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Thread: Vanessa Selbst quitting as Pokerstars pro, retiring from poker

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Vanessa Selbst quitting as Pokerstars pro, retiring from poker

    https://www.facebook.com/VSelbst/posts/1539524546084021

    I’m writing to say that I’m officially parting ways with PokerStars and moving on from my career as a professional poker player. Poker has given me so much over the last 12 years. 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. Speaking of those people, those whom I’ve met through the poker world (players and industry people alike) are some of the most dynamic, creative, out-of-the-box thinkers and all around passionate people that I know.

    Many people will ask why I’m leaving – there’s no one specific reason, but just a number of factors, big and small, that contributed to a general feeling I’ve had for a while that it was the right time. The most obvious reason is that Black Friday has meant that in order to do this job professionally, you either had to move out of the country or travel 90% of the time. That was really fun for a period of time in my life, but as my late 20s turned into my early 30s and my priorities changed toward building a stable home and community and starting a family, the constant travel is no longer tenable. Secondly, I don’t feel good about promoting poker as an ambassador anymore (I can’t tell amateurs they should come play online and it’s beatable for them when I don’t feel like it’s true). Lastly, whether because poker got more competitive or because we got older (or likely some combination of the two), poker recently turned into a real job, requiring hard work and discipline to succeed. I had never treated the game that way–I always kept a very light poker schedule–I showed up and played for fun and did other projects back home as my “real work.” The shift in the nature of poker and what it requires put me at a crossroads and asked the question of me whether I would rather change my relationship to the game or move on. To me, the opportunity to work hard and learn something totally new and get to keep poker in my arsenal of fun go-to hobbies feels like the right approach.

    My next career I’m giving a shot is at a hedge fund. I’m doing trading research and strategy. I’ve actually already been there for almost four months now, and 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… there’s so much to learn and figure out in a world that’s completely new to me and every day I think I’m getting the hang of it, the next day I fail at the next challenge. It’s exhausting, exciting, and completely humbling every single day. Plus, I’m following in my mother’s footsteps (she was an options trader turned lawyer and recreational poker player), which would have upset the hell out of me ten years ago, but makes me really happy now.

    I don’t know if the hedge fund thing will work out. For the year before I started my current job, I was working part time at a police misconduct plaintiffs’ law firm, and I started out liking it but in the end it didn’t really suit me (no pun intended). It’s pretty difficult to find the next thing when your first career was so much damned fun! Anyway, whatever happens with my next career, I know that I’ll never truly stop playing poker (just ask Fedor Holz what happens when you retire)! Seriously though, I will always love the game and the people in it and I’m so thankful for everyone I’ve met and everything I’ve experienced. So with that, so long, and thanks for all the fish!
    If you click the Facebook link at the top, you can see about 20 photos she selected from her poker career over the years.


    As always, though, there's more to the story than meets the eye.

    While it would seem plausible that an intelligent woman such as Vanessa might be interested in moving on to other pursuits -- especially ones which don't require extensive travel like tournament poker does -- you always need to look beneath the pretty statement for the truth.

    Vanessa Selbst had a very prolific and successful tournament career. She's 41st all-time in total value of cashes (not winnings, mind you, but cashes). She's 25th all-time in the US. She's #1 all time of females. In total, she cashed $11.8 million.

    However, she was entering a LOT of big buyin events, and spent many millions in tournament entry fees. Did she spent $11.8 million? Probably not, but it's very possible she spent close to that.

    Vanessa was only a tournament player, for the most part. Aside from some televised appearances, she didn't really play cash, to my knowledge. That's part of her stated reason for quitting -- she's tired of the travel.

    But let's take a look at her recent results.

    In 2016, she cashed just $115k.

    In 2017, she cashed a shockingly low $8k.

    Prior to that, she cashed $839k to $2.86 million for 6 consecutive years, from 2010-2015.

    It's safe to say she lost money over the past two years, especially 2017.

    Pokerstars was likely putting her in to some of the events she played, and I wouldn't be surprised if she also had backers.

