Selbst captures Commerce WPTL event

Vanessa Selbst
Vanessa Selbst claims first place in the second WPT Ladies tournament.

In a grueling 15-hour battle, professional poker player Vanessa Selbst became the second champion in World Poker Tour Ladies (WPTL) history with her victory early Sunday morning at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles.

The $1,000 buy-in ensured that there would be a strong contingent of women battling for the crown. Evidently a recent California court decision had limited impact on the composition of the field.

On Jan. 18, the California judiciary determined that "women only" events were discriminatory against males and that any cardroom running an event could not keep men out if they wanted to play.

At the Commerce, one man stepped up to take on the ladies on the felt, but he was eliminated from the action in the early going.

Eighty-two players came to the tables for action midafternoon on Saturday, some very strong contenders among them. WSOP bracelet winner Cyndy Violette, Anna Wroblewski and 2007 WPT Ladies' Night winner Pamela Brunson sat down at the felt, but busted out relatively early in the evening.

The final table, convened early Sunday morning, featured several strong local players as well as some top professionals. Katrina Lim and Christina Hung, two California poker players who have a number of solid finishes in ladies tournaments between them, struggled valiantly but ended up in seventh and fourth place respectively.

When the tournament came down to the final three, it was Selbst (who also final-tabled the 2007 WSOP Ladies Championship), European poker pro Erica Schoenberg and Crystal Osgood at the baize.

Osgood, who is also the president of the Ladies Poker Association (one of the cosponsors of the WPT Ladies tournament), was first to depart the table, taking with her the third-place prize of $10,920.

As the hands of the clock approached 7 a.m. Sunday, Selbst was finally able to vanquish Schoenberg and capture the bounty: $26,500 in cash, a pink WPT chip set, LAPC and LPA trophies and a $1,500 seat at the WPTL Championship at the Bellagio in April.

Once the marathon wrapped up, the final-table results looked like this:

Vanessa Selbst
Montclair, N.J.
Erica Schoenberg
Las Vegas, Nev.
Crystal Osgood
Spring Valley, Calif.
Christina Hung
San Francisco, Calif.
Jana Delacerra
Northridge, Calif.
Danise Aaron
Los Angeles, Calif.
Katrina Lim
Orange, Calif.
Carol Neal
Provincetown, Mass.
Julie Le
Huntington Beach, Calif.

In honor of the charitable organization the WPT Ladies promotes, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, players sported pink bracelets given out by the WPT to promote and encourage donations to the WPTL official charity partner.

With the end of the second WPT Ladies event, female players will now be looking to the Bay 101 Casino in San Jose for the third stop on the tour at the Shooting Star in March.

The fourth tournament on the schedule takes place at Foxwoods in March.

The current season of the WPTL wraps up in April with the WPT Ladies Championship Event, a $1,500 buy-in on the schedule of the Five Star World Poker Classic at the Bellagio. The final table for that event will be taped on April 25 for broadcast on the WPT's new television partner, GSN.

Related Article: WPT Ladies Heads for Commerce Casino

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