Selbst Wins NAPT Mohegan Sun on Home Turf

Vanessa Selbst
NAPT Mohegan Sun champ Vanessa Selbst.

Yale Law School student and part-time poker pro Vanessa Selbst won the North American Poker Tour Mohegan Sun main event Sunday, less than an hour outside of her home town.

Selbst, who has amassed more than $1.6 million in career tournament earnings, including a World Series of Poker bracelet, two other WSOP final tables and a third-place finish in the 2007 WSOP Heads-Up World Championship, was already one of the most respected female players in the game.

Now, the New Haven, Connecticut native has her biggest career score at $750,000.

"It feels awesome," she said. "The most meaningful part of this for me was definitely having a lot of my friends that don't play poker and a lot of my friends from law school see this, and my girlfriend was able to come.

"It was just really great to have everybody here and to see this. This is the hugest moment that I've had in poker so far, so it was really nice to have everybody so close."

The five-day, $5,000 buy-in championship event attracted 716 runners from more than 20 countries, smashing records for both attendance and total prize pool for a poker tournament at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, just 50-minutes from New Haven.

Selbst was among the leaders on Day 1 and never dropped lower than third in chips.

The 25-year-old, who is working toward a law degree in civil rights at Yale University where she finished her undergraduate degree, said this is her biggest poker accomplishment by far.

"This is at the top," she said. "I mean, I know that a bracelet is supposed to be prestigious, but let's be honest, that was $230 grand and this is $750 grand, so you can't argue with the dollar signs."

The final table was no cake walk, with names like Scott Seiver, Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy and Jonathan "FatalError" Aguiar all making the final eight.

However, Selbst put on a virtual deep-stacked poker clinic to book the win, defeating American Michael Beasley heads-up.

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