Maria Ho and Lupe Soto to be Inducted into 2018 WiPHoFMay 3, 2018 10:42 am
The Women in Poker Hall of Fame (WiPHoF) has whittled down its initial list of 11 nominees to just 2 honorees, with Lupe Soto and Maria Ho beating their peers to be enshrined in the WiPHoF Class of 2018. The induction ceremony will take place at the the Orleans Casino in Las Vegas on June 26th, with ticket information for the event to be found on the WiPHoF website.
Lupe Soto has been a keen advocate for women poker players for almost twenty years, and in 2008 she actually created the WiPHoF, making it fitting that she should be inducted into the Hall on its 10th Anniversary. Soto’s involvement in poker stems all the way back to the late 1990s, when she noticed that many women were playing the game online, while few could be seen at the numerous land based poker rooms based across the country.
Determined to redress the balance, Soto created the first internet poker forum exclusively for women in 2002, and in 2004 followed up by launching a poker tournament series dedicated to women called the Ladies International Poker Series (LIPS). Now aged 60, the WiPHoF founder has not slowed down her involvement in the game, either, and is currently the CEO of Senior Poker Tour, and this April launched the Women’s Poker Association (WPA), which is a global membership site for women designed to “advance, promote and recognize the growth and development of women in poker.”
“I am so excited to be included amongst these amazing women,” explains Soto. “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!”
Maria Ho is one of poker’s most recognizable players, and she is as renowned for her table skills as she is for her ambassadorship role in the game. Aged 35, this is actually the first year that Ho has been eligible for WiPHoF selection, and like Lupe Soto, she also holds a distinctive position in the game’s history, having been the first female player ever to be hired as a strategic commentator and co-host for a poker television broadcast, namely the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) in 2013.
In addition to her busy schedule as a host, commentator, poker book writer, and columnist writer, Ho has amassed $2,769,417 playing live tournaments, placing her at number nine on the ‘Women’s All Time Money List’. In 2007, she was thrust into the poker limelight after becoming the last woman standing at that year’s $10k WSOP Main Event, eventually finishing in 38th place for $237,865, and in 2011 she took down her biggest score to date after a runner-up finish at the WSOP $5k No Limit Hold’em event for $540,020.
This year, Ho has already racked up $240,140 in winnings, including finishing the WPT L.A. Poker Classic $25k High Roller in 3rd place for $188,875, and is currently ranked number four on the GPI Women Poker Rankings .
“Incredibly floored to be voted into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame Class of 2018 especially among a group of such deserving women,” tweeted Ho. “Deeply humbled by this honor and congrats to [Lupe Soto]! Thank you all for the love and support!”
Maria Ho and Lupe Soto’s inclusion in the WiPHoF swells the Hall’s number to 21 inductees, with the list of winners including the following players:
2008: Barbara Enright, Linda Johnson, Marsha Waggoner, Susie Isaacs.
2009: Cyndy Violette, Jan Fisher, June Field
2010: Billie Brown, Jennifer Harman, Kathy Liebert
2011: Kristy Gazes, Margie Heintz, Phyllis Caro
2012: JJ Liu, Kathy Raymond
2014: Allyn Shulman, Deborah Giardina
2016: Debbie Burkhead, Victoria Coren Mitchell
2018: Lupe Soto, Maria Ho