Latest Poker News: Selbst Expecting, Laliberte Losses Top $31m

Vanessa and Miranda ExpectingHere are some of the more interesting stories making the headlines over the past few days, including news of Vanessa Selbst’s growing family, and Erik Seidel and John Juanda being swindled out of $800,000 as part of a Super Bowl ticket con, the latter amount of which pales in comparison to the more than $50 million lost by two of poker’s biggest online losers, Gus Hansen and Guy Laliberte.
Vanessa and Miranda Expecting
Vanessa Selbst has been busy since retiring from the world’s biggest online poker room, PokerStars, to help run a hedge fund for one of the world’s biggest investment management firms, Bridgewater Associates. As she explains on her twitter profile:
“I used to gamble and wake up late; now I gamble and wake up early. Otherwise think about how best to #resist the antidemocratic fascist insanity in our midst.”
In 2013, Selbst also married her long term partner Miranda Foster, and it now seems the couple are about to embark on one of their biggest adventures to date, raising a child. The 33 year pro announced the news via twitter on April 7th, and as she wrote:
“Despite the poker lull recently, I feel like I’m gonna crush this one. #WSOAF”
In this case, the last two letters stand for “A Fetus”, with a photograph of an ultrasound posted alongside her surprise message. Meanwhile, the response to Selbst’ news, as one might hope, has been overwhelmingly supportive with congratulations flooding in from many of her 96.4k twitter followers, but as one poster pointed out:
“This is one of the most bizarre and fairly dark ways of announcing that kind of thing but OMGCONGRATS!!!!!!”
Seidel and Juanda Scammed
While the women’s number one money earner is celebrating her good fortune, Poker Hall of Famers Erik Seidel and John Juanda, on the other hand, have been ruing their bad judgement after having been taken to the cleaners for $800,000 in a Super Bowl ticket scam organized by Seyed Reza Ali Fazeli. A professional poker player himself, Fazeli was supposed to have used the money he collected from Seidel ($500k), Juanda ($300k), and another poker player by the name of Zachary Clark ($500k) to buy and sell Super Bowl tickets for profit, but instead blew it all playing high stakes poker games, and paying off his gambling debts.
A lawsuit has since been filed against Fazeli, who is also facing a number of other civil charges against him, including one for $5 million by Republican donor Mel Sembler, and another by the Aria casino for an alleged $2.1 million in outstanding casino markers. Furthermore, Fazeli has been the subject of a FBI investigation, and is now facing two criminal charges related to wire fraud, with the prospect of spending 20 years behind bars if found guilty.
Hansen and Laliberte Losses

Legendary gambler Gus Hansen promised a more robust return to the poker tournament scene in 2018, and last week the pro took part in the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Barcelona €10,300 Main Event. Unfortunately, the ‘Great Dane’ failed to cash, and was eliminated early from the competition, meaning his last recorded live cash dates all the way back to 2014. Undaunted by his more than -$20,737,007 in online losses, though, Hansen then decided to jump into some high-stakes Chinese poker action taking place online, although it’s unclear whether or not he managed to book a profit for his session.
Like most things in life, however, everything is relative and this week a news item appeared in HighstakesDB entitled “Guy Laliberte: The Man Who Lost $31Million Playing Poker.” In the article, it explains how the Cirque Du Soleil billionaire lost the staggering amount playing online poker between 2006 and 2012, which dwarfs even Hansen’s losses. Nevertheless, a bit more investigative digging was required to discover the extent of Laliberte’s losses, and as stated in the post:
“The reason Guy’s losses don’t appear to come close to Gus Hansen’s is because, unlike most people (and strictly against the site’s Ts’s&C’s) he seemed to be able to multi-account with impunity at Full Tilt, playing several different accounts, some of them during the same time periods.”
A subsequent breakdown, however, revealed Laliberte lost $7,067,935 as “noataima”, $5,924,546 as “patatino”, $6,632,177 as “lady marmelade”, $4,161,884 as “elmariachimacho”, $2,685,018 as “Esvedra”, and $4,607,380 as “Zypherin”, with all his accounts registered to Full Tilt.
Still the losses will represent nothing but a small drop in the ocean for Laliberte, who is known for his lavish lifestyle, including spending $35 million on a 12 day visit to the International Space Station in 2009.

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