Though her first love is mahjong when it comes to games, Maria Ho is currently ranked the second best female poker player in the world. She had never even played poker until college, and then soon after her first game (which she won), she gave up law school to play professionally. Since then, she has been the Last Woman Standing three times in the World Series of Poker. The first time, in 2007, she made it to 38th place for the Main Event, and earned more than $237,000, becoming an overnight celebrity.The second time in 2009, she finished 11th place in a Limit Hold'em event. The third (and best) time, she finished second at a $5,000 buy-in and won $540,000.
Now she has won an impressive $2.6 million, and has no plans to stop anytime soon, proving to everyone that in a world dominated by men, the world of poker, she has what it takes to stay afloat. Most poker players are male, and cute tomboy Maria says she loves to beat the boys when they do not expect her to. She relishes the fact that she is underestimated at her own game, and sometimes not taken seriously. It is all the more fun when she wins!
There is much to know about one of poker's sexiest (and most talented) women, Maria Ho.
7 She Holds Dual Citizenship
6 She Had a Fling with Michael Phelps
Maria was introduced to the world of poker in college. She was drawn to the strategy and the psychological and competitive nature of the game. One night she showed up uninvited to her guy friend's house where a game was underway. She had to bribe her way into the game (the boys were adamant that no girls were allowed) with the aid of a couple of six packs. She won the first round, even though she did not know what she was doing. She loved it.
5 She Has No Gaydar
4 Her Living Situation Has Been Unconventional
Yes, that's right. Besides The Amazing Race, Maria also got respectably far on another reality competition show, American Idol. She shared her vocal talents with the world on the recently-ended show in its third season (the year Fantasia won).
3 Her Deadly Instincts
2 Her $50,000 Loss
1 She is Oh-So Practical With Her Earnings
Or you could look at it as her being smart. Logical. Looking to the future. Boring, even. Or... the thing everyone says they would do if they won the lottery that they would never actually do: invest. Maria invested in "a few things", as she puts it. Her parents are proud of the successful L.A.-based real estate firm they worked so hard to build, and they taught their daughter from a young age that it's important to save and invest your money, which she cites as the reason for her not squandering away her winnings. Maria says, "I don't need a lot of nice things (of course I like nice things) but a lot of people get caught up in the lifestyle. I'll spend money on taking my friends on trips and experiences, but I don't need fancy- it's just not something that I need." How refreshing to hear a woman in the midst of the glitz and glam of an artificial place like Las Vegas share these sentiments.
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