Poker is a complicated game, what with the luck and the skill and the pre-flop five-bet shoving.
That's why it takes some serious results for us to even entertain the idea that someone is good at poker. And even then, the biggest commitment we're comfortable making is that they might be good.
Yesterday Vanessa Selbst earned that honor by winning the NAPT Mohegan Sun main event for the second straight year.
Vanessa Selbst isn't without her detractors, a group of bitter individuals enraged by the idea of some lag-tard woman crushing the worldwide live tournament circuit.
To their credit, Selbst does play very aggressively. Sometimes it works out for her, as we saw when she five-bet shoved 4♦ 8♦ preflop and cracked aces midway through the tournament and went on to win the entire thing.
Whatever Selbst is doing, it's working. She's been posting results like nobody's business.
Now known as a tournament player, Selbst actually got her chops playing online poker, mostly No-Limit Hold'em and PLO cash games. She played a lot of $25/$50, and could be found as high as $200/$400 at times.
Selbst was first introduced to poker at Yale University and despite still pursring her law degree at that school, it's safe to say poker has eclipsed her academic career.
The first entry on Selbst's Hendon Mob page is a final table at the 2006 WSOP worth over $100,000. She came back the next summer and made two more final tables, including taking third in the $5k Heads-Up event for $129,000.
Over the next year she racked up about $96,000 in tournament earnings before the WSOP began. At the 2008 Series she took down her first bracelet, winning a $1,500 PLO event for $228,000.
Three days later she finished third in the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship event for $108,000.
From there she headed back to her old stomping grounds of Connecticut where she won two side events at the WPT World Poker Finals, worth $115,000 and $74,000 respectively. She also posted a third place finish in a $2,325 event for $25k.
In 2009 she began a hiatus from poker to do the first two years of Law school at Yale. But for Vanessa Selbst even a hiatus can be profitable.
In April of 2010 she played the NAPT Mohegan Sun main event in Connecticut and won, good for $750,000. One year later she would win it again for $450,000.
In the interim between those two scores she took down the Partouche Poker Tour event in Cannes, France for an astounding $1.8 million! A month after that she placed fourth at the EPT London High Roller event for $220,000.
To date Selbst has more than $4.1 million in lifetime earnings and doesn't look to be slowing down a bit.
PokerListings.com is set for a big WSOP this summer in Las Vegas. Keep an eye on Vanessa Selbst's progress and all the action from Vegas on our WSOP 2011 Live Coverage page.
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