Team PokerStars Pro continues to grow on a global basis, as players are added from various countries and regions to represent PokerStars in all areas of the world and to show the diversity of the online poker phenomenon. But the two latest additions to the roster are known virtually everywhere; David Williams and Vanessa Selbst joined the team to represent the United States around the globe.
The official announcement was made during the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event with a reception at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas on July 6, though information leaked prior to that with an invitation to welcome the two new pros. And their donning of the PokerStars logo gave it away as well, as long-time rumors of the partnerships finally became a reality. The shindig at the Palms was the official welcome, though, hosted by 2009 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Cada and attended by many of the current PokerStars Team Pros.
Williams is the best known of the two, a well-known pro on the live tournament circuit since 2004, though he started playing several years before. He made a splash at the 2004 World Series of Poker by finishing second to Greg Raymer in the $10K no-limit holdem championship, then going to the World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open several months later and finishing second to Daniel Negreanu in that Main Event. He continued to perform solidly at the WSOP and WPT events, and he finally won his first major title in 2006 when he won a WSOP seven-card stud event. And in 2010, he won the World Poker Tour World Poker Classic season-ending championship event for more than $1.5 million and the biggest score of his career.
Ironically, just after Williams won the WPT Championship, his long-time sponsorship with Bodog ended, and poker media was a bit surprised that he was without a sponsorship deal just after the biggest success of his career. But in reality, he was in talks with PokerStars for awhile, and the announcement that he signed with the site ultimately seemed natural.
Selbst is more of a newcomer to the live poker scene, though her few years at the tables have been filled with successes. She made herself known at the 2006 WSOP with two cashes, one of which was a final table, and she made two final tables the following year. But it was in 2008 that she caught everyone’s eye when she won her first bracelet in a pot-limit Omaha event. Days later, she made a strong run and finished third in the $10K heads-up championship event, just barely missing a second bracelet. Her biggest win thus far came in April at the PokerStars.net North American Poker Tour stop at Mohegan Sun, where she dominated the final table and won it, taking home $750K for the victory.
An ongoing law student at Yale, Selbst plays poker only on a part-time basis as she pursues her J.D. degree, and her time at the tables is memorable, as she plays very aggressive, serious poker. She is also known for being one of the few women in poker who is known for her advanced poker skills rather than her appearance or modeling abilities. She is strictly a feared player at any poker table.
Both players are excited to be part of the PokerStars team, and the poker world will now be able to watch them both more closely as they tour the world in pursuit of more titles, final tables, and a long-standing relationship with PokerStars. They will also both be playing online at the site, Selbst looking to show her abilities at the virtual tables and Williams seeking to capitalize on his 2009 WCOOP victory.