WSOP: Vanessa Selbst Steals Show on Historic Day, One Drop Down to 37

Vanessa Selbst poses with her girlfriend Miranda Forster following her second bracelet win Sunday night. (Heather Borowinski photo)

Sunday was a historic day at the 2012 World Series of Poker for a multitude of reasons. The biggest event in the the history of poker, The Big One for One Drop, was getting started in the Amazon Room as 48 players each put $1,000,000 on the line in the biggest buy-in event ever. Just down the hallway though, in the Pavilion Room, another type of history was being made as Vanessa Selbst steamrolled her way through the final table of the $2,500 Six-Max 10-Game Mix event.

$2,500 Six-Max 10-Game Mix

Multiple time this summer a female poker player has made her way to a WSOP final table only to come up just short of becoming the first woman to win an open event since Vanessa Selbst won a $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha in 2008. Sunday saw the streak broken by none other than Selbst herself.

The day began with 19 players still vying for the title and $244,259 first place prize money but it seemed like nothing could stop Selbst. She started the day with the chip lead and never gave it up, cruising to victory by eliminating four of her five competitors from the final table. Selbst’s win puts her in rare company as only five other women, Barbara Enright, Nani Dollison, Jennifer Harman, Starla Brodie, and Susie Isaacs, have won more than a single bracelet and she joins Harman as the only women to win two open events.

“I feel really honored to be a part of that group of women that have won multiple bracelets, and obviously those are some of the best women that have ever played the game and I’m just really happy to be a part of that group,” said Selbst.

$1 Million Big One for One Drop

At the start of the day all anybody was talking about was the Big One for One Drop. A field full of the game’s top players as well as some eager businessmen put up the $1,000,000 buy-in with dreams of taking down the single biggest first place prize in poker history and the accompanying WSOP bracelet.

The assumption by most poker pundits was that the poker professionals would feast on the amateur players in the field but that simply wasn’t the case on Day 1.  Of the 11 players who were sent to the rail there only two players who most would classify as amateurs while nine of the game’s best were also eliminated in the first nine levels of play.

The leader after the first day of play is Brian Rast with 10,710,000. Right behind Rast is the man that finished runner-up to him in the 2011 WSOP Poker Players Championship, Phil Hellmuth. The Poker Brat bagged up 8,395,000 chips. The average chip stack after Day 1 is 3,891.892.

Read the Complete Day 1 Recap of The Big One for One Drop here.

Play will resume at 12 pm PT Monday and the plan is to play down to the final table of nine. Here are the top ten chip counts heading into Day 2 of the Big One for One Drop.

  1. Brian Rast – 10,710,000
  2. Phil Hellmuth – 8,395,000
  3. Frederic Banjout – 7,070,000
  4. Antonio Esfandiari – 6,880,000
  5. Gus Hansen – 6,800,000
  6. Sam Trickett – 6,700,000
  7. Guy Laliberté – 6,550,000
  8. Ben Lamb – 5,770,000
  9. Mike Sexton – 5,740,000
  10. Tom Dwan – 4,810,000

$1,000 Ladies No Limit Hold’em

Selbst wasn’t the only woman to win a bracelet on Sunday as the $1,000 Ladies No Limit Hold’em event wrapped up with Yen Dang coming out on top. Dang beat a field 935 players to win her first bracelet and $170,587.

“I had a mission to play this tournament and to win and it’s incredible when you set your mind to something and then you accomplish it,” she said.

$1,500 No Limit Hold’em

Day 2 of the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event started at 1 pm PT with 348 returning to action but through 11 levels, one more than was scheduled, only 28 players are left. Hugh Henderson tops the leaderboard with 1,168,000 chips. Randy Ashe, with 1,150,000, and Bryan Piccioli with 1,097,000, are the only other players to have broken through the million chip mark.
Sitting in fourth is Vicky Coren. The British poker pro finished with 934,000 and has put herself in position to win the third bracelet for the women on Monday following Selbst and Dang.
Top Ten Chip Counts
  1. Hugh Henderson – 1,168,000
  2. Randy Ashe – 1,150,000
  3. Bryan Piccioli – 1,097,000
  4. Victoria Coren – 934,000
  5. Ryan Hughes – 832,000
  6. Vladimir Mefodichev – 802,000
  7. Neil Willerson – 671,000
  8. Frederic Soria – 633,000
  9. Marcio Cid – 572,000
  10. Hai Chu – 565,000

$1,000 No Limit Hold’em

Another massive turnout for the 2012 WSOP saw 3,221 players enter the penultimate $1,000 No Limit Hold’em bracelet event of the summer. The players who survived the 11 levels of play got a late-night treat when the money bubble burst just before play finished for Day 1.

Two players, Clayton Fletcher and Jonas Mackoff, share the overnight chip lead with 148,500 chips apiece. The top ten includes familiar names such as Alexander Kravchenko and Chris Moorman.

Eric Baldwin, Issac Haxton, Barry Greenstein, Shaun Deeb and Andy Frankenberger were just a few of the highlighted players who busted before the money bubble.

The 265 players remaining return at 1 pm PT on Monday for Day 2 action.

  1. Clayton Fletcher – 148,500
  2. Jonas Mackoff – 148,500
  3. Andrew Dean 139,800
  4. Alex Kravchenko – 128,400
  5. Jeffrey Fielder – 111,200
  6. Maurice Hawkins – 107,800
  7. David Bernstein – 103,600
  8. Perati Muhamet – 103,100
  9. Chris Moorman – 97,400
  10. Mikhail Aleksandrov – 96,100

$5,000 No Limit Hold’em

Only three players returned to the felt for a rare Day 4 restart. Dan Smith, who has a history of doing well in $5,000 buy-in events, started the day with the chip lead but couldn’t hang on as Pete Vilandos overcame Smith and eventual runner-up Kyle Julius to win the bracelet, his third, and $952,694.
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Lance Bradley

Editor in Chief at
Editor in Chief: Lance Bradley began working with BLUFF in March 2008 and was named Editor in Chief in August 2009. Prior to joining BLUFF Bradley launched an independent poker blog, in 2006. Before entering the world of poker media he was the Poker Room Manager for Bodog from January 2004 until June 2006. He graduated from the Applied Journalism program Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, Canada.
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