In the world of poker, few names shine as brightly as Maria Ho. Born in Taipei and raised in the United States, her journey from a curious college student to a world-class poker player is a tale of grit, strategy, and unprecedented success. As a Taiwanese-American, Maria blends her rich cultural heritage with her American upbringing, creating a unique perspective she brings to every poker table and television screen.

Early Life and Education

Maria Ho was born on March 6, 1983, in Taipei, Taiwan. At the age of four, her family emigrated to the United States, settling in Arcadia, California. Growing up in a traditional Taiwanese family, Maria was fluent in Mandarin and quickly adapted to her new American surroundings. Her early life was a blend of East and West, shaping a versatile and adaptive mindset – qualities that would later become her strengths at the poker table.


Maria’s academic journey took her to the University of California, San Diego, where she majored in Communications and minored in Law. It was during these formative years that Maria was introduced to poker. What began as friendly games with college peers soon evolved into a passionate pursuit. Maria’s interest in the psychology and competitive nature of poker grew, leading her to explore the game more seriously.

Rise in Poker Career

After college, Maria’s journey into the world of poker transitioned from casual games to professional play. She frequented nearby Indian casinos, gradually moving from low to high-stakes games. Her natural talent, combined with a keen understanding of the game’s intricacies, saw her quickly ascend in the competitive poker world.


Maria’s professional poker career is marked by remarkable achievements. Her induction into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame in 2018 is a testament to her skill and impact on the game. With over $5,000,000 in live tournament winnings, Maria has established herself as one of the top-ranked female poker players globally. Her record boasts 80 World Series of Poker cashes, eight WSOP final tables, and numerous other significant accomplishments in the World Poker Tour.

Maria Ho at the 2023 WSOP Paradise

Notable Achievements and Records

Maria’s poker career is dotted with numerous accolades and records. Perhaps most notably, she holds the record for being the WSOP Main Event “Last Woman Standing” four times, an unparalleled achievement that underscores her tenacity and skill. Her strategic prowess was on full display in these tournaments, where she consistently outplayed a field dominated by male competitors.


Her second-place finish in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event at the 2011 WSOP remains one of her career highlights. Her accomplishments extend beyond the WSOP; she is also a force to be reckoned with on the World Poker Tour and other major poker circuits.

Television and Public Persona

Maria’s charisma and expertise extend beyond the poker table to television screens. In 2013, she made history by becoming the first woman hired as a strategic commentator for a poker television broadcast, joining the Heartland Poker Tour’s season 9 broadcast team. Her insightful and articulate commentary on CBS Sports, ESPN’s World Series of Poker coverage, and PokerGO broadcasts earned her wide acclaim, including the Global Poker Award for Broadcaster of the Year in 2019.


Maria’s television presence isn’t limited to poker. She has appeared on popular shows like “American Idol” and “The Amazing Race,” showcasing her versatility and appeal. Her appearances have brought a broader audience to poker, bridging the gap between the game and mainstream entertainment.

GGPoker's Game of Gold Highlights

Maria’s recent performance in GGPoker’s “Game of Gold” series was nothing short of spectacular. Facing off against some of the best players in the world, Maria displayed her exceptional poker skills. Her match against Daniel “Jungleman” Cates was a highlight, showcasing her strategic thinking and her ability to execute big bluffs. Maria’s adeptness at reading the game and her opponents was evident throughout the series, particularly in her matches against Kyna England and Johan “YoH ViraL” Guilbert.


Maria’s gameplay in “Game of Gold” was a brilliant display of her poker acumen. Her decisions, whether bold bluffs or calculated folds, were a masterclass in high-stakes tournament play, reinforcing her status as one of the game’s greats.

Maria Ho from United States. Total Winnings: $4,576,180. 8 WSOP Final Tables. World Poker Tour Champion. Woman's Poker Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

Personal Life and Interests

Away from the poker tables and TV studios, Maria is a multifaceted individual with a rich personal life. She is known for her involvement in charitable work, her love for music, and her contributions to her family’s real estate business. Her hobbies, including attending Hollywood music concerts, reflect her diverse interests and her ability to balance a high-powered poker career with a fulfilling personal life.


Maria Ho’s story is one of breaking barriers and setting new standards in the poker world. Her journey from a curious college student to a poker icon is a testament to her skill, intelligence, and charisma. As she continues to make her mark in poker and beyond, Maria’s legacy as a trailblazer for women in the game and a respected figure in the public eye is assured. With each tournament, TV appearance, and public endeavor, Maria Ho continues to redefine what it means to be a modern poker player, inspiring countless others along the way.