Vanessa Selbst won the inaugural NAPT Mohegan Sun Main Event for $750,000, outlasting 715 entrants and running over a stacked final table. Selbst won a WSOP bracelet in 2008 and had racked up nearly $1 million in previous live tournament cashes. Also a successful cash player and a respected DeucesCracked coach, Selbst left the tournament circuit last year to attend Yale Law School. The new PokerStars.net North American Poker Tour stop at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT was the perfect opportunity for Selbst to return to the felt and score a victory in front of a crowd of her supporters.
Throughout the tournament, Selbst, known as "fslexcduck" online, demonstrated just how dangerous it is when over-the-top aggression meets intelligence behind a big stack of chips. She crushed her opponents in most of the pots she played and held a giant chip lead for two days, only losing the top spot to Mike Beasley on the final hand of Day 4. At the final table, she quickly regained the lead and didn't relent until the tournament was hers. First, however, she had to best one of the toughest final tables of the year. The eight players who made the televised final table included Jonathan Aguiar and WSOP bracelet winners Scott Seiver, Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy, and Derek Raymond.
Jonathan Aguiar was the first to go, finishing in eighth place for $60,244. Aguiar, who plays as "FatalError" online, cold four-bet shoved from the small blind with and was called by Michael Woods' . Aguiar lost the race and made his exit. He's the only player to cash in all three NAPT events. With his 42nd-place finish at the PCA, his 22nd place at NAPT Venetian, and his eighth place here, Aguiar has cashed for $132,000 in NAPT main events to date.
Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy was the next to hit the rail when he was crippled after a big hand with Derek Raymond. The latter raised, Josephy shoved with , and Raymond called with , and Josephy lost the race. Raymond finished him off a few hands later, sending Josephy back to New York with $85,000 for seventh place.
Despite knocking out Josephy, Raymond followed him out the door. It was his turn to lose a race when Selbst shoved and he called all-in with . He took a big risk against the aggressive Selbst, but rather than doubling through her, Raymond ended up at the payout desk to collect $115,000 for sixth place. Alistar Melville, an amateur from Canada, was the next to bust. He got his money in ahead with to Mike Beasley's , but Melville couldn't dodge the three-outer. He picked up $150,000 for fifth place, not bad for a player with $6,000 in previous live tournament cashes.
Scott Seiver began the day as the short stack and never accumulated many more chips. He picked his spots well, however, and managed to move all-in without being called more than ten times. His luck ran out when he moved all-in after Mike Woods raised. Woods called him with , and Seiver had his first opportunity to double up all day with . For the second time in three hands, an ace on the flop busted a player. Seiver earned $190,000 for fourth place. With the latest line on his resume, he crosses the $2 million mark in lifetime live tournament cashes three days before his 25th birthday.
Other than eliminating Jonathan Aguiar and Scott Seiver in all-in preflop hands, Woods kept out of the way for most of the final table. Finally three-handed, the amateur from Virginia had no choice but to get involved. Woods raised from the button, and Selbst called from the big blind to see a flop. Selbst check-raised him, and Woods moved all in. Vanessa snap-called with for middle set, and he tabled for top pair with a gutshot straight draw. The turn and the river bricked to eliminate woods in third place for $240,000.
Selbst had a six-to-one chip lead over Mike Beasley at the start of heads-up play. It only took seven hands for her to wear down the strip-club owner from Hollywood, Fla. They got it all-in preflop on the final hand, and Selbst's held up against Beasley's to end the tournament. Beasley, who had already accumulated more than $300,000 in tournament earnings, earned another $428,000 for his second-place Mohegan Sun finish. Vanessa Selbst picked up $750,000 for winning the event she'd dominated since Day 3. As an added bonus, Selbst got to show off her skills in front of a large group of friends on her home turf.
The NAPT Mohegan Sun $25,000 high-roller shootout begins at noon EST on Monday. Many tournament regulars are also on their way to Italy for the EPT San Remo €5,000 Main Event that begins on April 15th. Can't get enough of tournament poker? No problem. The PokerNews LIVE Updates Team will be bringing moment-by-moment coverage from both events.
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