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Poker's Vanessa Selbst Appears On 'Steve Harvey Show'

One Of Poker's All-Time Greats Receives Mainstream Attention

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Vanessa Selbst, a three-time WSOP bracelet winner, on Monday appeared in an episode of the Steve Harvey Show and played some poker against the program’s host.

It was just two hands and it wasn’t serious poker, but Selbst did a great job trying to give viewers some tips on how to play the game successfully.

The episode was titled “Female Ground Breaker.”

Selbst, who wore a PokerStars patch during the appearance, has more than $10.5 million in career tournament earnings and is widely considered to be among a small group of the world’s very best no-limit hold’em tournament players. She has won more than any other female player in history.

“Let me tell you something, as a female ground breaker…when you get to no. 1 in the poker ratings, out of 300 poker players, listen to me, you have got to know what you are doing,” Harvey told the audience about Selbst. “I don’t care how long you keep that ranking at no. 1, the majority of poker players have never been no. 1, nor will they ever be no. 1. So I think ladies, you’re looking at one of the true champs right here.”

Here’s the video of the roughly eight-minute segment:

In part thanks to the poker boom around a decade ago, a lot of professional players have garnered mainstream media exposure over recent memory. Daniel Negreanu once made a cameo in a Katy Perry music video, Antonio Esfandiari was interviewed on the Howard Stern Show, and Isaac Haxton appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast. Phil Hellmuth, who has arguably received as much mainstream attention as anyone in poker, was close to appearing in an episode of ABC’s Wife Swap, but Mrs. Hellmuth apparently wasn’t interested. One of Hellmuth’s more recent nationwide exposures off the felt was when he appeared in a commercial for Carl’s Jr.

Last month, the poker community was following the Jeopardy run by former poker pro Alex Jacob, who ended up losing on his seventh appearance on the game show.

Anytime a poker pro can promote the game to a nationwide audience outside of ESPN’s coverage of the annual World Series of Poker is a good thing for poker’s growth, but also for player sponsorship, which has been in decline since Black Friday.