Vanessa Selbst Looks to Carry Hot Streak into 2014

Vanessa Selbst looks to top her amazing 2013 in 2014. (Photo by Thomas Keeling)

Vanessa Selbst looks to top her amazing 2013 in 2014. (Photo by Thomas Keeling)

The past 12 months saw Vanessa Selbst play some of her best poker while she had an incredible year away from the felt as well. Selbst is no stranger to big buy-in events, she won the $25,000 High Roller last year, and looks to have another career year starting with the Caribbean Adventure.

Selbst’s win in the 2013 High Roller event wasn’t even the highlight of the trip for her – she proposed to her partner Miranda on the eve of the Super High Roller. They were married in August on a Brooklyn rooftop with a guest list that read like a Who’s Who in poker.

Selbst was one of the late arrivals for the $100,000 Super High Roller event and was seated with some of the game’s best. But Selbst found a few minutes to reflect on the last year of her life. “My 2013 was great, I got engaged, went deep in the Super High Roller – unfortunately didn’t make the money there – but I came back and won the High Roller which was awesome,” she said.

“The rest of the year was up and down, I had a couple of months where I didn’t do anything and then I would make a big final table,” Selbst continued. “It went like that for a while and then in the fall I got second in a major WPT, took down some side events and final tabled the last high roller I played. The year ended up really well and I’m playing great poker and I’m really excited.”

The newly married Selbst came close to being the first woman to win a WPT title at the Borgata Fall Open and the first female Triple Crown winner. But making history was secondary for Selbst, “It’s always business but of course I would love to win a WPT and it’s always been a goal of mine. Anytime I’m at a final table I want to win,” she said. “I got heads up with a 2-1 chip lead and I thought I had a good chance to win. I didn’t and that happens, it’s poker and I’m sure I’ll be back again. I’m going to be playing a few more of them and I’ll be excited to be the first woman to win one.”

Selbst may not be able to top 2013 in her personal life but she asserted her quiet confidence for 2014. “My goals are honestly to play the best that I can and put myself in a position to win. There’s a lot you can’t control in poker and I understand that,” she said. “But if I continue to play my ‘A’ game the way I have been the last few months especially when deep in tournaments, which is something that I think is one of greatest strengths, if I continue to do that and put myself in position to win I’ll be extremely pleased.”

The Yale grad also want to continue her social work – something she has been passionate about since law school.”One of my goals is to hire someone full time for a non-profit project I’m going to start,” she said. “I started a private foundation a few years ago and have been funding other people’s non-profits.”

“I’m going to continue to do that but I have something I’ve been working on which is my own idea,” she said. “It relates to video taping police officers and creating a culture of video taping police officers. I’ve talked to a lot of people and hope to have it underway by the end of the year.”

Selbst did play a part in a bit of controversy when she spoke out against some of Ryan Riess‘ statements about being the best player in the world minutes after winning the Main Event. Riess said earlier that he believed you had to feel that way if you were going to play at high level.

Selbst was asked if she shared that sentiment and she replied, “No I don’t think I’m the best player in the world and I seem to have done ok at this level for a couple years. I guess we’re just in disagreement about that.”

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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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