Maria Ho: Women Fear Men in Poker

Although not as successful as Annie Duke or Liv Boeree yet, Taiwan-born 27-year-old Maria Ho is a renowned female poker player, boasting eight WSOP and two WPT in the money finishes. In 2007, she finished 38th in the WSOP Main Event, winning $237,865, which is her greatest achievement so far.

Maria Ho
Maria Ho

Despite her youth, she is considered an experienced poker player and as such, it is little wonder she has a firm opinion about the scandal of this year’s WSOP Ladies Event: six male players, including Shaun Deeb and David ‘Blue Knight1’ Sesso, have entered the game, disregarding the organisers’ explicit request. They stated that poker is not something in which there is room for “segregation” as it suggests that women cannot possibly match men in terms of skill or knowledge, etc.

Ho, on the other hand, seems to echo the opinion of most of her fellow female players, saying: "There are still so many women that I talk to on a personal basis that are honestly intimidated to sit down and join a table full of men. There is still a lot of protocol that players are kind of expected to know from the beginning, such as how to bet, when to bet and what you can and cannot say. If a woman sits down and is immediately thrust into that atmosphere, she may not have a good experience and may never come back. That’s why ladies events are so important. There’s nothing wrong with providing women an arena to compete amongst themselves until they are comfortable enough to jump in with the rest of the poker community.”

She added that she also was, and sometimes still is, subject to bullying by men. Although I cannot imagine any sensitive men bullying such a pretty face, I can very well understand her arguments. Nevertheless, I still think Deeb’s points are to be considered, too.