Maria Ho & Lupe Soto Inducted into Women in Poker Hall of Fame

2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame

The Women in Poker Hall of Fame have inducted their 18th and 19th members, with pro Maria Ho, and founder of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame Lupe Soto joining the roll call of honour.

Ho and Soto will join such luminaries as Jennifer Harman, Cindy Violette, Vicky Coren-Mitchell, Barbara Enright, and Kathy Liebert in the10th anniversary year of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame.

To be considered for the honour certain criteria had to be met which included;

  • Be at least 35 years old
  • Worked in industry or played poker for at least 10 years
  • Be a proponent of women in poker
  • Contributed to the poker community in a significant way

This year there were 11 nominees, with the likes of pros Jennifer Tilly, Katrina Jett, player and presenter Kara Scott, and respected poker journalist Haley Hintze running alongside Ho and Soto for induction. The decision was made by the WiPHof voting panel, which consists of prior elected members of WiPHoF alongside members of the poker media.

Maria Ho

Of the two new inductees, Maria Ho has by far the more impressive resume as a player. She came to the USA with her family at the age of four from Taiwan and was introduced to poker in college where she played with friends before taking her game to the nearby Indian casinos. By the time she graduated USCD in 2005 she had banked enough playing the game to embark on a professional career. She has twice been the last woman standing at both the WSOP and WSOPE Main Events, with her best WSOP Main Event finish of 38th in 2007 earning her $237,865, and her best WSOPE Main Event finish of 6th in 2017 earning her $202,875. Her biggest WSOP cash came in 2011 when she earned $540,000 for finishing runner-up in a $5k NLHE event. In total Ho has 5 WSOP final table finishes and 48 cashes. Overall she has $2.77m in live tournament earnings.

mariohofeat_e1461352879516_1 Above: Maria Ho's poker career goes beyond simply crushing at the tables, she is also a sought after presenter, poker writer, and personality.

Her poker playing prowess aside, Maria Ho is also seriously accomplished television personality and presenter and has hosted poker related programmes for, among others, NBC, CBS, Fox, and ESPN, as well as hosting numerous live events and festivals, the most recent being the 2018 PCA in the Bahamas. Maria is currently co-hosting WPT’s King of The Club on Fox Sports Net. She has also worked as a poker journalist for Bluff Magazine where she had a regular column between 2011-2015 and she also contributed a chapter to the book, "Winning Women of Poker: Secret Strategies Revealed". Having only recently turned 35 (March 6th) this is the earliest opportunity Maria could have been inducted into the WiPHoF.

Of her induction, Ho said;

"Incredibly floored to be voted into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame Class of 2018 especially among a group of such deserving women. Deeply humbled by this honor and congrats to @PokerLupe! Thank you all for the love and support!"

Lupe Soto

Although you may not have heard of Lupe Soto, her influence and contribution to the advancement of women in poker is second to none.

Lupe's poker journey began in the late 90's as one of the earliest adopters of online poker. While she enjoyed the online scene and found many other women felt the same, she became all too aware that female participation in live events and card rooms was almost zero. To that end she started the first women's online poker forum back in 2002. In 2004 she created the Ladies International Poker Series (LIPS).

In 2007 Soto founded the very Hall of Fame to which she has now been inductedI, and currently serves as the CEO of Senior Poker Tour and Founder & Executive Director of Women’s Poker Association (WPA), a newly formed non-profit member-based organization aimed at promoting women in the game.

Of her inclusion, Soto said;

“I am so excited to be included amongst these amazing women. The ballot this year was filled with some of the most respected and well deserving women in the game. All of them should hold a place in the Hall and I’m sure one day soon, they will!”

A champion of women in poker for close to twenty years, although there were bigger names on the shortlist for this year's inductees, it is unlikely any of those not chosen this year would dispute the decision to honour Lupe Soto.

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