As yesterday’s play came to a close at the Wynn Millions, Maria Ho was the last woman standing in a field that bristled with shark’s teeth. There were just twenty other players left standing between her and a first-place finish.
This fact meant she was the last person in the running to break the record for the biggest live poker tournament cash prize ever won by a woman. The $2,018,866 for first place at the Wynn Millions is a fraction bigger than Annette Obrestadt’s £1,000,000 first-place prize for winning the first-ever WSOPE Main Event in London. At the exchange rate of the time, Obrestad’s cash was worth $2,013,733.
Unfortunately, Ho’s impressive run came to an end in the last few hours of Day 4, thwarting her chance at entering the record books. She exited the tournament in 20th place and cashed for $97,274. A decent pay day, but one which must have stung. Every elimination hurts like a bullet-ant when you get that close to first.
Obrestad currently holds the record for largest live cash by a woman according to the Hendon Mob. Her cash is the 216th biggest overall. Obrestad also set a record for the youngest ever winner of a WSOP bracelet. The gambling age in the UK is 18, allowing Annette to play and win one day before she turned 19.
She doesn’t play much poker anymore. Instead, she has become a YouTuber, with a focus on make-up advice and beauty tips.
Gao Wenling does appear above Obrestad on the Hendon Mob’s “Biggest Cash” list. However, her $2,748,605 cash was for second place in 2020’s $5,000 WSOP Main Event. Since this event was played online, it is competing in a different category.
It was game on for Ho.
Ho started the day strong, tweeting an image of her chipstack: 1,725,000 in chips all told. “Caught some [fire] last night and starting day 4 of #WynnMillions with this many chippies!” she wrote in her tweet.
By the 20,000-40,000 blind level, that stack had dwindled to 310,000. When she picked up A♠3♠ in the cut-off and jammed the lot in. Clayton Maguire to her immediate left called and the blinds folded.
Maguire turned over the T♥T♦. Ho was looking for an ace. Unfortunately the board ran out K♦K♥Q♣8♠K♣.
“Welp, was a fun one,” Ho wrote. “Can’t wait for the next! Thanks for all the love and support!”
Commiserations were quick in coming from other players. Steve Fox wrote: “In a field that stacked 20th is a great run. You really had to play well and run well to get to that point. At the same time, I understand the disappointment of not finishing better. […] so proud of you Maria.” Meanwhile, Veronica Brill replied: “Great job still!!”
Action continues today on Day Five of the Wynn Millions.
Featured image source: Twitter