Vanessa Rousso is a French American professional poker player.
Born in 1983 in White Plains, New York to a French father and American mother, Rousso moved with her family to France at age 3 where she lived in Paris until she was 10. She then moved to upstate New York and lived there for a little while until her parents divorced in 1992. She then moved with her mother moved to Florida where she graduated from high school as valedictorian with a 4.0 GPA.
Ruosso attended Duke University on a scholarship, where she made the Dean's list and graduated cum laude in December 2003 with a major in economics after only two and a half years. She then began law school in 2004 after enrolling at the University of Miami School of Law on another scholarship.
Rousso started playing poker by the age of five with her family. She became proficient in other games too but preferred the psychological aspects of poker to the more objective games, like backgammon and chess.
She began playing poker more seriously while in school. At first, she played online because she was too young to play in live casino. After she turned 21, she played at the nearby Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood Florida. After slowly building a bankroll, she took a trip to play in the Harrah's New Orleans Poker Challenge, a World Series of Poker circuit event. She finished 7th for $6,465 and became the youngest woman to make the final table of a WSOP circuit event. Then, months later, she traveled to play in another WSOP circuit event in Atlantic City and finished 5th for $17,550.
She then decided to play in the 2006 WPT Five Star World Poker Classic World Championship where she finished 7th for $263,625 and finished on the TV bubble. Later that year, she won the $5,000 no-limit hold'em event at the Borgata Poker Open for $285,450. These large cashes convinced her to leave law school to concentrate on poker.
In 2007, she earned $700,782.50 at the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) NL Hold'em Main Event with a 2nd place finish out of 2998 players. She had originally placed 3rd in the event, but the winner was disqualified, which pushed up all of the remaining players.
She cashed 3 times at the 2006 WSOP, 3 times at the 2008 WSOP, and 4 times at the 2009 WSOP.In 2009 Rousso just missed the televised six-handed WPT final table while playing at the WPT Season VII Southern Poker Championship, she finished in seventh place and earned $79,117. She was engaged to Brown in 2008, and the couple eloped in early 2009, making them the first married couple to be featured on the same major online poker team. She met her future husband Chad Brown at the final table of this event.
In 2009, she made it to the finals of the 2009 National Heads-Up Poker Championship tournament but lost to Huck Seed. Her finish was the best finish by a female, beating Shannon Elizabeth's 2007 semi-final appearance.
In 2009, Rousso won the 79-person €25,000 EPT High Roller Championship, winning the first prize of €720,000, the highest payday of her career. The actual amount was €570,000 ($749,467) because the final 3 players made a deal to split the winnings
In addition to being on for the WPT, she has made several appearances on Poker After Dark. She is known for wearing a headphones, cap and designer sunglasses.
In 2007, Rousso went to Washington, DC with the the Poker Players Alliance to try to convince the U.S. Congress to overturn the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). She spoke in favor of a proposal by Barney Frank to license and regulate online gambling.
In 2009, Rousso spoke in favor of changing the Florida gambling laws that limits the amount of buy-ins and wagers on poker games held within the state.
Rousso is sponsored by PokerStars and is a member of Team PokerStars. She goes by the screen name "LadyMaverick". In 2009 she signed on to promote GoDaddy.com, a seller of domain names.
She has also become somewhat of a sex symbol, appearing in Maxim Magazine and the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
As of 2009, Rousso has 11 WSOP cashes, 5 WPT cashes, and over $2,300,000 in career earnings. She ranks among the top women in poker history in terms of all-time winnings. She currently resides part time in Las Vegas, Nevada and part time in Florida.
HPG ADMIN on February 27, 2013