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Maria Ho Talks Big Hands & Key Moments From WSOP Europe Main Event Run

Maria Ho
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  • Maria Ho shares hand analyses and more from her WSOP Europe Main Event run on the #PNPod.

  • Tournament strategy and hand analyses from Maria Ho while talking WSOP Europe Main on the #PNPod.

There has been plenty of podcasting of late at PokerNews, including some news regarding upcoming new shows soon to appear in your feed.

Seekers of strategy-related discussions should dial up the episode featuring Maria Ho (Episode No. 470) on which she talked about her deep run in the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event last month.

After battling with a short stack early on in the event, Ho accumulated big chips to enjoy the chip lead during the middle and latter stages, including carrying the largest stack to the final day of play. Ultimately Ho took sixth in the event, adding further to her $2.4 million-plus in live tournament earnings.

Ho spoke with our Brent Harrington at length about her run, starting out discussing her approach when having to endure with a short stack early in the tournament.

"I feel like my short stack game is pretty good," Ho explains. "In tournaments you just have to be able to shift gears, and sometimes you're very handcuffed by your stack size and also by the cards you're getting. Patience obviously comes into play at that point."

As anyone who's played more than a few poker tournaments well knows, remaining patient when low on chips can be easier said than done.

"It's really easy, obviously, to kind of push the action or force the action sometimes instead of waiting for your spots, because you're seeing everybody else play pots," Ho explains. "You have like 'stack envy' and you're waiting for a good hand because you don't really have the chips necessarily to play postflop and to play your game."

"There's obviously a skill involved in... being able to assess the table dynamics in play with a short stack."

From there the discussion moves on to cover a couple of key hands for Ho, including one versus Ryan Riess in which she successfully managed to push the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event champion off top pair of aces with an all-in river bluff while holding just king-high.

It's an interesting hand, and Ho explains well how the board texture, having a key "blocker" in her hand, and her opponent's skill level informed a play that if unsuccessful would have ended Ho's tournament much earlier.

"I have a lot of respect for Ryan's game," Ho points out. "In a lot of situations, you can't bluff a player who's not a thinking player, and Ryan's obviously a thinking player."

Also covered, of course, is the even more fascinating hand Ho has talked with PokerNews about before, the one in which she flopped a set of tens on an all-heart board but let her hand go after Niall Farrell open-shoved into three opponents.

Again, the discussion is revealing and informative, with Ho covering how it was not only a tough decision in and of itself, but presented an additional challenge for her going forward in terms of dealing with it mentally in order to continue to play at her best thereafter.

Finally Ho talks about the final table and coming away feeling good about her decisions on that last day despite the outcome.

"I think the longer you play, the more you recognize how tough it is to get in these spots," says Ho, referring to the achievement of making final tables.

"Everybody often talks about variance, but it's actually incredible, especially in live poker, just because the sample size is going to be small even if you're playing a lot of tournaments."

Check out the conversation, and after that check out other recent shows, including...

  • the introduction of a new show coming soon to the PokerNews Podcast Network, the LFG Podcast with Jamie Kerstetter and Chad Holloway (PokerNews Podcast Episode No. 471)
  • a discussion with Evan "Gripsed" Jarvis about making poker a full body experience, coaching, keeping a positive mindset, and more (PokerNews Podcast Episode No. 472)
  • the debut appearance of the Top Pair Home Game Podcast on the PokerNews Podcast Network hosted by Bruce Briggs and Robbie Strazynski, an episode in which PokerNews' own Sarah Herring takes a turn for a change as the guest (Top Pair Home Game Podcast Episode No. 297)

Have you ever wanted to write your own articles about poker? Maybe you've got some experiences or opinions about poker that you'd like to share. PokerNews is proud to launch The PN Blog where you can have a platform to make your voice heard. Learn more here.

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