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Maria Ho Leaves HPT, Joins Tuchman for New Poker TV Show
Maria Ho announced she'll be stepping down as commentator for the Heartland Poker Tour and joining a new poker show from the team behind Poker Night in America.
Ho will join veteran commentator David Tuchman in the booth for the new project, called Poker Night: The Tour.
Unlike Poker Night in America, which features cash games, the new show will showcase tournament poker and it will attempt to do so in a way that's more appealing to casual poker fans.
“There's going to be more to it than just the traditional final table and strategy analysis,” Ho told PokerListings.com.
“Similar to professional sports on TV, we'll have announcers but we'll also have a panel of people who are either players or celebrities who are entertaining and passionate about poker.
“It's definitely going to be more entertainment-based. I really think there's a lot to poker culture and the poker scene that no one's been able to capture on television.”
Ho emphasized the show's goal to make poker on television more exciting and accessible by focusing on more than just hand analysis.
Poker Night: The Tour will also show fans what the poker circuit is like away from the tables.
“We're going to have a live stream and I think that's going to satisfy the hard-core poker fans who want to see all the hands and hear more in-depth strategy analysis,” said Ho.
“But in terms of the televised portion it's going to be geared towards the fans who are more interested in the characters and the stories and the lifestyle.”
The team also includes Executive Producer Dustin Iannotti who has created poker content for PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Ultimate Poker.
Taping to Begin in August at Turning Stone Casino
The first stop on Poker Night: The Tour will be in August at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York.
After that they'll be moving on to Minnesota with a tournament at the Canterbury Card Club. More stops will be announced soon, including at least one international destination.
“I'm really excited. I really enjoyed my time at HPT and I had such a great experience but I felt like it was time for me to take some risks,” explained Ho.
“As people in the industry we're always trying to elevate what we're doing, whether it's our poker game or the way people view poker.”
Maria Ho will also return in November as the host of PokerListings.com's Battle of Malta.
In its fourth year, BOM has repeatedly broken the record for the biggest poker tournament ever held in Malta and this year is expected to the biggest yet.
For more information, and to see Maria Ho in action, check out our Battle of Malta 2015 page.