Vanessa Selbst

Vanessa Selbst

Monday, 26 August 2013

133 seconds with poker's first lady.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen happen at the poker table?

The first time I met Ali Eslami was at a tournament at the Borgata. I had no idea who he was but I remember he talked to me nonstop the entire day – like, never stopped talking, even for a breath. It actually would have been an impressive feat had it not been so irritating. The table even had to institute a rule that he had to stop bothering me when I was in a hand.
Anyways, toward the end of the day he decided that he would serenade me, and started belting out all the songs from Aladdin – Prince Ali, A Whole New World and others. It was quite a sight to see.

The addendum is I know Ali much better now and have since learned he has serenaded many women using songs from Aladdin. He is also far less annoying than I originally thought and actually a very nice guy!

Tell us a joke…

Two jokes: A termite walks into a bar and says, “Hey, is the bar tender here?”

A three-legged dog walks into a saloon in the Wild West. He goes up to the bar and says “I'm lookin’ for the man who shot my paw.”

What’s the most extravagant thing you’ve bought with your poker winnings?

Everything I’ve ever bought has been with “poker winnings”, so the most expensive: three condos, one in Brooklyn, one in New Haven, and one in Las Vegas. Three cars: Prius, BMW and Mini Cooper. Far less sensible/useful: I bought a freestanding Ms Pacman arcade machine when I was 21.

Do you believe in God?

Yes, I love my two little dogs, thanks for asking. They're Chihuahuas. One is three-years-old, named Papi, and the other three-months-old named, Indigo. Oh? You weren't asking about my dogs? Whatever, I'm not changing my answer.

What’s the biggest life lesson poker has taught you?

My life in poker and the freedom that comes with it constantly reminds me of how lucky I am to live the life that I do, which in turn reminds me how so many others aren’t so fortunate.

What’s the biggest bluff you’ve ever made in life?

I’m actually a really bad liar and don’t do it very often. I guess my biggest bluff would probably be claiming to be straight all through high school.

Tags: Interviews, Vanessa Selbst