The American poker pro entered the $1,000 event with four live tournament wins under her belt and more than $2.8 million in career earnings. Using that experience to her advantage, Ho cruised through the opening day on October 12 to finish the session with 122,000 chips.
Six of the Best During WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg
With 11 levels ahead of her on Day 2, the Women in Poker Hall of Famer remained composed as the late registration period closed and the clock was extended to 60-minute blind levels. The pivotal hand of the day for the American came during level 18 when she flopped quad sixes.
After watching a player bet 80,000 and Alexander Stivastis move all-in for 140,000, Ho pondered her options before raising to 220,000. Looking back at the 6♥6♠4♠ board, the unnamed player realized he couldn’t make the call and folded his hand, leaving Stivastis to see his K♠Q♠ was drawing dead.
The meaningless turn and river allowed Ho’s quad sixes to scoop the pot put her just below the one-million-chip mark by the close of Day 2.
When the third and final day got underway on October 14, Ho lead the remaining 29 players and never looked back. A flopped flush against local pro Jarred Solomon quickly took the final nine down to eight and gave Ho even more chips to work with.
Also finding his rhythm on the WPTDeepStacks final table was Riyad Khan. Eventually, however, Khan’s confidence came back to bite him after a mistimed bluff saw him squander the majority of his stack with ace-high.
Sensing Khan was trying to bully her into submission, Ho called with 5♥8♦ on a 3♥5♣3♦ flop. As the 6♥fell on the turn, Khan bet 3.1 million before Ho moved all-in for 3.6 million.
With just 500,000 left to call, Khan was committed and forced to call with ace-high. The Q♥ on the river crippled the novice and allowed the ClubWPT commentator to clinch the title just a few hands later.
Although the $68,885 prize isn’t the most she’s ever won, the WPTDeepStacks title is her first major open-event win since the 2013 $5,000 River Poker Series event in Thackerville.
WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg Main Event Results
- Maria Ho – $68,885
- Riyad Khan – $49,046
- Justin Uys – $31,549
- Joe Abreu – $19,976
- Robert Fenner – $15,361
- George Levine – $12,743
- Shadley Abrahams – $10,677
- Steven Radloff – $8,748
- Jarred Solomon – $7,012