It's not easy to find the right poker metaphor for what Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst did last month, but double-range merge seems to work. She got married!
Vanessa Selbst met Miranda in December of 2009. "I was in my second year of law school at Yale," recalled Vanessa, "and she was a high school English teacher in upstate New York. We met up in New York City one Saturday night to grab a drink and instantly hit it off."
That they did. The two often traveled together for poker tournaments when schedules permitted, and they moved around the United States together before finally settling back in New York this year. It was a big year for the couple in many ways, starting off with the marriage proposal in January at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.
Wedding plans began soon after, and an August wedding date was set. The location was a rooftop terrace in Brooklyn, which overlooked the East River, Williamsburg Bridge, and Empire State Building.
The ceremony was led by Vanessa's friend from high school, Isabel, who is now a rabbi. She admits it was a lengthy ceremony but incorporated "traditional Jewish elements with a modern twist, speeches from family and friends," and a spoken word poem about their union. "The ceremony was deliberate and thoughtful, and really reflected Miranda and me as a couple."
The double-range merge was complete.
And then there was the cocktail hour, reception, and after-party. Amongst the family and friends were a number of poker names who she and Miranda consider special friends. Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero was in attendance, as was Scott Seiver, Galen Hall, Maria Ho, Tiffany Michelle, Melanie Weisner, Rupert Elder, Noah Vaillancourt, Mike Watson, Dani Stern, Peter Jetten, and Dan Smith.
According to Vanessa, the night was a blur because "it all goes by so quickly, and I was trying to savor every moment." She did recall a few fun details from the reception and after-party, though. "I do know that we danced a terrifying hora, ate some amazing food (including mini ice cream cones that were delivered to the dance floor), cut a rug, took some crazy photo booth pictures, and spent the night among our nearest and dearest. The DJ was amazing, so a lot of time was spent on the dance floor. Because we've had so many phases of our lives, we had a bunch of different groups present (teachers, family, lawyers, high school friends, etc.), and it was nice to see them come together and gel so well together."
We wish Vanessa and Miranda congratulations on their wedding and a lifetime of happiness!
(Thanks to Vanessa for sharing memories and these wonderful photos of their special day with us.)
Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.