Wednesday January 3, 2018 at 5:58 pm
SCOOP

Another American pro is hanging it up in 2018. On New Year's Eve, Vanessa Selbst posted on Facebook her intentions to step away from the game on a professional level. Selbst took the poker world by storm when she was still a student at Yale law school. The 33-year old Selbst amassed $11.8 million in tournament winnings and won three WSOP bracelets. After 12 years in poker, Selbst will shift her focus to the financial world as a strategic analyst at a hedge fund.

VanSeldPartQuit
Vanessa Selbst at the 2010 Partouche Poker Tour

Vanessa Selbst is stepping away from the poker grind. Selbst earned the majority of her $11.8 million in tournament winnings in a key span from 2008 to 2015. On the last day on 2017, the former sponsored pro at PokerStars posted a brief explanation of her impending retirement on her Facebook account. Selbst indicated that she had been working at a hedge fund the last few months, which is where she will be focusing her time and energy in the future. Yup, the poker world lost another smart one to the world of finance.

During the peak of her powers, Vanessa Selbst was one of the top American pros in both the online and live realm. In 2010, Selbst won nearly $3 million including her second bracelet and a big win on the Partouche Poker Tour in France. Selbst's auspicious rise at the end of the glorious poker boom was another classic story about Ivy Leaguers who took a shot at the poker world. In Selbst case, she earned a reputation at the virtual tables while she was still in law school at Yale University.

Selbst first etched her name in the history books at the 2008 World Series of Poker, when she took down a PLO donkament for a $227K score. That victory marked the first of three overall WSOP bracelets she'd win between 2008 and 2014. All three of her bracelets were in open events. After locking up her first bling in PLO, Selbst won her second bracelet in 2010 in mixed games ($2,500 10-Game 6-Max). In 2014, Selbst won her third WSOP bracelet in the $25K buy-in Mixed-Max NL event, where she faded a tough field of 131 players to bank $871K.

Selbst's largest win to date occurred in France in November 2010. Remember the scandal-ridden 2010 Partouche Poker Tour? Selbst came out on top in the Main Event by winning $1.8M or approximately €1.3M.

In a post on Facebook, Selbst suggested that there was no specific or primary reason for her decision to step away from the poker grind and ending her sponsorship deal with PokerStars. Rather, it was a series of different things, but you can't escape the cloud of Black Friday, which still looms overhead between the arduous travel schedule and the fact that American pros had to become online exiles to continue their careers.

Vanessa Selbst

Many people will ask why I'm leaving – there's no one specific reason, but just a number of factors, big and small, that contributed to a general feeling I've had for a while that it was the right time. The most obvious reason is that Black Friday has meant that in order to do this job professionally, you either had to move out of the country or travel 90% of the time. That was really fun for a period of time in my life, but as my late 20s turned into my early 30s and my priorities changed toward building a stable home and community and starting a family, the constant travel is no longer tenable.

VanSelbWsopQuit2
Selbst at the WSOP (Pic courtesy of Winamax)

Selbst explained: “The most obvious reason is that Black Friday has meant that in order to do this job professionally, you either had to move out of the country or travel 90% of the time. That was really fun for a period of time in my life, but as my late 20s turned into my early 30s and my priorities changed toward building a stable home and community and starting a family, the constant travel is no longer tenable.”

Selbst has been in the poker biz for over a decade and anyone in poker knows that the “seven-year itch” is a legit phenomenon. The actual time frame might be less/more, but you look at poker through a different lens than when you first arrived. It's at that existentialist juncture when poker people double down on their ambition and devote more focus into the game, or they start to seek an exit strategy and begin to explore other ventures outside of poker.

In addition, Selbst cited the difficulty of making a living as a professional suggesting… “I can't tell amateurs they should come play online and it's beatable for them when I don't feel like it's true.”

Selbst also explained that poker became a legit job. “Whether because poker got more competitive or because we got older (or likely some combination of the two), poker recently turned into a real job, requiring hard work and discipline to succeed. I had never treated the game that way–I always kept a very light poker schedule–I showed up and played for fun and did other projects back home as my "real work." The shift in the nature of poker and what it requires put me at a crossroads and asked the question of me whether I would rather change my relationship to the game or move on.”

