Vanessa Selbst

Vanessa Selbst (born 1984) is a highly successful poker tournament player. As of 2018, she has earned over $11,850,000 in prizes from poker tournaments, over the course of 12 years. This includes many high-profile wins; she has achieved 20+ tournament wins that each earned her $100,000 or more.

She belongs to the small group of poker players that has managed to reach the #1 position on the Global Poker Index; a leaderboard that ranks over 450,000 live tournament poker players in the world. Selbst entered the #1 position for the first time on 18 June, 2014.

Selbst has reached eight WSOP final tables and won three of them. All her WSOP bracelets are from open events.

Short facts about Vanessa Selbst

Born: 9 July, 1984, in Brooklyn, New York City, USA

Current residence: Brooklyn, New York City, USA

Poker alias on PokerStars: V. Selbst

Family: Wife Miranda


Selbst grew up in Brooklyn, New York City.

She attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for a year, before transferring to Yale University. After graduating from Yale with a degree in political science, Selbst spent a year in Spain on a Fullbright scholarship.

After returning to the United States, she worked for the consulting firm McKinsey & Company before returning to Yale – this time to attend law school. She received her J.D. degree in 2012.

Live poker tournaments


Selbst participated in her first WSOP in 2006. Two years later, she captured her first bracelt.

As of 2014, Vanessa Selbst has three WSOP bracelets:

  • WSOP 2008

$1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha

Prize money: $227,933


  • WSOP 2012

$2,500 10-Game Six Handed

Prize money: $244,259


  • WSOP 2014

$25,000 Mixed-Max No-Limit Hold’em

Prize money: $871,148


Selbst earned a first prize of $750,000 by winning the 2010 North American Poker Tour (NAPT) Mohegan Sun $5,000 Main Event. In 2011, she returned to defend her title – and won again. This time, the first prize was $450,000. So far, no one else has ever successfully defended their NAPT Main Event titel.

Partouche Poker Tour

Selbst largest prize from live tournament poker was the €1.3 million that she got for winning the 2010 Partouche Poker Tour.

PokerStars Caribbean Adventure

  • Selbst won the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure High Roller in January 2013.
  • In January 2014, she became the first woman to play in the $100k buy-in PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller event. She finished third place in the tournament.


Selbst used to be a coach and executive producer for the online poker training site DeucesCracked.

Career in finance

In 2018, Selbst started working for the huge hedge fund Bridgewater Associates.

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” – Vanessa Selbst in an interview with Bloomberg