Vanessa Selbst is a professional poker player and the highest earning female poker player of all time, with over $9.5 million in total winnings. She is a member of Team Pokerstars Pro, where she plays under the username “V. Selbst.” A native of Brooklyn, New York, Vanessa has been playing poker for over 10 years, starting out in online and live NLHE and PLO cash games. In 2007, Vanessa hopped onto the live tournament scene and never looked back (apart from that two year hiatus she took to go to law school)!
Selbst has two WSOP bracelets–the first in 2008 in a $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event and the second in 2012 in a $2500 Mixed Game event. Selbst had the best year of her career in 2010, when she won the North American Poker Tour stop at Mohegan Sun for $750,000, finished 4th at the EPT London High Roller Event for over $200,000, and won the Partouche Poker Tour main event in Cannes for over $1.8M. She earned almost $3M in 2010, earning her 6th place on the 2010 money list, several high rankings in player of the year races, and the honor of being named the Wicked Chops player of the year. She once again made waves in 2011, finishing in the quarterfinals of the NBC Heads Up Championship for $75,000, third at the WPT Five Diamond for $338k, and pulling off an incredible back-to-back victory at the NAPT Mohegan Sun. Her earnings in 2011 totaled just over $1M, meaning she finished two consecutive years with 7 figures in earnings. In 2012, Selbst captured three titles, including her second WSOP bracelet. She joins an elite group of women to have won multiple bracelets in an open event. In January 2013, Selbst won the PCA High Roller Event, winning just over $1.4M and taking over the top spot on the Women’s All Time Earnings List. Selbst’s live tournament earnings now total over $8M.
In addition to being a successful poker player, Vanessa is also an executive producer and private poker coach at DeucesCracked. She has made dozens of instructional videos in various disciplines of poker. She has also coached over 70 students, and currently focuses on live tournament coaching.
In her time away from poker, Selbst managed to complete a law degree at Yale Law School. She graduated in January 2012 and plans to use her law degree some time in the future to fight for racial justice and economic equality, and against police misconduct and government abuse of authority. Selbst hopes to earn enough money to eventually fund a foundation dedicated to the creation of national civil rights projects.
As a live tourney pro, my poker life and my non-poker life are pretty distinct from one another. Either I’m on the road at a tournament series or I’m at home in my other life. If the whole thing were a venn diagram, there would only be the tiniest little overlapping part between these two giant circles. When I’m playing poker, I’m 100% playing poker, and when I’m at home, I try to stay busy and enjoy my not-on-the-road life by devoting time to a number of different pursuits. In order to provide a glimpse of what that looks like, I’ve constructed an overview of my activities on an average(ish) day at home.
Read more here.