(Featured image: courtesy of WPT)
If you’re looking for one the best female poker players to ever exist, remember the name Vanessa Selbst.
Among the few women in poker, she has the most accomplishments and winnings. This is all thanks to her effective winning strategies that always keep her on top of the game.
Vanessa was once an active professional poker player. She was known in the poker industry as the only female to ever get a number 1 ranking on the Global Poker Index worldwide.
Knowing there are one too many pro players out there, this is indeed one for the books for Selbst. She has made quite a name for herself and has become a legendary icon in the community of pro card players.
But in 2018, she shocked the entire industry by formally announcing her retirement. She mentioned several reasons why she decided to let go of poker. However, it boils down to Selbst wanting to free herself from the pressure of being a public figure. She felt like it wasn’t what she wanted anymore.
Now, she is focused on other business ventures and personal development.
|Full Name: Vanessa K. Selbst
|DOB: July 9, 1984
|Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
|Profession: Professional poker player, businesswoman, former PokerStars Team Pro member
|Wife: Miranda Foster
|WSOP Bracelets: 3
|Net Worth & Career Earnings: $6+ Million
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Vanessa Selbst Bio
Vanessa comes from a Jewish family, but she was born in New York. Only little information is known about her early childhood life, but her academic life is very interesting.
During her freshman year, she went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But after a year, she got into Yale University where she studied political science and got her degree. Because of her academic excellence, she got the Fulbright Scholarship which gave her the oppurtunity to study in Spain for a year.
As if that’s not enough achievement, she became part of the McKinsey & Company consulting firm shortly after. For the love of studies, she pursued a doctorate degree in Law at Yale University as well. In 2012, she became a Juris Doctor.
Selbst started getting into poker when she was still a teenager.
Her back story is a little bit similar to many other professionals who started only by playing home games. She’d get invited to play at private poker room by friends, and then later on, she realized she was getting hooked with poker.
She mentioned that while working as a management consultant, she also played poker for like 1/3 of her time. Because of her quick analytical skills and smart strategies, she was winning games like crazy.
In fact, she also mentioned that she was making three times more than what she was earning as salary from the firm. That’s when it hit her; she had to pursue a professional poker career.
Her big break happened when she reached the final table during the WSOP tournament in 2006.
She got the 7th place and she won a prize of $101,285. Ever since, fans have known she would make it even bigger in the future – and she really did.
Another memorable milestone in her career was when she got her first WSOP gold bracelet in 2008. It was a PLO game and she won a little bit over $250,000.
Not only that, she is the only poker player to have won 2 consecutive North American Poker Tour events. And the list just goes on about her amazing wins throughout her entire career.
While Vanessa took several years off poker, she decided to come back to her passion after all, with some tournaments, as well as playing online on PartyPoker New Jersey, one of the regulated sites in the US.
In case you didn’t pick up on it yet, Vanessa is openly gay. She’s one of the few players who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, and are out and proud.
Selbst always wanted to have a family of her own, and when she was at the peak of her poker career, she found that hard to achieve. It’s also one of the biggest reasons why she turned her back on her successful career.
In 2013, Vanessa got married to Miranda Foster. They are happy with each other’s company and in 2018, they adopted a baby boy to finally fulfill their dream of having a family.
Vanessa Selbst Net Worth
Today, Selbst’s net worth is estimated to be around $6+ million.
We are all aware that her total live tournament winnings have reached an all-time high of $11+ million, but of course, she has had her fair share of major losses as well.
When she was still active on the felt, here are her top cashes:
- 1st place 2010 Partouche Poker Tour Main Event – $1,823,430
- 1st place 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure – $1,424,420
- 1st place 2014 WSOP – $871,148
- 3rd place EPT Season 10 PCA – $760,640
- 1st place 2010 NAPT Mohegan Sun – $750,000
So, did you miss seeing Vanessa in action on the felt? Do you have any other interesting facts about Selbst? Share them in the comments section below!