    However, Vanessa seems to have been mostly airballing it for the past 2 years, and I'm guessing that she decided poker is too damn hard nowadays, and she's done. Keep in mind she hasn't finished better than 9th since 2015, aside from one 5th place finish ($1372) in a small-field, $200 entry tournament to memorialize Chad Brown.

    If you read between the lines in her message, where she discusses how much more difficult poker has become, you can see that she's really quitting because she has decided she can no longer beat the game -- or at least she's having enough doubts to where she wants to try her hand at something else.

    Now, none of this is anything to be ashamed of. It's far more admirable to walk away when you see things starting to go south, rather than to stay around and go busto like so many other once-successful tourney pros.

    However, I can't praise Vanessa because I don't like her as a human being.

    Here was my own take on it on Twitter:


     
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  2. #2
    DD was banned after 318 posts on 4?

    Damn dude.

  3. #3
    Nova Scotia's REAL #1 Webcam DJ sonatine's Avatar
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    "I canít tell amateurs they should come play online and itís beatable for them when I donít feel like itís true"


    sorry, back up a tick....


    if online is 'beatable' ... for amateurs..... who exactly are they beating?


    thats some slimy pimp shit right there.
    "Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness." - Alejandro Jodorowsky

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonatine View Post
    "I canít tell amateurs they should come play online and itís beatable for them when I donít feel like itís true"


    sorry, back up a tick....


    if online is 'beatable' ... for amateurs..... who exactly are they beating?


    thats some slimy pimp shit right there.


    I thought the same thing when I read that line.

    But that's typical poker SJW logic.

    She promoted a game for years where the pros almost always crush the amateurs, and this is her way of rationalizing it.

    "Oh, amateurs could win before, but NOW it's gotten too tough for them, so I don't feel right promoting it."

    She is smart enough to know that's not true.

    Amateurs always lost. The difference now is that some pros who previously won are no longer good enough to beat the game.

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    Platinum thesparten's Avatar
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    Tournaments are impossible to beat in the long run.. Your pretty much playing a "scratchie" for a jackpot...

    The fun thing about tournaments is that a little but of luck and a little but of skill you can actually take one down.. Cash play is just asking to get quickly and viciously raped unless you take it very very serious..

    I think all the pre B.F. left overs will quit in the very near future.. Its a diffrent game now.. The day of people just giving you free money are over. U actually have to "honestly" earn it playing..

    I also think that poker will turn into a form of entertainment with a chance of making some money..
    Rake will go up, bonuses will go down AND the play is tight..

    As far as the virtue signaling lesbian. All fucken libtards are just ideologicle hipocrites who have become the epitome they claim to be against..

  6. #6
    Vanessa Selbst is 33 years old now and married.
    She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
    Also owns a condo in Las Vegas.

    I think she also despises Daniel Negreanu (who makes about 10 times more money than her) and Liv Boeree (who makes about 5 times more money than her) Liv is also a big losing player overall. PokerStars still sponsors too many losing players.

    Like you say she making less money in tournament poker, mainly because it's difficult for her to constantly dominate the poker table now. When she first started her "poker career" she played like a fucking maniac, constantly raising poker hands with garbage, getting your opponent to call off all his chips with two pair. Now players are almost always calling her down and she's getting frustrated.

    Good luck making money for Billionaire assholes like Steven Cohen.



  7. #7
    Vaguely remember the first time I saw her. She was a loud obnoxious bull/dyke bitch. Couldn't stand her. Then saw her on one of the poker shows. She seemed to be respectful & amiable towards the other players so thought maybe she wasn't so bad.

    Heard some player talking years ago that he knew pros that had gotten to where they hated the game but they were stuck playing because they had no resume other than poker. This was before the poker boom so I bet a lot of this goes on now.

    Doubt that an empty resume is VS's problem but maybe she got sick of the game. It really does take a special mindset to continually play year after year.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    https://www.facebook.com/VSelbst/posts/1539524546084021

    Iím writing to say that Iím officially parting ways with PokerStars and moving on from my career as a professional poker player. Poker has given me so much over the last 12 years. 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. Speaking of those people, those whom Iíve met through the poker world (players and industry people alike) are some of the most dynamic, creative, out-of-the-box thinkers and all around passionate people that I know.

