WSOP 2012: Selbst breaks the $5 million mark

wsop-2012-thumb.jpgTeam PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst came within just a few hours last night from being the first woman to win an open event World Series of Poker bracelet since 2008. She had sat down in the first open tournament of the 2012 WSOP with 2,100 other people. She beat all but three of them, finished fourth, and collected $161,345, enough to move her over the $5 million mark in worldwide lifetime tournament winnings.

As I sit here this morning, I'm tempted to talk about how she was destined for the win. I'm struggling not to pour over a hand in which she turned the nut straight against a set and got re-sucked on the river. I'd be comforted to talk about the fickleness we sometimes find in fate.

But you know what? It's the past. Selbst is no doubt sleeping on a pillow of cash right now, thinking about the next bracelet, and not over-worrying herself run over how close she got last night.

There is also this:the last woman to win a WSOP bracelet back in 2008? Yeah, that was Vanessa Selbst, too. If you're looking for a woman to represent the champions' game today, it's the woman who used to call herself suckoutqueen.

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Mrs. Five Million, Vanessa Selbst

Selbst's official live tourney winnings currently sit at $5,089,922. She's earned all of that since 2006 and is already in the Top 70 all-time poker tournament winners in the world. Only one woman in the world has won more. The venerable Kathy Liebert can claim $5,837,481 in winnings, an amount that's taken her 18 years to build.

But let's not dwell on that. If we're going to dwell on something, let's talk about the names that sit below Selbst's on the all-time live winnings list. Selbst has risen above her contemporaries like Scott Seiver ($4,790,136), Nenad Medic ($4,532,598), Vivek Rajkumar ($4,315,714), and Yevgeniy Timoshenko ($ 4,401,113). What's more, she's now made more in seven years than veterans Jeff Lisandro ($4,797,295), Barry Shulman ($4,508,769), and Mike Sexton ($4,206,181).

And check this out:

Ask anybody in the real world to name the most famous female poker player. Almost all of them will say, "Annie Duke." Even Duke, the woman who made a name for herself on just about every stage in and out of the poker world sits below Selbst on the all-time winnings list with $4,270,549.

So, that's where it stands this morning. Selbst has another big cash on her resume, another WSOP final table, and now more than $5 million in lifetime live winnings.

As for that missed title last night?

"Still plenty of Series left for bracelets," she said.