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Maria Ho Chip Leader With Less Than 600 Left In 2016 World Series Of Poker Main Event

Poker Pro Looks To Become First Woman To Make Final Table Since 1995

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Deep runs in the World Series of Poker main event are beginning to become almost routine for poker pro Maria Ho. She sat with more than 2 million chips at around 3 p.m. local time on Friday with less than 600 players left in the main event. That was good for the chip lead, according to the WSOP.

Ho finished 77th in the 2014 main event for $85,812, 322nd in 2012 for $32,871 and 38th in 2007 for $237,865. She also finished 27th in the 2011 WSOP Europe main event for €32,000.

Additionally, she has three WSOP final tables to her name. With about three dozen cashes lifetime at the annual summer poker festival, she’s one of the best in the game without a piece of WSOP gold.

“Every single year I am getting better with my game,” Ho told Card Player. “And also, I am just more comfortable [on day 4]. Obviously this is the biggest tournament, and so you just start feeling more confident with all of your decisions, which helps.”

Special attention is paid every year to the woman with the highest finish in the no-limit hold’em championship. Ho was one of just 268 women to enter this year, but being the last to hit the rail doesn’t mean anything to her at this point. She obviously wants to win the $8 million.

“To be honest,” Ho said, “I am all for anything that will get more women into the game, but for me I just don’t think that there should be any distinction, because if we talk about poker being an even playing field, then I am looking to be the last person standing.”

The last woman to make the final table was Barbara Enright in 1995. The three-time bracelet winner finished fifth. In 2012, Gaelle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille finished 10th and 11th, respectively.

“It is long, long overdue,” Ho said about a woman making the most prestigious final table of the year, “and I have been fortunate enough to have a few shots at it. I’ve gotten close. Hopefully this will be the one.”

Many people believe that an increase in female participation, along with more states regulating online poker, will be a major component to another poker boom.

“Poker has been stagnant for awhile, and I would love to see this game grow,” said Ho, who serves as a spokesperson for the WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma. “It’s an amazing game.”

For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2016 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.