    Many people will ask why Iím leaving Ė thereís no one specific reason, but just a number of factors, big and small, that contributed to a general feeling Iíve had for a while that it was the right time. The most obvious reason is that Black Friday has meant that in order to do this job professionally, you either had to move out of the country or travel 90% of the time. That was really fun for a period of time in my life, but as my late 20s turned into my early 30s and my priorities changed toward building a stable home and community and starting a family, the constant travel is no longer tenable. Secondly, I donít feel good about promoting poker as an ambassador anymore (I canít tell amateurs they should come play online and itís beatable for them when I donít feel like itís true). Lastly, whether because poker got more competitive or because we got older (or likely some combination of the two), poker recently turned into a real job, requiring hard work and discipline to succeed. I had never treated the game that wayĖI always kept a very light poker scheduleĖI showed up and played for fun and did other projects back home as my ďreal work.Ē The shift in the nature of poker and what it requires put me at a crossroads and asked the question of me whether I would rather change my relationship to the game or move on. To me, the opportunity to work hard and learn something totally new and get to keep poker in my arsenal of fun go-to hobbies feels like the right approach.

    My next career Iím giving a shot is at a hedge fund. Iím doing trading research and strategy. Iíve actually already been there for almost four months now, and the environment feels a lot like poker did back in the day Ė a bunch of nerdy kids collaborating to try to beat our opponents at a game. Itís also really freaking difficultÖ thereís so much to learn and figure out in a world thatís completely new to me and every day I think Iím getting the hang of it, the next day I fail at the next challenge. Itís exhausting, exciting, and completely humbling every single day. Plus, Iím following in my motherís footsteps (she was an options trader turned lawyer and recreational poker player), which would have upset the hell out of me ten years ago, but makes me really happy now.

    I donít know if the hedge fund thing will work out. For the year before I started my current job, I was working part time at a police misconduct plaintiffsí law firm, and I started out liking it but in the end it didnít really suit me (no pun intended). Itís pretty difficult to find the next thing when your first career was so much damned fun! Anyway, whatever happens with my next career, I know that Iíll never truly stop playing poker (just ask Fedor Holz what happens when you retire)! Seriously though, I will always love the game and the people in it and Iím so thankful for everyone Iíve met and everything Iíve experienced. So with that, so long, and thanks for all the fish!
    If you click the Facebook link at the top, you can see about 20 photos she selected from her poker career over the years.


    As always, though, there's more to the story than meets the eye.

    While it would seem plausible that an intelligent woman such as Vanessa might be interested in moving on to other pursuits -- especially ones which don't require extensive travel like tournament poker does -- you always need to look beneath the pretty statement for the truth.

    Vanessa Selbst had a very prolific and successful tournament career. She's 41st all-time in total value of cashes (not winnings, mind you, but cashes). She's 25th all-time in the US. She's #1 all time of females. In total, she cashed $11.8 million.

    However, she was entering a LOT of big buyin events, and spent many millions in tournament entry fees. Did she spent $11.8 million? Probably not, but it's very possible she spent close to that.

    Vanessa was only a tournament player, for the most part. Aside from some televised appearances, she didn't really play cash, to my knowledge. That's part of her stated reason for quitting -- she's tired of the travel.

    But let's take a look at her recent results.

    In 2016, she cashed just $115k.

    In 2017, she cashed a shockingly low $8k.

    Prior to that, she cashed $839k to $2.86 million for 6 consecutive years, from 2010-2015.

    It's safe to say she lost money over the past two years, especially 2017.

    Pokerstars was likely putting her in to some of the events she played, and I wouldn't be surprised if she also had backers.

    However, Vanessa seems to have been mostly airballing it for the past 2 years, and I'm guessing that she decided poker is too damn hard nowadays, and she's done. Keep in mind she hasn't finished better than 9th since 2015, aside from one 5th place finish ($1372) in a small-field, $200 entry tournament to memorialize Chad Brown.