Yeah…. Selbst essentially cited the old adage: It's a hard way to make an easy living. I've heard that (catch-all) saying a lot ever since I stepped into the poker world. But there's a lot of truth to it. It's become harder and harder to be a pro in America in the wake of Black Friday. The state-by-state process of legalizing poker in the USA is too slow, so any serious online player must go overseas to earn a living (and incur more expenses in the process).

Like many other cardslingers, I got into poker because I wanted to be my own boss and have fun doing something I enjoyed, while shrugging off the rigid responsibilities of work life. After a while, poker became less and less fun and more and more work. It's a familiar scenario that many of us faced at different times in our poker lives. I took an extended break in 2012 and never looked back. My favorite line from The Highlander film was said by the Kurgan, “It's better to burn out than to fade away!” It's also a popular lyric from Neil Young, but it appropriate sums up how engaged experiences and being completely in the moment are more important than longevity.

Selbst closed the door on her “professional” poker career, yet she starts a new chapter in her life working in a hedge fund. Selbst's mother was a former options trader, so finance is in the family business. Selbst said that she was delving into the research and strategy end of finance, which she found both difficult and challenging. “The environment feels a lot like poker did back in the day – a bunch of nerdy kids collaborating to try to beat our opponents at a game. It's also really freaking difficult… there's so much to learn and figure out in a world that's completely new to me and every day I think I'm getting the hang of it, the next day I fail at the next challenge. It's exhausting, exciting, and completely humbling every single day.”

Read the entire post by Vanessa Selbst here.

Latest news
Sunday June 24, 2018 at 6:17 pm
2018 WSOP: Rob Nehorayan, Nicholas Seiken, Mario Prats Garcia, and Matthew Mendez win bling

A couple more first-time bracelet winners were crowned at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. Rob 'Rec Rob' Nehorayan, a cash-game player from Los Angeles, won Event #41 $1,500 Limit Hold'em for $173,568 score. Nicholas Seiken shipped Event #44 $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship for a first-place payout worth $287,987. Spanish pro Mario Prats Garcia went on a tear at the final table to win Event #45 Big Blind Antes $1,000 NL (with 30-minute levels) for $258,255. Matthew 'mendey' Mendez took down one of the online events. Mendez shipped Event #47 $565 WSOP.com ONLINE PLO 6-Max for $135,078.

Sunday June 24, 2018 at 3:41 pm
HOT !
2018 WSOP: Shaun Deeb wins $25K PLO High Roller and third bracelet

Shaun Deeb won his third WSOP bracelet when he defeated Ben Yu to win the $25K PLO High Roller. Deeb outlasted 230 players to win Event #42 $25,000 PLO High Roller for $1,402,683. Scotty Nguyen took third place. Deeb knocked out last year's champ James Calderaro in fourth place. Deeb is currently in first place in the WSOP Player of the Year race.

Friday June 22, 2018 at 5:23 pm
2018 WSOP: Peacock, Baldwin, Lee, and Bohlman win bracelets

Four events played down to a champion with three players becoming first-time bracelet winners. Eric 'basebaldy' Baldwin won his second bracelet with a victory in Event #37 $1,500 NL, which was worth $319,580. Meanwhile, Rob Peacock won Event #34 $1,000 DOUBLE STACK NL for a score worth $644,224. Preston Lee took down Event #39 $1,500 SHOOTOUT for $236,498. Lastly, Scott Bohlman from Chicago binked Event #40 $2,500 Mixed Big Bet for his first bracelet and $122,138.

