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December 22, 2014

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Vanessa Selbst claims first major bracelet of the 2014 World Series of Poker

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COURTESY OF CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT

Vanessa Selbst poses with the bracelet she won in the $25,000 buy-in mixed-max no-limit hold’em tournament at the 2014 World Series of Poker.

Updated Friday, May 30, 2014 | 10:47 p.m.

The first open event of the 2014 World Series of Poker ended with a familiar face holding all of the chips.

Vanessa Selbst, a 29-year-old professional from New York, won her third WSOP bracelet Friday evening in the $25,000 buy-in mixed-max no limit hold’em event. Selbst beat Jason Mo in heads-up play on the final day of the four-day tournament to win $871,148.

The cash boosts Selbst’s lifetime tournament earnings to more than $10 million and into the top 25 of the all-time money list. She was already the winningest female in poker history before notching her 22nd six-figure score.

The win is also likely to shift Selbst further upward in the Global Poker Index rankings, where she came into the tournament at No. 4 in the world.

Mo receives $538,308 for falling just short of his first bracelet, the second time in three years he’s wound up as the runner-up in a major WSOP event.

Mo came into the match with Selbst holding a 2 million chip advantage, but couldn’t hold off the surge everyone in the poker world anticipated. By the time Selbst captured the chip lead, she needed less than an hour to finish Mo off.

Selbst may have felt some extra validation after Mo tweeted, “lol Vanessa is so bad,” Thursday when she knocked out one of his friends. He had no idea he’d eventually face Selbst, who was chronically short-stacked for the final stages of the tournament, for the title.

Several other notables finished in the money, including J.C. Tran, who made last year’s Main Event final table, in fourth for $290,6222 and Matt Giannetti, who made the 2011 Main Event final table, in fifth for $171,461.

The tournament started with 131 entrants playing traditional nine-handed no-limit hold’em. The second day shifted to six players per table with the third trimming to four. Heads-up is reserved for the final day.

The event forces players to prove they can excel in several different forms of poker’s most popular variant — something Selbst has shown she’s capable of repeatedly.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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