Vanessa Rousso – One of the Top Female Poker Players in the World
Vanessa Rousso is a French-American professional poker player and TV personality considered one of the world's best female gamblers.
From 2006 to 2015, the French-American was a part of Team PokerStars under the online name "Lady Maverick," and she became quite famous outside poker circles during this period, thanks to her results.
During her poker career, she has won more than $3.5 million in some of the biggest poker tournaments and is 499th on the Poker All-Time Money List.
In this article, we break down Rousso's journey to becoming one of the most recognizable poker players in the world, Vanessa Rousso net worth, her poker achievements, and her success away from the tables.
Vanessa Rousso Highlights
- Former member of Team PokerStars Pro
- Over $3.5 million in live tournament earnings
- 10th on Florida's All-Time Money List
- Regarded as one of the top female poker players in the world
Vanessa Rousso - Early Years and Academic Success
Vanessa Ashley Rousso was born in White Plains, New York, on February 5th, 1983. However, shortly after Vanessa was born, her family moved to Paris. That's why she has dual citizenship in France and the United States.
When Rousso was nine years old, her parents separated, and she moved with her mother to Florida, where they temporarily lived with her grandparents before moving to their own place.
In 2001, the future poker star graduated from her high school in Wellington, Florida as the best student in her generation. She participated in the National Honor Society and the French Honor Society during high school, but her most impressive achievement was a 4.0 GPA.
After graduation, she received offers from dozens of colleges thanks to her high school results. In the end, she chose Duke University and graduated in only two and a half years, which was a record.
In 2003 after getting her Bachelor's Degree in Economics at Duke, she enrolled in the Miami School of Law, where she continued her academic success and graduated as one of the best students in her class.
Vanessa Rousso - Introduction to Poker
Although Rousso started playing poker as a hobby in high school, she remained focused on her academic career until she graduated from the Miami School of Law.
Thanks to the fact that she was highly disciplined when playing poker, even as a hobby, she already had big enough of a bankroll to start playing live tournaments after graduation.
Vanessa Rousso played her first live tournament; the No-Limit Hold 'em Summer Series in 2005. Later that year, she would also play her first World Series of Poker tournament and finished 45th in the $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Texas Hold 'em Event.
As she would later state in one of her interviews, one of the biggest reasons why she was interested in pursuing poker as a career is because she studied game theory and how it applies to poker during her days at Duke.
Professional Poker Career
Vanessa Rousso poker breakthrough came in 2006 when she made a deep run and finished 5th in the $1,500 No Limit Hold 'em WSOP Circuit hosted in Harrah's, Atlantic City. At 23 years of age, she became the youngest female poker player to make it to the final table of a World Series of Poker event.
She joined the Professional Poker Tour in April of 2006, and by October, she managed to finish in the top 80 players earnings-wise.
The biggest score in her first year of professional poker came in the $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em championship event which she finished in 7th place and took home $263,625.
2007 was also a big year for Rousso as she won $700,000 in a single event after coming 2nd in the 2007 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker main event. In addition, she also finished 2nd in the Ultimate Poker challenge No Limit Hold 'em championship and won $65,000.
Fast forward to 2009, and the French-American had another big score, this time in the NBC National Heads-Up Championship, where she once again placed second and took home $250,000. What was more impressive than the amount of money she won was that during this tournament, she defeated some of the best poker players in the world, including Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Paul Wasicka, Daniel Negreanu, and Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier.
In December of 2010, she made a six-figure score in the WPT $10,000 No Limit Hold'em - Championship Event 2010 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, where she earned $358,964 for the 3rd place finish.
Her last big score came in the £ 10,000 + 300 No Limit Hold'em - Six Max High Roller Turbo at EPT London, where she came 2nd for $222,413.
"Being a poker player, you have to have a very cavalier relationship with money. You have to respect it because you have to want to win it, but on the other hand, you can't allow yourself to care that much about it, or it'll change the way you play."
Vanessa Rousso - Poker Endorsments
The fact that she is a successful female poker player and a highly educated person has made Rousso a pretty lucrative target for endorsements from companies in the poker industry and those not related to this card game.
Rousso's first and biggest endorsement came in 2006 when she signed a deal with Pokerstars and joined Team Pokerstars Pro under the online nickname "LadyMaverick," where she promoted the site for nine years until they decided to part ways in 2015.
She also signed a deal with the platform GoDaddy, which sold internet domains in 2009 and was also the sponsor of the 2009 National Heads-Up Poker Championship. The collaboration would continue until the end of the same event in 2013.
The Big Brother Appearance
In 2015, Rousso was a HouseGuest on Big Brother 17, also known as Big Brother: Takeover. She was the founder of The Sixth Sense alliance and became known for the strategic, aggressive, and manipulative style of play.
During the show, she was responsible for all but four evictions and made it to the final night, where she finished in 3rd place after getting evicted by one of her allies Steve Moses. Moses would later go on to become the winner.
Rousso made a big impression during her time on the show, and she is regarded as one of the best contestants in the history of the Big Brother franchise.
Vanessa Rousso Net Worth & Winnings
Vanessa Rousso has created several income streams, of which poker and her endorsements stand out the most throughout her career.
She has made over $3,554,327 in live poker tournament winnings and is 499th on the Poker All-Time Money List. In addition to this, she has also made over $1 million in online tournament winnings.
If we couple this with the fact that Pokerstars sponsored her throughout her poker career, we can safely say that Vanessa Rousso career earnings are north of $5 million.
Spouses and Family Life
Vanessa Rousso met Chad Brown in 2006, and the couple got married after three years in 2009. That said, it didn't last long, and they separated in 2012 after 3 years of marriage.
In 2015 Rousso got engaged to her girlfriend, Melissa Ouellet, at the Big Brother wrap party. In 2020 just two months after they announced that Melissa was pregnant with a boy, Vannessa discovered that she was also pregnant with identical twin boys.
After trying for a couple of years, they became parents of three children in only a couple of months.
Where Is Vanessa Rousso Today?
Rousso played her last live poker tournament in 2017 and announced her retirement from professional poker through her social media in 2018, saying she wants to spend more time focusing on her career as a DJ and her family.
After becoming a parent, Rousso primarily focuses on her three children, Valentino, London James, and Lorenzo Mark, and her partner Melissa and spends most of her time with them.
Does Vanessa Rousso Still Play Poker?
Vanessa Rousso doesn't play poker anymore. In 2017 Vanessa announced she was retiring from professional poker and wanted to focus more on her music career and her family.
Did Vanessa Rousso Win the WPT?
No, Vanessa Rousso never won a World Poker Tour event. The closest she got was in the 2010-11 season when she finished 3rd at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic and won $358,964.
Who Is Vanessa Rousso Married To?
Vanessa Rousso was married to Chad Brown from 2009 to 2012.
In 2015 she got engaged to her girlfriend Melisa Quellet at the Big Brother wrap party, and the two have been living together ever since.
How Old Is Vanessa Rousso?
Vanessa Rousson was born on February 5th, 1983, which makes her 39 years old.
Does Vanessa Rousso Have Kids?
Yes, In 2020, Rousso and her partner Melisa Quellet became parents of three babies, Valentino, London James, and Lorenzo Mark.
Melisa gave birth to one boy, while Rousso gave birth to identical twins.