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After Latest $450K Poker Win, Yale Law Student Says She May Practice Only Part-Time

Posted Apr 18, 2011 4:41 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Unlike many professional poker players, Vanessa Selbst has a potentially lucrative second career to fall back on should she ever experience a run of bad luck.

With only one more year to go at Yale Law School, she has a law license—and the civil rights practice that motivated her decision to enroll—within easy reach. But after a stunningly successful year at poker, the 26-year-old New Yorker is now hedging her bets.

Last week, for the second year in a row, she won the North American Poker Tour event at the Mohegan Sun, earning $450,000 and upping her poker income for 2011, so far, to a little over $500,000. Last year, a $1.6 million purse for prevailing in the main event at the Partouche Poker Tour in France helped up her career earnings, to date, to about $4.5 million, according to Poker News Daily.

"I don’t think I’ll ever do only one thing. I’ll probably be doing both. I’m not going to be a full-time lawyer, but I’ll definitely be using my law degree to some extent," she told Fox Sports.

"I don’t know what that means yet. I’m going to play it by ear. I don’t really make plans for the future.”

Hat tip: Above the Law

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com (2009): "Yale Law Student’s Recession-Proof Game Plan: Professional Poker"

ABAJournal.com (2010): "Yale Law Student, Ready for Poker Tour, Hopes to Juggle Gambling and Law Practice"

Poker Blog (ESPN): "NAPT Mohegan Final Table Blog"

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