EPT10 London: The Curious Incident of Vanessa Selbst in the UKIPT High Roller

Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst is among those leading the EPT London side event jamboree with a £67,499 win in the UKIPT £2,100 High Roller. The EPT10 London Poker Festival is a huge beast of an event with 36 events ranging from £110 buy-ins all the way up to the £50,000 Super High Roller won by Martin Finger. Selbst did not play that huge buy-in event. Not that she hasn't got the credentials to play, she just had culture on her mind.

"I was looking for someone to go see a play with me, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which is a play I really want to see. The book was really good and the play is meant to be awesome. I asked around on Facebook and Max (Silver, UKIPT Dublin champ) was the only one who said he wanted to go with me so we got tickets for last night," said Selbst.

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Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst

"He asked me two days before the tournament, 'Do you want to play the 2k because I'm thinking about playing it, but it's okay if you don't want me to because if I make Day 2 I'm going to miss the play.' I said, 'Go ahead, I'm happy to go by myself to the play.'"

In turns out that neither of them would end up making it to the West End show. Selbst had suffered a fortuitous change of heart, entered the event and found herself powering a chip lead through Day 2 all the way to the final table.

"I wasn't going to play, but everyone else was so I hopped in. For us to both make Day 2 and both make the final table and heads-up is just a really funny story because, you know, neither of us could make the play. But in the end, we decided that we'd take that result over seeing the show any day," said Selbst.

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"I raise your Cats by a Les Miserables!" Max Silver (pictured at the 2013 PCA)

The final table line-up included Kenny "SpaceyFCB" Hallaert, EPT champ Salvatore Bonavena, EPT Barcelona High Roller winner Thomas Muhlocker and, as mentioned, Jouhkimainen. Selbst was first in chips, Silver was second and the final result followed in the same manner. How they got to the heads-up is a different matter entirely. While Selbst typically cruised through with only her reputation moving faster than her chip accumulation, Silver lost a chunk of his stack on the first hand of the final table to Joni Jouhkimainen by five-bet jamming pocket queens into the Finn's aces and had to grind back from there.

Eventually the failed theatregoers got heads-up, certainly a curious incident in a High Roller, with Silver getting it in with tens to sixes for the win only for Selbst to spike a six. Silver, it seemed to some, had made a schoolboy. He made the 'mistake' of getting it in good against the Team PokerStars Pro, a bad move claimed pro grinder Todd Terry (in jest).

"In poker it's not always true that your results correlate with how you're playing so it's nice when you get a little bit of luck on your side, too... Yeah, I feel especially guilty the way that I won when I got it in with the worst hand and won, but that's poker. I've lost that way plenty of times. Of course, it's fun to play a friend when you're heads-up because either way you've both got a great finish and that's what matters. You both want the title so I feel a little bad but I'm happy with the win," said Selbst.

"(The win) was really gratifying because I obviously had the EPT High Roller final table in May but since then I've bricked a lot of tournaments. I think I wasn't playing my best during the World Series so I took a month off and came back feeling a lot more focussed, and have really been playing my A-game. I played really well at Borgata where I came runner-up ($492,569) but it always feels good to have the win, especially having these back to back."

The £67,499 tips Selbst's lifetime live tournament winnings over the $8m line, an incredible amount of money.

(Silver wrote about the experience for the Full Tilt Poker Blog here)

Payouts
1. Vanessa Selbst, United States, Team PokerStars Pro, £67,499*
2. Max Silver, United Kingdom, £59,906*
3. Kenny Hallaert, Belgium, £35,335
4. Joni Jouhkimainen, Finland, £28,810
5. Paul Edward Byrne, United Kingdom, £22,970
6. Salvatore Bonavena, Italy, £17,650
7. Joe Kuether, United States, £12,840
8. Thomas Muhlocker, Austria, £9,305
9. Igor Tsymbal, Russian Federation, £7,690

*indicates a heads-up deal.

Click through to read the £50,000 Super High Roller report or the UKIPT Main Event wrap. Follow the @PokerStarsBlog Twitter account to keep up-to-date with all the EPT action and check out the EPTLive webcast.

is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour