Not only is Vanessa Selbst one of the best female players in poker history, she is considered to be one of the best tournament players overall. With more than $5 million in lifetime tournament winnings and the spot in the Top 100 all time money list Selbst proves that female players can also reach high grounds in the male-dominated world of poker.
Vanessa Selbst was born in 1984 in Brooklyn, New York. She is best known for her back-to-back wins at the Northern American Poker Tour Mohegan Sun Main Events in 2010 and 2011. Selbsts also has two WSOP bracelets and five final table finishes to her name. In 2010 she won the prestigious Partouche Poker Tour Main Event taking home € 1,300,000.
Selbst first attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but had soon changed to Yale where she studied Political Science. It was during that time that she started playing poker. Home games were quickly replaced by cash games at the Foxwoods poker room. After warming up at the casino cash games, in 2006 Selbst traveled to Vegas for her first World Series and has been a regular in many of the world's major poker tournaments ever since.
World Series of Poker
She first entered the big stage in 2006 by making a final table appearance at the World Series of Poker $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em event. She finished the tournament in 7th place collecting just over $100,000. She came back to the WSOP tables the very next year and made two more stunning performances reaching two final tables and cashing $150,000 in total.
In 2008 Selbst took her game to another level and played a number of tournaments outside of Vegas, but her biggest score of the year still came in the gambling capital of the world. The 39th annual World Series of Poker marked Selbst's first major poker title as she won the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event collecting almost $230,000 in prize money as well as the golden bracelet.
In 2012 she took home her second WSOP bracelet after winning the $2,500 10-Game Mix – Six-Handed event.
Vanessa Selbst's Top 5 WSOP Results
|2008||$1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha||1st||$227,933|
|2012||$2,500 10-Game Mix – Six-Handed||1st||$244,259|
|2007||$ 5,000 Heads-Up World Championship||3rd||$128,968|
|2008||$ 10,000 Heads-Up World Championship||3rd||$108,288|
|2012||$1,500 No Limit Hold'em||4th||$161,345|
World Poker Tour
Although she has no WPT titles, Selbst has a number of first-place finishes at the World Poker Tour events and two championship event cashes. In 2008 she finished in first place in two WPT events at the World Poker Finals and L.A. Poker Classic for a total of $140,000 in cash and added a second place finish for $40,000 in the Five Star World Poker Classic.
In 2009 she scored another World Poker Finals win for more than $70,000. In 2011 Selbst came close to her first World Poker Tour Championship title when she took third place at the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event for almost $340,000.
Vanessa Selbst's Top 6 WPT Results
|2008||World Poker Finals $1,850 No Limit Hold'em||1st||$115,000|
|2008||L.A. Poker Classic $1,000 Ladies Championship||1st||$26,500|
|2009||World Poker Finals $1,375 No Limit Hold'em||1st||$74,224|
|2012||L.A. Poker Classic $5,100 No Limit Hold'em||1st||$140,295|
|2008||Five Star World Poker Classic $ 1,500 Ladies Championship||2nd||$40,815|
|2012||L.A. Poker Classic $5,100 Heads-Up Championship||2nd||$31,040|
|2011||Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic $ 10,000 Championship Event||3rd||$338,351|
European Poker Tour
Selbst began her EPT run in 2010 with a third place finish at the €3,000 Heads-Up event in EPT Tallinn. That same year she made another deep run at the EPT London £20,000 High Roller Event collecting £145,000 for a fourth place finish.
Vanessa Selbst's Top 5 EPT Results
|2010||London £20,000 High Roller Event||4th||£145,000|
|2010||Tallinn €3,000 Heads-Up||4th||€11,400|
|2011||London £1,000 No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha||7th||£4,550|
|2011||Sanremo €4,600 Main Event||40th||€4,000|
|2012||Berlin €5,000 Main Event||48th||€13,000|
Selbst is the only player to score back-to-back Norther American Poker Tour titles. She won her first NAPT title in 2010 by taking down the Mohegan Sun Main Event for $750,000. One year after she came back to defend the title and she did, this time taking home $450,000 in cash.
The 2010 was also the year when Selbst decided to take her game outside the U.S. She cashed in two Aussie Millions events, and then collected the biggest cash prize of her career in Cannes, France after winning the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event for €1,300,000.
In 2010 Selbst signed a contact with PokerStars and became the member of the Team PokerStars Pro. She represents the site in all the major live poker events as well as plays PokerStars online tournaments and cash games under the name V. Selbst.
Did you know?
- Selbst graduated from Yale with a degree in Political Science and from the Yale Law School.
- When she's not playing poker Selbst puts her efforts and intelligence in fighting social injustice.
- Selbst is the only openly gay female poker player.