The Amazing Race, American Idol and Anderson Cooper 360, it's easy to forget that Maria Ho isn't just one of these female poker players who still call themselves a 'poker pro' for appearances (i.e. Beth Shak, Tiffany Michelle, Trishelle Cannatella). No, Maria Ho has managed to walk that fine line between achieving some mainstream fame and actually being good at poker.
If anybody needed more evidence of this fact, take her recent victory at PokerStars, for example. Ho won the Sunday 500 (Feb. 16th) and $80,370 after outlasting a very tough final table that included well-known pros Jakob 'mendieta19' Carlsson and Nicolas 'niccc' Chouity. 2011 WSOP Main Event runner-up Martin Staszko, Max '$kill Game' Weinberg and Shyam 'g's zee' Srinivasan also finished within the top 20.
Like many serious American poker players, Ho moved out of the US to continue playing in the biggest online tournaments. She currently resides with her poker-playing boyfriend Noah Vaillancourt in Vancouver. Assuming the California native keeps playing like this, you can expect to see her battling with top online grinders for years to come.
Of course, we can't forget Ho's live tournament prowess, where she first made a name for herself. The 30-year-old first gained poker fame after finishing 38th in the 2007 WSOP Main Event, which earned her a $237,855 cash and the prestige of being the "Last Woman Standing." From here, she racked up a number other cashes before taking second in a 2011 WSOP $5k NLHE event ($540,020). More recently, Ho won the 2013 River Poker Series $5k NLHE tournament ($101,220).
For her career, Maria Ho has earned $1,517,272 in live tourneys, which ranks her 14th all-time among women. This summer, she'll be looking to add to this total and pick up her first career gold bracelet at the 2014 WSOP.