Vanessa Selbst Retires From Poker as Pro Poker Player


Through a Facebook post shared publicly on New Year’s Eve, Vanessa Selbst, the most successful female poker player is walking away from poker after 12 years as a professional player.

“Poker has given me so much over the last 12 years. It has been intellectually challenging, exhilarating, fun, and extremely rewarding. It has given me the opportunity to travel to places I might never have experienced, and forge friendships with people from all over the world. Speaking of those people, those whom I’ve met through the poker world (players and industry people alike) are some of the most dynamic, creative, out-of-the-box thinkers and all around passionate people that I know. ” Vanessa Selbst wrote

33 years old Vanessa Selbst ends her career with more than $11.8 million over a span of 12 years. During her poker career, she won three World Series of Poker bracelets. She almost double the tournament earnings as Kathy Liebert, the second-most successful female tournament player of all time in terms of winnings.

“Many people will ask why I’m leaving–there’s no one specific reason, but just a number of factors, big and small, that contributed to a general feeling I’ve had for a while that it was the right time.”

She explained in her Facebook post that she doesn’t find the poker lifestyle as appealing as she once did, after Black Friday she would have to move or travel the country to pursue her professional career, and this isn’t ideal for somebody trying to build a stable home and start a family.

Despite being her main source of income, she never saw poker as her job, and once it finally became that, she felt it had been time to move on.

This shift within the poker landscape meant she  isn’t comfortable promoting the game as a PokerStars pro any longer, in her own words:

“I don’t feel good about promoting poker as an ambassador anymore (I can’t tell amateurs they should come play online and it’s beatable for them when I don’t feel like it’s true).”

Moving on from poker she is now working at a hedge fund for the past 4 months, “doing trading research and strategy.” She wrote. “It’s exhausting, exciting, and completely humbling every single day.”