Maria Ho Talks Creating A More Welcoming Environment for New Players
- Ho’s perspective on poker success has changed from winning tournaments to making a difference in the community
- She believes anti-social behaviors at the table are pushing away women and recreational players
- The industry must do more to preserve the social aspect of poker and make the game more inclusive to everyone
Women in Poker Hall of Famer Maria Ho has made a mark in the world of poker for her various achievements as a professional player competing in major tournaments across the globe.
According to her Hendon Mob profile, the Taipei, Taiwan native has amassed more than $4.2 million in total live earnings throughout her career, making her one of the most successful female poker pros of all time. She is also a popular poker host and commentator, appearing in several TV shows and providing coverage for various tournaments.
Earlier on in her career, Ho’s main goal was to unleash her full potential as a player, win tournaments, and improve her finances. Now, she wants to be remembered more for helping make poker a more inclusive place for everyone.
Anti-Social Behaviors Putting Off New Players
Ho is now focused on bringing more women into the game and creating a more welcoming environment for recreational players.
Ho has seen it all. She knows how intimidating the game can be to newcomers. She knows the struggles female players have to go through playing at male-dominated tables. Sad to say, these anti-social behaviors continue to push away new players and are among the main reasons why women’s participation in the game remains low. Ho said there’s been no drastic change to the numbers in all her years playing poker. Clearly, more needs to be done.
Poker Needs Casual Players
She believes that in order to create a sustainable future for poker, the social aspect of the game must be protected. Not everyone who plays at the table is there for the money. Some play poker simply to have some fun, and that should be acknowledged.
Ho admits that some players show intimidating behavior to increase their EV. It’s all part of the game as they say, but Ho thinks it could create a negative impression on those who are new to the game.
Ho said the recs play a vital role in keeping the game alive. They are the lifeblood of the industry and so more work should be done to make them feel more welcomed.