Vanessa Selbst became the most successful female poker player of all time when winning the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure High Roller event last night.
The popular PokerStars pro overtook Kathy Liebert – the former number one female poker player in lifetime poker earnings – when defeating Russian poker player Vladimir Troyanovskiy in the Heads-Up of the PCA High Roller event and capturing the $1.4 million first prize to take her live poker earnings over the $7 million mark.
Although it is fair to say that there may not have been so many opportunities for female players when Liebert was at her prime, there would appear to be many more years remaining in the 28-year-old from Brooklyn who also has an impressive online résumé under her pseudonyms of “V.Selbst” (PokerStars) and “fslexcduck” (Full Tilt Poker).
The Climax of the PCA High Roller
The final table of the $25,000 buy-in PCA High Roller started with Vanessa Selbst (1,512,000 chips) lying in fourth position behind overnight chip leader Shaun Deeb (2,536,000 chips) with Vladimir Troyanovskiy (1,625,000 chips) – who also made the final table of the PCA Super High Rollers – and Mike Watson (1,620,000 chips) closely matched in second and third.
Of the four remaining players, three were gone within the full first level – with Ole Schemion responsible for all three! First, Micah Raskin (A♠ J♦) shoved his short-stack into the Q♥ Q♠ of Schemion and failed to hit the Ace he needed. Tobias Reinkemeier (A♣ K♣) then called Schemion´s 8♠ 8♦ pre-flop shove and failed to hit an Ace or King, and within 12 hands Schemion had scored a hat-trick of eliminations when his J♣ J♠ hit a set on the flop to send Bryn Kenney to the rail in sixth.
One Step Beyond for Schemion
With his three KOs, Schemion had risen to the top of the chip counts, but his attempted fourth-bust-in-a-row proved to be the start of his downfall and the beginning of Vanessa Selbst´s red hot run.
Both Selbst (K♣ K♥) and Schemion (A♥ 8♠) checked through the flop of K♦ 10♥ 6♥, and Schemion lead out for 67,000 chips when the 10♣ paired the board. Selbst, who had turned a full house, raised to 141,000 and Schemion called.
Schemion checked through the 2♦ river card before Selbst bet 465,000. Schemion quickly announced he was all-in and Selbst called off her last 1.2 million chips. The 3 million chip pot headed to Vanessa Selbst´s corner of the final table and elevated her to chip leader.
Deeb Dives and Schemion Sinks
Shaun Deeb was not having the best of days at the office. The overnight chip-leader´s day was summed up in the two hands which effectively eliminated him from the tournament. In the first, he followed Mike Watson (A♦ A♠) all the way to the river with a paired Queen (K♠ Q♦) and then got all his chips in the middle with A♦ 10♣ on a flop of 10♠ 3♥ 2♣ against Vanessa Selbst (A♥ K♠) – only for Selbst to river the K♦ and eliminate Deeb in fifth.
Ole Schemion´s crushing by Vanessa Selbst did not finish with full house hand above. Selbst later flopped trip Kings against Schemion´s A♠ Q♥ and the German had been nursing his short stack ever since. He eventually got the last of his chips in the middle with pocket Fives, but ran into Mike Watson´s Q♦ Q♣ and was busted in fourth place.
Watson Flushed to Give Selbst Heads-Up Advantage
The addition of Ole Schemion´s chips to Mike Watson´s stack temporarily took him into second place in the chip counts behind Vanessa Selbst and ahead of Vladimir Troyanovskiy, but his participation in the event was not to last much longer.
On a flop of A♥ 9♠ 8♠, Watson (K♥ J♥) called Selbst´s (K♠ Q♠) raise of 260,000, and then became the aggressor after Selbst checked the Q♣ on the turn – increasing the pot by 320,000. Selbst also checked the 2♠ river, even though she had made the spade flush, and Mike Watson fell for the trap – moving all his chips into the middle and getting snap-called by Selbst.
With Watson eliminated in third position, Vanessa Selbst carried a 7.796 million -v- 2.405 million chip advantage into the Heads-Up against Vladimir Troyanovskiy.
Into the Heads-Up
In hindsight, Vladimir Troyanovskiy played a tremendous Heads-Up considering the disadvantage he was at after losing the first two hands A♥ 10♦ > A♠ 7♥ and A♠ 9♠ > A♥ 7♦, and it looked like Vanessa Selbst was going to land the PCA High Rollers title in a very short space of time after reducing the Russian to less than 1 million chips.
However, three times Troyanovskiy managed to double and extend the Heads-Up to more than 2½ hours, and even when he bust out of the event it was in the most unfortunate of circumstances.
After some aggressive pre-flop betting, Troyanovskiy (K♥ K♠) called Selbst´s shove with A♥ Q♠ and watched on in hope as the cards flopped 2♥ 2♣ 8♦. The likelihood of another double-up increased as the 10♦ was dealt on the turn, but the A♣ spiked on the river – giving Selbst the PCA High Rollers title and enabling her to become the most successful woman poker player of all time.
PokerStars PCA High Roller Result
In a post-tournament interview, Vanessa Selbst admitted that she had never run so well on a Final Table, and tweeted out to her followers that she had run “hotter than the sun”. Well, next weekend it is the Main Event of the PokerStars UKIPT in Edinburgh and, with temperatures forecast to be below freezing, her warm and sunny presence would be most welcome.
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