    If you read between the lines in her message, where she discusses how much more difficult poker has become, you can see that she's really quitting because she has decided she can no longer beat the game -- or at least she's having enough doubts to where she wants to try her hand at something else.

    Now, none of this is anything to be ashamed of. It's far more admirable to walk away when you see things starting to go south, rather than to stay around and go busto like so many other once-successful tourney pros.

    However, I can't praise Vanessa because I don't like her as a human being.

    Here was my own take on it on Twitter:

    Interesting take on her results at poker. I agree.

    But man oh man you come across as entitled. You're not entitled to her time or anything else on twitter. She blocks you and she's a "hypocrite" and "bad person". I mean, perhaps she was actually wrong about stuff, but to call her out as some sort of bad person is LOL. The SJW stuff can be tiresome, but you basically just have an issue with females. It doesn't look good, IMO.
    Facts, reality, brains cannot defeat him.

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    Didnt take her long to block me about the whole bathroom thing at the WSOP.
    Never really cared much for her with her incessant whining when people would call her down with like 3rd pair when she had nothing

    As for the State of online poker... i used to play 24/7 even pre-boom back when Lindgren was grinding 5/10 at pokerroom.com. i loved the game for a long time. i pretty much stopped playing all together after Black Friday except for a bit here and there. the other day i fired up some poker after not playing for almost 2 years. i wanted to stab myself in the eyeballs after about 5 mins. its nothing but a luckbox game now honestly, theres very little "game" to it any longer. its a game of get it all in the middle and let the chips fall where they may. that's great if youre running well. if i really was inclined to put forth the time i would be +EV in anything up to 5/10 NL. i have no idea about higher stakes than that any more and dont really care to find out. i played a mix of cash and tourneys this time and have no idea how people can stand it these days. id be more inclined to play some 500-1500 buy in live tournaments before id try and grind out 100 online buyins. maybe if you could still get your money offline in like an hour i could see swanting to play online but its too much of a hassle for the convenience of playing at home

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by lvpkr1009 View Post
    Didnt take her long to block me about the whole bathroom thing at the WSOP.
    Never really cared much for her with her incessant whining when people would call her down with like 3rd pair when she had nothing

    As for the State of online poker... i used to play 24/7 even pre-boom back when Lindgren was grinding 5/10 at pokerroom.com. i loved the game for a long time. i pretty much stopped playing all together after Black Friday except for a bit here and there. the other day i fired up some poker after not playing for almost 2 years. i wanted to stab myself in the eyeballs after about 5 mins. its nothing but a luckbox game now honestly, theres very little "game" to it any longer. its a game of get it all in the middle and let the chips fall where they may. that's great if youre running well. if i really was inclined to put forth the time i would be +EV in anything up to 5/10 NL. i have no idea about higher stakes than that any more and dont really care to find out. i played a mix of cash and tourneys this time and have no idea how people can stand it these days. id be more inclined to play some 500-1500 buy in live tournaments before id try and grind out 100 online buyins. maybe if you could still get your money offline in like an hour i could see swanting to play online but its too much of a hassle for the convenience of playing at home
    You complain about poker players being too bad? Holy shit you don't hear that much anymore. I've never actually met a winning player complain about this.
    Facts, reality, brains cannot defeat him.

  12. #12
    When she lost the ladies WPT tourney was about the funniest poker on TV I'd ever seen.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkdowndonedied View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lvpkr1009 View Post
    Didnt take her long to block me about the whole bathroom thing at the WSOP.
    Never really cared much for her with her incessant whining when people would call her down with like 3rd pair when she had nothing

