Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Maria Ho moved to the United States with her family when she was four years old. As she grew up in Arcadia, California, it looked as if her future career would be in music, as she played piano and violin and sang. At the University of California, San Diego she sang in an a capella group, performed in musicals, and even performed with her sister’s band around Los Angeles.
But she got bitten by the poker bug while in college and once she graduated with a degree in Communications and a minor in Law and Society, there was no looking back.
She first caught the attention of the poker public in 2007 when she was the last woman standing in the World Series of Poker Main Event, finishing 38th and winning $237,865. That was actually her third of eight career WSOP cashes; her next best performance came in 2009 when she placed 11th in the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Event. After three small cashes in the 2010 WSOP, she once again turned heads while the Main Event was going on by placing 10th in the $10,000 Championship at the World Poker Tour’s Bellagio Cup VI.
All told, Maria Ho has won $400,000 on the live tournament circuit, ranking her 38th on the women’s all-time money list.
Already a poker celebrity, Maria became a crossover celebrity in 2009 as she teamed up with friend and fellow poker pro, Tiffany Michelle, to compete on the 15th season of the hit CBS reality show, “The Amazing Race.” The poker duo placed 6th out of 12 teams.
Away from poker, Maria enjoys working in her family’s real estate business. She is also involved with several charitable organizations, including the Ronald McDonald House, the One Step Closer Foundation, and the National Kidney Foundation.