Vanessa Selbst Back in Action, Cashes at WPT Borgata Poker Open

The retired-from-poker Vanessa Selbst is back in action at the WPT Borgata Poker Open. And she’s back to her old tricks, making it to Day 3.

Vanessa Selbst WPT poker

Vanessa Selbst hasn’t lost a step during retirement. (Image: WPT)

Selbst stepped away from the game, and her PokerStars ambassadorship, in 2018, to work for a hedge fund. But she’s back in action at the Borgata, the casino seeking $10 million from Phil Ivey, for the $3,500 World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open event, which drew 1,156 entries. After two days of play, that figure has dwindled down to 95 participants, one of whom is Selbst.

“It was close to home, and I love this tournament, so I decided to give it a whirl,” she told’s Sean Chaffin of her decision to play some cards.

Selbst Chases First WPT Title

Selbst is the winningest female tournament player of all-time. She has nearly $12 million in lifetime cashes, and is guaranteed at least another $6,852 for her cash at the WPT Borgata Poker Open. The winner, however, will take home $616,186.

Selbst finished Day 2 on Tuesday with 318,000 chips, which is right around the average. Jonathan Jaffe, a WPT Champions Club member, held the chip lead at 1,035,000.

Selbst, who lives in nearby New York, is currently in between jobs. She decided to give poker another shot, albeit for just this one tournament.

The former PokerStars Team Pro member didn’t completely quit poker upon retirement. She made an infamous return to the WSOP in 2018, and had one of the most memorable bust-outs in history. On the Day 1 ESPN feature table, Selbst flopped a set of aces but Gaelle Baumann turned quad sevens to send her home early. She’ll be hoping for a better outcome in Atlantic City this week.

Stacked Field at WPT Borgata Poker Open

Selbst isn’t the only big name in attendance at the casino. Many other top pros made the trek to Atlantic City for the $3,500 buy-in tournament, and are already in the money.

Notable Day Two Chip Counts

  • Victor Ramdin 1,016,000
  • Maurice Hawkins 372,000
  • Tony Dunst 314,000
  • Asher Conniff 309,000
  • Jonathan Little 280,000
  • Cliff Josephy 149,000

Play resumed at noon ET on Wednesday. The final table is scheduled for Friday at 2 pm ET.


Jon Sofen
Written by
Jon Sofen
LAS VEGAS -- Like many others, Jon began playing poker after Chris Moneymaker’s WSOP victory in 2003. Since then, he's become a prolific writer about the game, offering daily news coverage for the CardsChat community. Away from the table, he's a proud Midwesterner, and possibly the world's biggest Kansas City Royals and Iowa Hawkeyes fan.


Chalada12 wrote...

She is a great player , and poker is a game where big amounts of money involved , i think she misses all the fun at the poker table , well good luck to her i hope she wins it . she s the best female poker player good luck to her on this one .

xOneCoolHandx wrote...

It’s great to see Vanessa back at the table where she belongs. Her play is tremendous and she has been missed on the poker scene. I’ll be rooting for her to make the final table.

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