Fun, games, and oh yes . . . a bracelet for Selbst

PS Women logo.jpgOn May 30, Vanessa Selbst finished fourth in the first massive NLHE event of the 2012 World Series of Poker, foreshadowing a successful series for the Team Poker Stars Pro. A month later, she snagged her second bracelet (the first was for PLO in 2008) in the $2500 Six-Handed Ten-Game Mixed. Selbst said, "I've been playing Eight-Game for over a year now, but it was the first time I played Badugi. (It was) exciting, even when I wasn't in a hand, I was watching very intently."

Selbst said Omaha Eight Or Better was among her favorite games in the Ten-Game, besides NLHE, her usual field of domination. She also enjoyed Deuce to Seven Triple Draw, which dealt the final hand of her heads-up match for the bracelet and the $244,259 first prize. "Everyone tells me that No Limit Single Draw is another good game for me" Selbst said, "because it's very pure poker. Once I learn the fundamentals of that, I think my big bet skills from No Limit Hold'Em will cross over very well."

Selbst co-hosted some raucous house parties and events with housemates, Vanessa Rousso, Liv Boeree and Maria Ho while in Vegas. Intensity and good times were partly by design, as a film crew followed the four glamorous poker pros during the busy summer. Rousso's new home features foosball, basketball, beach volleyball, ping-pong, air hockey, billiards, a pool with a waterfall, mini-golf and a sound system well equipped for Rousso's budding career as a DJ. The environment is perfect for Selbst, who seems to excel at nearly any game she tackles. She remarked with an understated, "I'm very competitive."


Selbst set up a World Series of Achtung (a game for mobile devices) during a day off. "I won by default" she commented. She is renowned for her skills at another game, Scramble with Friends. Poker Pro Jamie Kerstetter, another Scramble beast ended up in a match against Selbst. Though the two placed no stakes on the impromptu BBQ challenge, Selbst offered innocent onlookers the chance to bet on the outcome. I wisely declined the opportunity.

Young players come out to the World Series of Poker hoping for a big score, while nearly certain of good times. Vanessa points out that balancing hard work and partying is a skill as well, especially as it pertains to game selection. "Sometimes it's a little hard to focus when there is fun to be had all the time. I only played 16 or 17 tourneys this series (rather than a full schedule), but when I'm here, I leave all the stuff from the house at home and am zoned in and refreshed."

Selbst fought a ferocious battle throughout the Series but bad luck caught up with her on Day 6 when she finished in 73rd place. A bracelet in an open event and a cash for $88,070 made it a WSOP to remember for Selbst.

This year's WSOP was lucrative for many women. Allyn Shulman captured a bracelet in the Senior's Event, Amanda Musumeci came in second in a NLHE event and final tabled the National Championship, while Cherish Andrews & Jackie Glazier also impressed with final table runs. Selbst thinks it's more than coincidental. "It's the first year that women are consistently going deep, showing that it's not just a men's game. Now that more women are doing well, it has a snowball effect, more women see others succeeding and they say, "I want to get to that level--I want to get better."

Jennifer Shahade
@PokerStars in PS Women