Vanessa Selbst Retires as a Poker Player, Career Transition to Hedge Funds

Vanessa Selbst at 33, made her name while accumulating casino chips, being a Yale University undergraduate. Before teaming up with Ray Dalio’s $160 billion firm, she worked part-time at a police mis-conduct plaintiffs’ law firm. The Brooklyn-born Selbst re-thought her career after poker grew into much of a “real job,” being the most successful woman ever in tournament poker.

Vanessa Selbst Woman Poker player

“EverydayI think I’m getting the hang of it, the next day I fail at the next challenge,” “It’s exhausting, exciting, and completely humbling.” She said, who won $11.9 million in prizes over 12 years in the card game and joined the world’s largest hedge fund according to a person with knowledge of the matter, not only that but she was also asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. On a December 31st Facebook post announcing her  career change, Selbst mentioned about her start at an unspecified hedge fund firm four months ago to focus on trading research and strategy.

“The environment feels a lot like poker did back in the day, a bunch of nerdy kids collaborating to try to beat our opponents at a game, it’s also really freaking difficult.” Selbst said in her post!

Hedge funds have turned to unconventional ways of acquiring fresh talent that could help boost performance. Ken Griffin’s Citadel co-hosted a year’s worth of data-science competitions at elite universities to recruit students who might otherwise seek jobs at technology giants such as Facebook Inc. or Apple Inc. A spokeswoman for Westport, the Connecticut-based Bridgewater declined to comment on the Selbst hire.

Vanessa Selbst announced her retirement from the game on a professional level to transition into a different career. As part of that, Selbst will no longer be a member of PokerStars Team Pros going forward.

“Poker has given me so much over the last 12 years,” she wrote. “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.” Selbst has also posted an impressive track record of tournament results with over $11.8 million in live cashes being an aggressive player on the table since the beginning. She won three bracelets during her career, one each in 2008, 2012 and 2014. However, those results had petered out to a startling degree over the past two years. According to The Hendon Mob, Selbst cashed for at least $800,000 each year between 2010, her first year as a PokerStars Team Pro, and 2015. In 2016 and 2017 combined, she cashed for only about $120,000.

Good luck to Vanessa on her inspired career move, and may she fare in her new career as she did in her poker as well.

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