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Card Player Poker Stories Podcasts with Maria Ho

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Aug 02, 2017

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Poker Stories is a new, long-form audio series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.

Click here to download or subscribe to the Poker Stories podcast on iTunes.

Age: 34
Turned Pro: 2006
Lives: Los Angeles, California
Live Tournament Earnings: $2.2 million
Best Score: 2nd Place – 2011 WSOP $5,000 no-limit hold’em ($540,020)

The Highlights

On how she discovered poker…

“There’s a few people out there who will claim that they taught me everything I know about poker. But there was this group of friends who had a weekly poker game. They were the first people to ever tell me about it. I played for the first time and took a huge liking to the game, because I’ve always been very competitive and liked the strategy. I started showing up all the time.”

On getting her parents support to play poker for a living…

“It really wasn’t until the 2007 WSOP main event, where I had actually been playing poker for a good year and a half professionally. They didn’t even know I played in the main event, they didn’t even know I got 38th. After I got home and cashed the check, that was when I told my parents. I vaguely remember my mom saying, ‘Oh, you won a quarter of a million dollars, you don’t have to play anymore. Isn’t that enough? Haven’t you had your fun?’ She didn’t understand this was a career.”

On competing on The Amazing Race

“It [was] the most unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’ve never been in such an intense situation such as that. Nothing has ever compared to all of the different feelings that I was going through at the time. Not only do you wake up every day not knowing where you are going to go, what you are going to do, what’s going to happen, but you also have somebody that is counting on you to show up and do your best. They’re not throwing you things that are going to be easy. You are going to have to work hard for it every day just to stay in the competition.”

On making it to Hollywood after auditioning on American Idol

“I sang Get Here, by Oleta Adams. It’s an old school song. I was only 18, and I know I was nowhere near as composed then as I think I would be now. I definitely remember being nervous and my voice was a little bit shaky. That was one of the hardest things I had to do. I was very green to doing anything in public. Simon [Cowell] is super mean. I feel like I remember him saying something along the lines of, ‘You’re just not ready for this.’ Overall it was very surreal.” ♠

Click here to download or subscribe to the Poker Stories podcast on iTunes. Catch up on previous episodes and subscribe to have new episodes automatically appear in your podcast app so you can listen on the go.