Maria Ho Discusses Recent High Roller Win and Doing Poker Commentary
Maria Ho took down the 2019 L.A. Poker Classic $25,000 buy-in no-limit holdCeltics high roller for $276,690 at March, beating Kristen Bicknell heads-up to secure one of their greatest names of her profession. The triumph boosted Ho’s life live championship earnings to over $3 million.
In the past few decades, Ho has invested much more time focusing on no-limit holdchampionships, as well as the results speak for themselves. Three of the best five scores have come from the past 16 months. The 36-year-old expert poker player has also been performing much more work as broadcaster and commentator, appearing on CBS Sports, NBC Sports, PokerGO, and ESPN.
Stake me to play caught up with Ho in the WPT Venetian DeepStack Showdown primary event to go over her triumph in the LAPC, which makes the transition into enjoying high roller occasions, her job as a commentator, and a lot of more.
Stake me to play: You shot down the LAPC $25,000 buy-in championship to your before all else win at a top roller occasion. What exactly does a success such as this mean to youpersonally?
Maria Ho: Traditionally, in my profession, I have always been a basketball . I feel as I have been in a position to take ego from this game enough to understand I don’t need to play every high roller tournament if the field isn’t great. At precisely the equal time, the large roller occasions I do perform are comparatively more demanding areas than many championships, so it means a great deal to acquire.
I clearly wouldn’t have registered in the before all else place if I didn’t believe I had been a favored in this area. However, naturally, if you obtain down to the last five or four players, it’s more probable that you’re up against the folks who play large rollers more frequently and will be the very best players. This makes winning sense even more sweet, as you conquer tough competition rather than amateur players in the conclusion.
CP: That triumph was the second biggest money of your live tournament profession. Despite the fact that you’ve been putting together fantastic benefits in live tournaments recently, playing with poker hasn’t been your only focus in recent years. Can you tell me a bit about how broadcasting and doing commentary has become a bigger part of your work schedule?
MH: I have always enjoyed playing poker, but I don’t need to need to sit down and play with once I don’t feel like it. So, being able to transition into also doing poker broadcasting and some esports broadcasts… I’ve been trying to find avenues, through poker but outside of just playing full time, that keeps me in the game. I want to stay fresh and up to date with the latest in regards to what is important from a poker technique perspective, while also giving me a breather from playing.
Career-wise, I always saw myself going into broadcasting in some capacity, as I was a communications major. So that has been the key shift in my career over the last few years, towards doing more broadcasting. I definitely still try to play as a lot of as I can, but it is now very a lot of a balancing act.
CP: That is one way in which your career has shifted, but it also seems that there’s been a change in what type of poker you are focusing on when you play these days. Starting out, it seemed as if there was more of an emphasis on limit hold’em and mixed games. Is that still the case?
MH: There has been a transition. I started out as a limit hold’em player, and then from there, I shifted my focus into limit mixed games. I would play a little bit of no-limit hold’em tournaments here and there. Over the past five or six years, I have played a lot of no-limit tournaments, moving up to play a few high rollers here and there in the past three years or so. I would say that my specialty now is definitely no-limit tournaments, but I will still play pretty a lot of everything. If I have an edge, I will sit down in any game, whether it’s a cash game or a tournament. I will pick my spots wisely, but I’m not afraid to mix it up.
CP: You just cashed in the $3,500 buy-in WPT Venetian main event. But the way the modern tournament scene is, there is a big jump in stakes from the more common main events to the high rollers. Can you tell me a little bit about making the decision to take a shot at the high rollers, and what it is like in your before all else few events at that level?
MH: I feel like, being in poker for as long as I have, it is really important to be able to separate how big the buy-in is from the way that you play. But the before all else couple high rollers I sat down in, I did definitely feel the sting of like, ‘Oh gosh, I set up $25,000 in this occasion. ‘
Traditionally speaking, I have been never staked and I’ve never been backed. I will piece myself out in small pieces for bigger buy-in events, but I still always have the majority share of myself in those situations. So, it is my money that is riding on the line in those spots. So making the move up in stakes was something that I had to obtain used to. You very quickly realize that you, psychologically speaking, can’t look at it ‘This is how a lot of real money I put into this one event. ‘ You need to make the best choices possible and understand that you will need to processor up. Simply hanging on these slots chips isn’t going to accomplish everything for you. I got over it pretty quickly, but I am human, so the before all else time I sat down in a high roller event I did feel the effect of moving up levels, even after 13 years as a professional.
CP: You’ve been doing more and more analysis and commentary on no-limit tournaments while also playing more high roller events. For both of those endeavors, staying on top of tournament technique must be very important for you. How do you stay on top of all of it?
MH: I definitely try to study on my own, but that is also supplemented by talking hands and technique with friends of mine whose games I respect very a lot of. We might not play the equal game, but that’s actually even better for me to obtain a whole new perspective. The broadcasting I’ve done is also helpful. You end up watching a whole lot of poker, maybe eight to 10 hours of cards-up coverage every day throughout a series. That level of immersion allows me to hone in mistakes that I might see players make that I don’t need to create myself. On the flip side, I get to see extraordinary players, and now I will observe what they’re doing nicely and do my very best to execute these items when I playwith.
CP: Having access to each the hands for each and every player in a last table has to be incredibly informative and also a fantastic way to boost your own game.
MH: The best thing about PokerGO’s events, a number of which comprise hole-cards up policy from the launch of a tournament into the last hand, is you simply don ‘t just see one stage; you obtain to learn from top players and how they approach the different phases of a tournament.
CP: So you’ve done analysis and commentary for several top events including the World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker. You also sometimes do reporting from the tournament floor. Of all of the hosting and commentating that you’ve done, what aspect of that work do you appreciate the most? What part is the least enjoyable?
MH: Doing bustout interviews is easily the worst part. As a player myself, I know how difficult it can be in that moment. So, when I’m working the Super High Roller Bowl and there is a $600,000 money bubble, I definitely felt awkward approaching people that are my friends and that I would normally easily spark up a conversation with to interview them when they just got eliminated from this huge event. I had a job to do and I did it, but it didn’t feel comfortable by any means.
But the best part is really only becoming part of the most important and the best poker productions on the planet. They’re the maximum quality productions and are full of all the best players. To be part of a manufacturing that’s at the pinnacle of poker broadcasting is such a privilege for me personally.
CP: What would be the you awaiting in the not too distant future, concerning broadcasting and playing?
MH: So for me personally, the World Series of Poker is your major thing coming up. My focus is mainly on playing at the WSOP, but I will do some commentating too. I’m actually excited about balancing those two items, and I’ll acquire a bracelet! I’m planning to visit Monte Carlo for the European Poker Tour stop there, however, apart from that I’m only planning to recharge and obtain ready for the sequence. I’m likely to play with a 40-tournament program, therefore it can be easy to obtain burnt out from the end.