Female players on the poker table are becoming more and more common, but one of them has left an indelible mark on us all.
She is Maria Ho, born on March 6 of 1983 in Taipei, Taiwan to parents who are both traditionalists in the Chinese culture. When she was four years old, they moved to the United States and settled in California in hope of a better life.
While growing up, her family had instilled in her a competitive spirit. She also learned from them the right mix of hard work and grabbing opportunities. This combination, when applied to poker, proved to be the right recipe for success.
Earlier in her life, Maria's interest was mainly in the performing arts and growing up just outside of the busy Los Angeles might have influenced her a bit.
She can play the violin and the piano and she even got into American Idol and made it to Hollywood. It was while she was in college that some friends were having a poker night and she basically crashed in to find out how to play the game.
Becoming a full time poker pro
She quickly learned the ropes and was soon winning enough money to get her through college. After graduating, she decided that she could make a decent living playing poker so she trained to become a professional and she has not looked back since.
Her first break came when she cashed in twice at the World Series of Poker in 2007. She ended up garnering the 38th place for the Main Event earning her more than $237K. More importantly she was the last woman standing, becoming an overnight celebrity.
She did it again in 2009, cashing in twice and this time she ended up at the 11th place in a Limit Holdem event. But her best result was at the 2011 WSOP when she almost got a bracelet, finishing second at a $5,000 buy-in and winning $540k.
As of this year, she has already cashed in at five various events. Presently, she is ranked at number 13 of all the top female professional poker players with more than a million dollars in winnings.
As one of the hottest female poker players, she also does some hosting jobs on the World Series of Poker events, and also as a commentator on ESPN. In addition to that, she writes poker related articles, and recently contributed a chapter in a book about women's strategies in playing poker.
Outside of poker, Maria Ho was part of the TV show, The Amazing Race. She was a panelist on Anderson Cooper 360 when they discussed about how a woman can succeed in what is traditionally thought to be a dominantly male profession.
Maria hopes that her accomplishments will serve as an inspiration to other women. She believes that she, and any other woman can do anything they set their minds to.
If you like poker hotties, check also Annie Duke.