Vanessa Selbst, an out married lesbian whose $10.5 million career earnings are the most by a female in poker history, will be honored Friday as the Global Poker Index's 2014 Female Poker Player of the Year at a ceremony in Beverly Hills.
Selbst, who has a degree from Yale Law School, has been playing poker for 10 years and is a member of Team Pokerstars. In August 2013, she married her partner Miranda Foster in New York. Her rise in the poker ranks has been swift since she first won an event in 2008 and six years later is the best female player in the world. At one event in 2014, she won $1.4 million.
In addition to poker, Selbst has a passion for social justice. One of the reasons she got her law degree, she said, was so she "can take on cases for indigent defendants who need representation." In 2010, She "established a foundation called Venture Justice, which funds projects that fight for racial justice and economic equality, and against police misconduct and government abuse of authority. She also currently serves on the board of the Urban Justice Center and is looking to become more active in other organizations that fight for civil rights."