WSOP 2012: Selbst comes out firing

wsop-2012-thumb.jpgWhen I flicked the switch in my brain from SCOOP to WSOP, I knew it would be jarring. It's like that moment you step from indoor lighting to the summer sunlight. It's probably no brighter. It's simply different. In this case, I walked out of a room that I had shared with Shaun Deeb for a couple of weeks and walked onto a patio where Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst was sitting there with a cocktail and a look on her face like, "What took you so long?"

Vanessa Selbst does not work for a casino. She works at casinos. That meant she was ineligible to play in Event #1 of the 2012 World Series of Poker, a Casino Employees-only tournament. Hence, Selbst had to wait a full day to start treating the WSOP like her own personal playground. That was almost too much time. If it had taken any longer, I suspect Selbst would've gotten a croupier job at Ellis Island just to be eligible. Instead, she's just 14 people away from her second gold bracelet.

In a few hours, Selbst will arrive at the Rio and sit down as one of the final 15 players in Event #2, the first $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event of the summer. She currently sits in fifth place out of the remaining runners

Here's how she stacks up against the field in the hunt for the first open event bracelet of the summer season.

WSOP Event #2 Day 3 players

1. Jacob Bazeley -- 1,291,000
2. Ryan Schmidt -- 1,193,000
3. Abdyl Konjuhi -- 754,000
4. JP Kelly -- 721,000
5. Vanessa Selbst -- 706,000
6. Joseph Cino -- 703,000
7. Kenneth Strickland -- 685,000
8. Kwinsee Khoa Tran -- 592,000
9. Brent Hanks -- 578,000
10. Neil Willerson -- 479,000
11. Kennii Nguyen -- 411,000
12. Richard Park -- 379,000
13. Andrew Badecker -- 349,000
14. Todd Keikoan -- 265,000
15. Michael Kaufman -- 243,000

vanessa_selbst_wsop_2012.jpg

Vanessa Selbst, a couple million dollars ago

This WSOP could end up being particularly important to Selbst's overall winning milestones. As of right now, her worldwide live tournament earnings sit at just a little less than $5 million. A decent finish today could bump her over that mark.

The WSOP is familiar territory for the young woman. Over the past few years, she's put up eleven Series cashes worth $671,391. Included in those winnings are a gold bracelet from her 2008 $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha title.

Tonight, Selbst will be up against some tough competition, including two-time WSOP bracelet-winner JP Kelly. But, as Selbst has proven in the past, it doesn't really matter who stands in her way. If she's going to get there, she'll step on, climb over, or barrel through anyone to do it.

What's more, as Nolan Dalla pointed out in his Daily Shuffle, "Should Selbst go on to win, she would break the dubious streak of no-female winners in open events over the past four years. In fact, she was the last female to win a gold bracelet."

Play resumes at 1pm Vegas time.

Good luck tonight, Vanessa.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in PokerStars news