    As for the State of online poker... i used to play 24/7 even pre-boom back when Lindgren was grinding 5/10 at pokerroom.com. i loved the game for a long time. i pretty much stopped playing all together after Black Friday except for a bit here and there. the other day i fired up some poker after not playing for almost 2 years. i wanted to stab myself in the eyeballs after about 5 mins. its nothing but a luckbox game now honestly, theres very little "game" to it any longer. its a game of get it all in the middle and let the chips fall where they may. that's great if youre running well. if i really was inclined to put forth the time i would be +EV in anything up to 5/10 NL. i have no idea about higher stakes than that any more and dont really care to find out. i played a mix of cash and tourneys this time and have no idea how people can stand it these days. id be more inclined to play some 500-1500 buy in live tournaments before id try and grind out 100 online buyins. maybe if you could still get your money offline in like an hour i could see swanting to play online but its too much of a hassle for the convenience of playing at home
    You complain about poker players being too bad? Holy shit you don't hear that much anymore. I've never actually met a winning player complain about this.
    I donít mind bad players...I just didnt seem to run good against them. It doesnít take much skill to just jam all the time and hope for the best which is what it has become. I get the whole variance thing I just donít have the time to invest in leveling out. lose 2k, win 750, lose 1k, win 500 and I had enough. Players are still bad for the most part just bad differently than they used to be and I donít have patience for it. I still could figure out where I was for the most part and reasonably know when I was ahead and when I was behind and people were still pretty clueless as to where they were at. I did feel pretty good to type in the chat box that I hoped they died in a grease fire

  14. #14
    Jason Mercier is also parting ways with Pokerstars.

    Pokerstars actually put out a tweet about him leaving. So I would assume he left on his own freewill whereas Vanessa Selbst did not.


  15. #15
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Good catch, AHoosierA. I think you're 100% right.

    And you also made me feel like an idiot for not noticing something earlier.

    Vanessa did not thank Pokerstars in her farewell statement, nor did she say anything positive about them! In fact, she implied something negative about them -- that amateur players no longer have a chance, and thus promoting the game as if they do is unethical.

    This, combined with the difference in how they treated Mercier's departure, makes me believe that they fired her, and she was somewhat bitter about it.

    I also believe that her firing plus the last 2 years of tournament struggles was what made her quit poker. Without the subsidy from Pokerstars, she probably decided she wasn't +EV on the tournament trail anymore, and decided to call it quits.

  16. #16
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    So I posted in the Pokerstars Twitter thread referenced above, and this created a bit of controversy when 1 or 2 of Vanessa's buddies went off on me.

    More interesting was the fact that Vanessa must have noticed people responding to me, so she temporarily unblocked me, responded with two nasty tweets (one calling me an "asshat"), and then re-blocked me. Even odder, she then deleted her responses, perhaps not wanting to direct her own followers to my criticism?

    Here was my Tweet:


  17. #17
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Someone also brought up the fact that Pokerstars has been firing/non-renewing a lot of pros since Amaya took over, and often it seems to come in clumps, perhaps when contract renewal time comes up.

    I fully agree that this is likely what happened here, and the reason that Jason and Vanessa "left" Pokerstars at roughly the same time -- and both right around the new year.

    I'm sure that none of that is a coincidence.

    However, there's still a stark contrast between the way the two departures are being handled.

    Pokerstars published Jason Mercier's sweet statement on their blog (and tweeted it out), and then wrote some very nice things about him at the end.

    They were silent on Vanessa's departure, and Vanessa's own "retirement" statement did not thank Pokerstars, and in fact included a backdoor slam against them for marketing to amateurs who actually have no chance to win.

    So clearly Mercier left on good terms, while Vanessa left with some bitterness.

    But what actually happened? If they were both non-renewed for 2018, why was one so gracious and the other petty/bitter?

    I'm guessing it was due to the difference in personalities.

    Jason probably took it as a reality of the current industry. Pokerstars can't serve Americans, so his marketing value to them is minimal. He probably realized that, was gracious for their generosity in sponsorship through the end of 2017, and asked them if he could publish a farewell making it appear as if he left to spend time with his wife and new child. Obviously they agreed.

    Vanessa probably took it as a slight, and perhaps some nasty e-mails were exchanged. While she didn't openly bash them in her own "retirement" statement, she managed to slip in a passive-aggressive jab at them without directly saying anything disparaging.

