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Vanessa Selbst wins North American Poker Tour Mohegan Sun
4/12/10 - Accomplished land and online poker pro Vanessa Selbst (25) defeated a formidable final table over the weekend to win the North American Poker Tour Mohegan Sun main event; her biggest win yet at $750 000 after besting 715 entrants in the competition.
The hard-core final table consisted of Mike Beasley holding the chip lead at 4 985 000, followed by Selbst on 4 545 000, Michael Woods on 2 950 000, Alistar Melville on 2 940 000, Cliff Josephy with 1 940 000, Derek Raymond (1 545 000), Jonathan Aguiar (1 535 000) and Scott Seiver (1 125 000).
Selbst played superbly throughout the tournament, holding the chip lead for two days of the action. She also knocked out three of her opponents at the final table to become the first female champion of an NAPT event, and in the process boosted her career earnings to $1 672 855.
With overwhelming chip leads going into the final it was always going to be likely that it would be Mike Beasley and Vanessa Selbst facing off in the heads up as the final table was whittled down. First to go was Jonathan Aguiar, eliminated by Michael Woods. Then it was Cliff Josephy's time to head for the rail after being busted out by Derek Raymond.
Raymond's winning warmth was short-lived as he was next to head for the exit - and the first of the six-figure winners at $115 000 for a sixth placing - after clashing with the aggressive Selbst. Canadian amateur player Alistar Melville got into trouble in a confrontation with Mike Beasley that saw him head for the cashier and a $150 000 fifth place payday.
Despite starting the day with a relatively low chip count, Scott Seiver managed to survive a very aggressive final table for some time, but his cards were up when he tangled with Mike Woods and departed in fourth place, earning himself $190 000 - a nice advance birthday pesent as he turns 25 this week.
Three-handed it was Woods - an amateur player from Virgina - Beasley and Selbst in contention. It didn't last long as Selbst moved in on Woods and eliminated him in third place for $240 000, setting up the heads up and holding a massive six-to-one chip advantage as she did so.
Riding the crest of a great game played with aggression and talent, it took the young woman only seven hands to dispense with Beasley, who took home a second placing prize of $428 000, taking his career winnings to $730 000.
For Selbst, it was a victorious return to live tournament play, having left the tournament circuit last year to attend further courses in civil rights law at Yale Law School, where she had graduated earlier.
The Montclair, New Jersey resident has made 18 cashes that include three final tables and two heads-up semi-finals at the World Series of Poker and won the 2008 World Series of Poker $1 500 Pot-Limit Omaha event. She is also a coach and executive producer at online poker training site DeucesCracked.com.
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