Thursday June 21, 2018 at 4:40 pm
Breaking News
HOT !
2018 WSOP: Yaniv Birman and Farhintaj Bonyadi win bracelets

Two more bracelets were awarded on Wednesday night at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. Yaniv Birman defeated Jesse 'mazeorbowie' Martin to win 2018 WSOP Event #38 $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship. Birman denied Martin a third bracelet to win his first and $236,238 in cash. Over in the Event #36 Super Seniors NL, Freddy and Farhintaj Bonyadi have now become the first mother-son duo to win a bracelet. Farhimtaj outlasted 2,191 players to win $311,415. The Bonyadis now have 4 bracelets among them.

Wednesday June 20, 2018 at 4:16 pm
Breaking News
HOT !
2018 WSOP: The Grinder wins $50K PPC

The Grinder pulled off a hat trick! Michael 'The Grinder' Mizrachi won the $50,000 Poker Players Championship for a third time, which also marked his fourth-career bracelet win. The Grinder earned $1.2 million for fading a field of 87 hopefuls. Johnny World Hennigan finished in second place. Meanwhile, Yueqi Zhu won Event #35 $1,500 Mixed Omaha. The legendary grinder from China had cashed in 72 WSOP events and made 12 final tables before he finally stepped into the winner's circle to win his first bracelet.

Tuesday June 19, 2018 at 5:30 pm
2018 WSOP: The Grinder leads $50K PPC final, Matt Davis wins Seniors

Only 6 out of 87 remain in 2018 WSOP Poker Players Championship. The Grinder bagged up an impressive lead with nearly 8.9 million, or twice as much as Dan Smith in second place. Johnny World Hennigan, Aaron Katz, Benny Glasser, and Mike Leah are still left in the hunt for the Chip Reese Trophy and $1,239,126 for first place. Meanwhile over in the Seniors event, statistics professor Matthew Davis outlasted a record-setting field of 5,918 seniors (50+) to win Event #32 SENIORS $1,000 NL for a score worth $662,676.

Monday June 18, 2018 at 3:18 pm
Telex
2018 WSOP: The Grinder leads final 12 in $50K Players Championship

Only 12 players remain out of 86 original entries in the 2018 WSOP $50,000 Players Championship. Everyone of vying for the Chip Reese Trophy and a first-place prize worth $1,239,126. Phil Ivey bagged up third most chips at the end of the night and The Grinder is the chip leader. Also still alive... Mike Leah, Aaron Katz, Johnny World, Dan Smith, Benn Glasser, Chris Vitch, Brian Rast, Greg 'FBT' Mueller, Shaun Deeb and Bobby Bellande. Watch the free live stream starting at 3pm local time via Twitch.

Sunday June 17, 2018 at 8:04 am
Breaking News
HOT !
2018 WSOP: Nirvana record producer Steve Albini wins bracelet

Steve Albini shipped Event #31 $1,500 Seven Card Stud at a star-packed table that included Jesus Ferguson, whom he busted in fourth place. Aussie pro Jeff Lisandro was seeking his seventh bracelet but the record producer of Nirvana's In Utero and punk musician Steve Albini stood in his way. Albini denied Lisandro's quest for numero seven and Albini won his first bracelet, plus $105,629 in cash.

Saturday June 16, 2018 at 4:59 pm
Breaking News
HOT !
2018 WSOP: Johnny World Hennigan wins 5th bracelet

Johnny World Hennigan won his fifth WSOP bracelet when he outlasted a field of 166 runners in Event #27 $10,000 HORSE. Hennigan beat Bakes heads-up for the win and walked away with $415K in cash. Australian pro Michael Addamo won the long-distance Marathon event and survived a tough table that included 2014 WSOP Main Event Champ Martin Jacobson. Addamo shipped his first bracelet with a victory in Event #24 $2,620 NL Marathon for $653,581.

Wednesday June 13, 2018 at 5:31 pm
Breaking News
HOT !
2018 WSOP: Brian Rast wins 4th bracelet; Doyle Brunson 6th place

Brian Rast won his fourth bracelet when he shipped WSOP Event #23 $10,000 NL 2-7 Lowball Championship. The legendary Doyle Brunson made the final table and finished in sixth place. Brunson confirmed that this would be his last WSOP event before he retired. Brunson missed a bracelet by a few spots, but he rode off into the sunset before making one last cameo at a WSOP final table in Las Vegas. Happy trails, Tex Dolly.

