Sign Up For Card Player's Newsletter And Free Bi-Monthly Online Magazine

EXCLUSIVE: Poker Legend Vanessa Selbst To Appear On Episode of SHOWTIME's 'Billions'

Poker's Female All-Time Money Leader to Make Acting Debut On Award-Winning Drama


Vanessa Selbst on 'Billions'. Photo Credit: Showtime

Vanessa Selbst is one of the most decorated tournament poker players ever. She is the all-time female earnings leader with nearly $10.9 million in lifetime cashes to her name. The 39-year-old has more than a $3.6 million lead on the next-highest-ranked female player (Kristen Bicknell – $7,255,874) despite retiring from full-time poker more than five years ago.

Selbst, a graduate of Yale Law, will add yet another exciting achievement to her already incredible resume this week. On Friday, Sept. 22, Selbst makes her scripted acting debut with a cameo on Billions, SHOWTIMES’ award-winning drama created by Brian Koppelman, David Levien, and Andrew Ross Sorkin. The cult classic poker hit Rounders, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, was co-written by Koppelman and Levien.

Billions, which stars Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis, is currently airing its seventh and final season.

This is far from the first time that poker has popped up in the show’s universe. All-time WSOP bracelet leader and Poker Hall of Fame member Phil Hellmuth was featured in episode no. 3 of season 2, which was entitled ‘Optimal Play’.

Dillon, Malin Akerman, and Lewis. Photo Credit: ShowtimeThe storyline revolved around a charity poker tournament in which Lewis’ character, hedge fund manager Bobby ‘Axe’ Axelrod, tapped a rising star to represent his firm in the event. Asia Kate Dillon’s character Tyler Mason ends up winning the tournament, making a dramatic hero call against a rival fund manager that was reportedly based on a famous hand played by Stu Ungar in the 1992 WSOP main event.

Selbst is joining a long list of top poker players who have appeared in mainstream media. In addition to the previously mentioned Hellmuth, there is also 10-time bracelet winner Johnny Chan’s memorable scene in Rounders and six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu’s brief cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

In an exclusive clip from the upcoming episode, Selbst’s character shares a scene with Scooter Dunbar, played by Daniel Breaker. Check it out below:

This episode premieres on Paramount+ Friday, Sept. 22. It will then air Sunday, Sept. 24 on SHOWTIME at 8:00 PM ET/PT.