Maria’s Mind…

THINGS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT ME … AS TOLD BY MY BESTIE

Not gonna lie, my summer has been very full of WSOP, WSOP, WSOP, with little time left for writing. So, I decided to switch it up this month, throw in a fun twist and seek some outside help with my Bluff column.

Tiffany Michele and Maria HoIf you know anything about me, you probably know that Tiffany Michelle is my best friend and lady-lifer. A “lady-lifer” is kind of like a straight woman’s wife. Tiffany is my partner-in-crime, support system, confidant, adviser, family, everyday compadre and the arms I go running back to when stupid boys do stupid things. To say “best friend” just doesn’t quiet encompass our closeness, or the fact that we totally expect to, still, be side by side someday when we’re old ladies. My rocking chair will be right next to hers on the front porch. Fact.

From being the back-to-back WSOP Last Women Standing, to surviving “The Amazing Race” (or should I say, “carrying me” through “The Amazing Race” … literally she carried all my belongings on her back for me), to vacations, family holidays and traveling the world and the poker circuit — we’ve basically done everything together for the last seven years. She’s been there with me through it all, and has seen and heard things she shan’t speak of … riiiiight, Tiffany?

Tiffany: Right. Lips are sealed!

Maria: Phew. OK, so how about taking a stab at guest writing my Bluff column this month?

Tiffany: Is this like you asking me to do your homework for you?

Maria: Not really. It’s like asking you to guest star in my column!

Tiffany: Oooo, that sounds fun. I’m in! (And for the record, if you really needed me to, I’d probably do your homework for you.)

Maria: And that’s why I love ya!

Tiffany: Alright, here we go …

For the past six years, Maria and I have lived together during the seven weeks we spend in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker. I guess we get along pretty well because after all this time, and even with the added stress of the WSOP, we’ve never even come close to killing each other. And trust me, sometimes women can be bitches to live with … literally. But not me and my Ho. We go together like (sings) … shoobop sha wadda wadda yippity boom de boom. (Yes, those are “Grease” lyrics and I did just have to look them up to get the spelling correctly!)

It has been interesting to watch our lives, careers, priorities and even personalities change and grow over the last six WSOP summers that we’ve shared. Boyfriends come and go, careers rise and fall, but through thick and thin, wins and losses, notoriety and scandal, we’ve lived the most memorable parts of our lives together. Everyone has a best friend, but having someone whose life and career parallels your own, and who you literally get to do almost everything with is a quite special. And somehow we have yet to get sick of each other!

Needless to say, I basically know all there is to know about Maria Ho. And yes, boys, I’ve seen her naked more times than I can count. Lucky me!

In interviews Maria gets asked a lot of the same questions, time and time again. I thought it’d be fun to give you some fun facts about the Ho you don’t know — the woman behind the poker pro: the daughter, the friend, and the bestie, who I’ve gotten to adventure through life with.

So, here are 15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Maria Ho (in no particular order), as told by me!

1. LITTLE KNOWN FACT

She’s a really good singer. She never talks about it, but as her best friend I feel that it’s my duty to brag about how she made it “Hollywood Week” on season 3 of “American Idol.” That’s a pretty big deal! If Maria didn’t end up playing poker, I definitely think she could have been a pop star. Any time poker is stressing us out we like to sit down at the piano or grab a guitar and jam together. She has a beautiful voice and finds music and singing to be very therapeutic.

2. GUILTY PLEASURE:

She likes watching really twisted true-story murder and crime TV shows … and really trashy reality TV.

3. IN HER CLOSET

She’s gonna kill me for this one, but at least I’m not dishing out dirty little secrets. She has an entire room with nothing in it besides racks of clothing. It’s kind of like a closet, except that it’s a bedroom … for clothes.

4. SECOND LANGUAGE

She only speaks to her parents in Mandarin, which is fascinating to eavesdrop on! It seems like she’s talking really, really fast and it always sounds like she’s pissed off. But when she gets off the phone and I ask if everything is OK, she’s like, “Yeah, we were just making dinner plans for tomorrow.”

5. DID YOU KNOW

Her middle name is “Ting Yu.”

6. SECRET SKILL

She can rap all of Left Eye’s part to TLC’s “Waterfalls.” It’s very impressive and hot!

7. GOOD SAMARITAN

She regularly donates money to a various different charities.

8. SUPERSTITION

When house hunting in Los Angeles together, I discovered that Asians have a superstition about houses that are on a hill or are built on the ledge of a hill/cliff. So, several of the homes in the Hollywood Hills were vetoed from our list based on that superstition alone. Also, houses that are in a valley, or lower than the main level/terrain, are also a no-go. Who knew?!

9. HER FAMILY

Her parents keep all of her poker posters, media and memorabilia at their house. When you walk in the front door it looks like a Maria Ho shrine.

10. IN HER REFRIGERATOR

At home or on travel, her fridge is always stocked with a jar of dill pickles. Sometimes she’ll eat multiple pickles in one day.

11. WEIRD QUIRK

When she gets an in-home massage, she doesn’t do it in a dimly lit, relaxing bedroom like most people. She has the table set up in her living room so she can watch TV, or she’ll use her laptop or do stuff on her iPhone while lying on the massage table. It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. Sometimes she even takes work calls mid-massage.

12. REAL OR FAKE

Maria has never worn hair extensions a day in her life. Her long, gorgeous, luscious, and enviable hair is all her own!

13. SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT

She puts hot sauce or ranch dressing on EVERYTHING.

14. GOOD LITTLE ASIAN

She is very proud of her heritage and a big supporter of the Asian community.

15. WHAT I LOVE ABOUT HER

She is the most funny, witty, intelligent, thoughtful and loyal person I have ever met. I mean that in all sincerity.

So, how’d I do, Maria?

Maria: Now people are going to think I put you up to this just to say nice things about me.

Tiffany: Should I say something not so nice about you, so they don’t think that’s the case?

Maria: Like what?

Tiffany: Well, there was that one time when we got drunk in Mexico and you ……

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August 2014