Selbst’s PPT Win Overshadowed by Scandal

While much of the poker world’s attention was focused on the final table of the WSOP Main Event this weekend, important things were also happening across the Atlantic at the Partouche Poker Tour’s own Main Event in Cannes, France. Female pro Vanessa Selbst defeated a very tough final table to take home a nearly $1.8 million prize, but another player stole all the headlines.

The final table consisted of Vanessa Selbst, Raphael Kroll, Fabrice Soulier, Tommi Etelapera, Ibrahim Raouf, Soren Kongsgaard, Cyril Andre, Tobias Reinkemeier (better known as PokerNoob) and Ali Tekintamgac. Tekintamgac has been at the heart of tournament controversy before; at the EPT’s Tallinn event earlier this year rumors abounded that he had organized a ring of spotters. While Tekintamgac himself was not publicly disciplined, several of the suspected spotters had their press privileges revoked for all remaining 2010 EPT events.

Apparently that brush with authority didn’t deter Tekintamgac from trying the same thing again at the PPT’s Main Event. While he was formally announced as a final table contender, on Sunday tournament officials made another announcement that Tekintamgac had been disqualified after a thorough review of competition tapes confirmed suspicions of cheating. It goes without saying that Tekintamgac will be banned from any other major European tournaments, and he could soon be facing fraud charges if the tapes hold up in court. It is unknown whether Tekintamgac’s previous tournament wins – including a big win at the WPT’s Barcelona event earlier this year – will be called into question.

But back to Selbst, whose cunning tournament performance was definitely worthy of some good press. Selbst, who is a Team PokerStars Pro from New York, was having a pretty good year even before the Cannes event with cash finishes at two EPT events, two cashes at the Aussie Millions, and a Main Event win worth $750,000 at PokerStars’ NAPT Mohegan Sun tournament. It’s worth noting that Selbst also did reasonably well in the early days of the WSOP’s Main Event, finishing above the 500 mark to earn a decent return on her $10,000 buy-in.

Selbst had to grind her way through a field of 764 players to earn her big payout. As the chip leader coming into Sunday’s competition she was already heavily favored, though she lacked a major lead. Her big PPT win pushes her career earnings to over $3.8 million and gives her the third highest lifetime earnings of any female pro.

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