Vanessa Selbst

Vanessa-SelbstBrooklyn-born Vanessa Selbst is a former full-time professional poker player who officially ‘retired’, after a 12-year career, at the end of 2017 and embarked upon a new career as a hedge fund trader with investment management firm Bridgewater Associates.On New Year’s Eve, 2017, Selbst tweeted that she was ‘parting ways with PokerStars and moving on from poker in general’, but subsequently played in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open and the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event – from which she made an early exit – in 2018, much to the consternation of some detractors within the poker community.

Nevertheless, Selbst remains the most successful female poker player of all time, with three WSOP bracelets and $11.85 million, in live earnings alone, to her name. She also has the distinction of being the only female player to be ranked number one on the Global Poker Index. She is, far and away, the top female poker player according to the all-time money list, over $5.5 million ahead of her nearest pursuer, Kathy ‘Pokerkat’ Liebert. Despite failing to cash, at all, in 2018 and tournament winnings of just $8,231 in 2017, Selbst still ranks 62nd on the all-time money list.

Kathy Liebert

kathy-liebert-300x200Kathleen ‘Kathy’ Liebert, also known online as ‘PokerKat’, was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1967. A graduate from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, Liebert pursued a career as a Wall Street business analyst before starting to play $5 limit poker in Colorado in 1991. She was subsequently asked to ‘prop’ – that is, play poker for an hourly wage, but using her own bankroll – for a local casino, but it was another eighteen months or so before she headed to Las Vegas to play in a poker tournament.

Successful at low buy-in tournaments, but careful to play within her means, Liebert gradually worked her way up through the ranks. She recorded her first tournament win in a $200 + 30 Omaha Hi/Lo event at the LA Poker Open II at Normandie Casino, Gardena in 1994, but in two-and-a-half decades since has become one of the best poker players, of either sex, in the world. In 2002, she became the first women to win $1 million in a single event, when winning the $8,000 Limit Hold’em on the inaugural Party Poker Million Cruise. In 2004, she won her one and only World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet in the

$1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout at Binion’s, Las Vegas. At the last count, Liebert had total live earnings in excess of $6.3 million.