Poker Central has just announced that professional poker player Maria Ho will be streaming live programming on its Twitch TV channel.
The live streaming will be dubbed "Poker Central Live with Maria Ho" and begin in late September.
If you are not familiar with Poker Central, they plan to launch on October 1, and will be the only television station that provides 24-hour poker-related programming seven days a week. The company is also the producer of the Super High Roller Series™. Brian Rast won the inaugural Super High Roller Bowl in July for $7,525,000 after outlasting 43 players that each put up a $500,000 buy-in.
Ho has amassed over $2.6 million in poker tournament winnings including 32 World Series of Poker (WSOP) cashes, three WSOP final tables, four World Poker Tour (WPT) cashes, and seven additional final tables. Ho's best cash was a second-place finish in a 2011 WSOP $5,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em event for $540,020.
Ho is also known as a television personality, competing on the CBS Emmy Award winning television show The Amazing Race 15 in 2009, participating in the third season of the popular television show American Idol, commentating for the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT), before most recently joining Poker Night In America: The Tour on CBS Sports as a co-host.
Poker Central is understandably excited by Ho joining their team. CEO of Poker Central® Clint Stinchcomb welcomed Ho by saying that the whole team is "excited to welcome Maria Ho to Poker Central. As one of the best female poker pros in the world, her knowledge of the game, and her great personality and charm, make Maria a welcome addition to our team."
Ho will not only be streaming online poker sessions in live time, but she will also be interacting with other professional poker players and providing commentary on clips from other Poker Central programs. Also during Ho's programming, prizes will be given away, including Poker Central apparel, Super High Roller Series memorabilia, and yet to be announced unique fan experiences.
Additionally, Poker Central plans to use Ho's live streaming to introduce her fans with new programming. "Poker Central Live with Maria Ho will showcase new Poker Central talent and new programs, in a fun and interactive way, and allow poker fans to be a part of the action," Stinchcomb explained.
Poker Central also stated that this show and other programming will be available to everyone around the world.
"From day one, Poker Central will be available internationally, through multiple platforms, and will include interactive, fun programs like Maria’s new show," Stinchcomb added. "Poker Central Live with Maria Ho is just one example of how Poker Central plans to use social media to promote the network and our distribution partnerships."
Ho also appears excited about the new partnership. "I'm so thrilled to be a part of Poker Central's vision to drive and broadcast innovative programming through various platforms," commented Ho. "I can't wait to interact via Twitch with poker fans from all over the world and bring a glimpse of the poker world and its culture into their homes."
PokerNews had the opportunity to speak with Ho to ask some follow-up questions about her new show.
PokerNews: How did this opportunity come about?
Ho: Poker Central on the eve of their launch looking to bring poker into homes all over the world and they want to cross all different platforms. So, between my hosting/commentary experience, poker career and new live streaming endeavors it was a perfect fit and the perfect timing for us to collaborate.
I’d been wanting to become more involved on Twitch, as it’s such an awesome platform for gamers and live streaming. I think it's a great way to bring new people to the game of poker so I joined the community and did my first live steam this summer from Vegas, then recently did Poker Night In America’s special Twitch cash game episode.
Right now this show is going to be on Poker Central's Twitch, correct? Will it be on their television channel once it's launched?
Correct. You’ll be able to view on Poker Central’s Twitch channel but once the Poker Central network launches there are endless opportunities as to what types of content they’ll produce and include.
Will this affect any of your other deals, such as the one with Poker Night in America?
I'm teaming up with Poker Central to host a specialized Twitch show in the digital space. My deal with Poker Night In America: The Tour is as a TV host and commentator and spans a touring tournament series. Two different roles, so no conflict there. In fact, Poker Central will be incorporating other previously aired poker shows on their network, in addition to new content. I believe they’ll be using footage from existing shows such as World Poker Tour, Poker after Dark etc.
Where will you be playing online poker from? What site?
Well, if you know anything about my lifestyle you know that I’m always traveling, so I’ll be taking my Twitch audience with me! I primarily play on PokerStars - from Vancouver as my home base outside of the states, but when I’m traveling the tournament circuit you’ll find me Twitching from Europe, Asia, Australia, and more! Also, on some U.S. legal sites when I’m back in my hometown of Los Angeles.
Can you give us any idea what "celebrities and fellow famed poker professionals" you'll be chatting to on the show?
Nothing is confirmed yet but I plan to rope all my poker pro friends to come Twitch with me: Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, Chris Moorman, Christian Harder, Phil Laak… I could go on and on. And I’m planning on having a special non-poker pro celebrity edition home game in Hollywood with some actor and professional athlete friends of mine.
What's next for you poker-wise?
My tournament schedule quiets down a bit towards the end of the year and I try to stay closer to home for the holidays. But coming up next month I’ll play EPT Malta, then host the Battle of Malta, and will go to Vegas for WPT Five Diamond in December.