Tuesday June 12, 2018 at 4:43 pm
2018 WSOP: Philip Long and Jeremy Wien win bracelets

Two more first-time winners at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. Philip Long won WSOP Event #22 $1,500 Eight Game Mix for his first bracelet and thwarted Daniel Negreanu's run for his seventh bracelet. Also, Jeremy Wien shipped WSOP Event #20 Big Blind Antes $5,000 NL. Wein, a derivatives trader from New York City had to call in sick to work to finish the marathon heads-up battle that lasted five-plus hours and extended the three-day tournament to an additional fourth day.

Tuesday June 12, 2018 at 2:56 pm
Telex
2018 WSOP: Doyle Brunson chasing 2-7 Lowball bracelet

Doyle Brunson is still alive... and he's still alive in the 2018 WSOP Event #23 $10,000 NL 2-7 Lowball Championship. Tex Dolly is retiring this year and this is probably his last tournament. This year's 2-7 event attracted 95 runners. Tex Dolly is 5th overall with 11 to go. Mike Wattel bagged up a massive lead last night. Both Doyle and Todd Brunson survived the cut. Brian Rast, Johnny World, Freddy Bonyadi, Galen Hall and Shawn Sheikhan are still left in the hunt. Watch the final table live stream over at PokerGo.

Monday June 11, 2018 at 6:14 pm
2018 WSOP: Adam Friedman and Ognyan Dimov win bracelets

Three more bracelets were up for grabs at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. Adam Friedman proved to be the master of 20 mixed games when he won WSOP Event #18 $10,000 Dealers Choice 6-Handed for his second bracelet. Bulgaria's Ognyan Dimov shipped Event #17 $1,500 NL 6-Handed and outlasted a tough final table that included four bracelet winners. Lastly, Colorado's Craig Varnell took down Event #19 $565 PLO for his first bracelet.

Saturday June 9, 2018 at 4:43 pm
Breaking News
HOT !
2018 WSOP: Justin Bonomo wins $10K HU Bracelet

Can anyone stop Justin Bonomo? The pro won seven heads-up matches en route to a victory in WSOP Event #16 $10,000 Heads-Up NL Championship. In the last 2 weeks, Bonomo won the Super High Roller Bowl, 2 $25Ks at the Aria, and now a WSOP bracelet in a $10K event. Bonomo won his first WSOP bracelet in 2018 and he added another piece of bling to his most recent horde. Since late March 2018, Bonomo has won $15M in tournaments. Also, cash-game specialist Ben Moon won Event #13 Big Blind Antes NL for a score worth $315K.

Wednesday June 6, 2018 at 7:06 pm
HOT !
2018 WSOP: List of Bracelet Winners

The 2018 World Series of Poker at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas features 78 bracelet events with buy-ins ranging from $365 to $1 million. We compiled a list of 2018 bracelet winners, which will be updated daily. There will be multiple High Roller events in the $100K, $50K, and $25K range. In addition to the Big One for One Drop with a price tag of a cool million. There's also the Little One for One Drop and your favorite branded events like the GIANT, MILLY MAKER, COLOSSUS, and the MARATHON. Oh, and how could we forget the big kahuna of them all... the $10,000 buy-in Main Event Championship!

Free tournaments and added prizes

The Club Poker organizes freerolls and special tournaments with added prizes.
To qualify for free, register on our poker partners websites:

Tournaments Club Poker
$2.20
Height of the 8's
tomorrow at 8:00 pm
$100 guaranteed
6-MAX
$2.20
Big Poker League
Wednesday June 27, 2018 at 7:04 pm
$125 added
$2.20
Height of the 8's
Tuesday July 3, 2018 at 8:00 pm
$100 guaranteed
6-MAX
$2.20
Big Poker League
Wednesday July 4, 2018 at 7:04 pm
$125 added
$2.20
Height of the 8's
Tuesday July 10, 2018 at 8:00 pm
$100 guaranteed