    Mind you, these are just theories of mine. I have no idea what truly happened.

    Also, it's possible that both were not outright terminated, but rather given lowball offers to stay on, which were refused.

    I personally have experience with refusing lowball offers from poker sites.

    Some of you may have noticed that I wore Interpoker gear during two successful tournaments I had in 2005 -- one being my bracelet win, the other being my 4th place finish in St. Kitts at their Main Event. In both tournaments, they paid my buyin. Interpoker got a pretty good bang for their buck with me. They put me in three tournaments -- the $3k Limit Holdem, which I won, a $1500 NL WSOP event that same year where I came within 3 spots of cashing, and the $6k NL St. Kitts Main where I finished 4th.

    After the St. Kitts finish, which was in November 2005, they claimed they would sponsor me for 2006. However, they dragged their feet with this, and when I finally was sent an offer, it was laughable. The offer had me agreeing to always wear their gear and to show up to mandatory events of theirs (though they'd pay for my travel), and my entire compensation would be "rakeback". How much rakeback? Exactly the same rakeback available to anyone signing up with an affiliate. L O fucking L. They actually drew up a whole contract and thought I would go for it. Obviously I declined it, and that was that.

    I wasn't bitter about it, and in fact I was grateful that they had contributed about $10k worth of buyins for me in 2005. So I didn't bash them, nor was I angry. I just thought the offer was laughable. How did they possibly think I would want such a thing?

    My only other sponsorship was a very brief (lasted a few hours) stint with Pokerstars in 2010 when I made the top 100 in the WSOP Main. I got paid $7500 and busted 88th, so that was that. I could have been paid as much as $1,000,000 if had won it, and also something like $150k if I made the final table.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post


    I think it would be extremely odd if one was released and the other left on his own when they happened within a week of each other. I think it's much much more likely that they both suffered the same fate. The difference in the way Pokerstars reported their exits could be explained by one of them leaving with humility and grace and the other cussing out everyone that makes the decisions.

  19. #19
    I thought maybe that she reblocked you and you just couldn't see her tweets but I went and checked and nope...she did in fact delete them. Pretty interesting that she still never denied that she wasn't bitter about the PS breakup.

    No way is it coincidence that 2 of the "big names" leave pokerstars at the same time without it being something to do with their contact. It likely ended on December 31st.

    Neither Vanessa Selbst or Jason Mercier was providing any kind of real value for them anymore.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    So I posted in the Pokerstars Twitter thread referenced above, and this created a bit of controversy when 1 or 2 of Vanessa's buddies went off on me.

    More interesting was the fact that Vanessa must have noticed people responding to me, so she temporarily unblocked me, responded with two nasty tweets (one calling me an "asshat"), and then re-blocked me. Even odder, she then deleted her responses, perhaps not wanting to direct her own followers to my criticism?

    Here was my Tweet:

    Last edited by AhoosierA; 01-10-2018 at 08:45 AM.

  20. #20
    Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio has been preoccupied in recent months with promoting his new book - ďPrinciples - and penning screeds about China and the struggles of the American working class.

    But as Bridgewater Associates struggles to play down its tepid performance in recent years, it appears the firm's recruiters have scored another victory that should keep investors distracted from its middling performance.

    To wit, Bloomberg reports that the $160 billion hedge fund has hired Vanessa Selbst, the worldís most successful female tournament poker player. Selbst, a Brooklyn native, is reportedly focusing on ďtrade research and strategy.Ē Among both buy and sell-side firms, strategy and research are often euphemisms for marketing. And at a shop like Bridgewater - where the machines do most of the investing - most of the firmís 1,500 employees are essentially window-dressing.

    While the company didnít officially confirm that it had hired Selbst, a note published on her Facebook page explaining her decision to give up professional poker said that she had taken a job at an unspecified hedge fund.

    "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," Selbst said in her post. "Itís also really freaking difficult."
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-...e-poker-player
    http://www.miraclecovers.com

    "Donk down, thatís what you say to someone after they have lost 28K straight?" - Phil Hellmuth, online

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