'BB17's Vanessa Rousso Is A Badass Poker Player

Is it any wonder with the way she’s been playing Big Brother this season that Vanessa Rousso is the second-highest ranked female poker player in the world? Considering her gameplay in Season 17, I find that to be completely believable: After everything, the girl deserves to have her achievements engraved on a plaque and nailed to the house walls. Just think: She’s formed one of the strongest alliances in Big Brother history, has won Head of Household a number of times, and has mastered the nearly impossible strategy of aligning herself with strong players while appearing to be working on her own. Really, the girl is a brilliant game player. And, as some of Vanessa's best poker moments prove, none of it is really any surprise.

Turns out, of course, that her impeccable strategy carries over into her poker-playing career. In fact, some of her finest game moments have actually happened at a poker table, not in the Big Brother house.

For one, according to Bluff, Rousso has won over $3.25 million during her career as a poker player. How did she do it? Oh, just by scoring some amazing cash in some incredible tournaments: Like, you know, that one time in 2009 when she won first place in the European High Roller Championship and took home over $900,000. WHAT? Yes. That cash prize makes the $500,000 she would get for winning Big Brother seem like pennies!

OK, fine. A lot of pennies.

And then there was that time in 2010 when she came in third at the WPT No Limit Hold ‘Em Main Event and took home $350,000. When you see winnings like that, it makes you wonder why she’d be willing to give up three months of her life to play Big Brother when she has won the same amount of money that Big Brother winners are promised — $500,000 — in a single tournament!

Especially when you consider that those are not her only amazing poker moments: In 2006, she won the No Limit Hold ‘Em and walked away with $285,000. Even better: that was after she walked away with $263,000 from the WPT World Championship earlier in 2006. Three years later, in 2009, she also earned $250,000 from No Limit Hold ‘Em.

This is all to say that Vanessa has had some incredible poker moments in her career — moments that make her Big Brother successes sort of pale in comparison. So, it's really no surprise that Vanessa has dominated in the Big Brother house. Now, I’m just hoping she can keep her head down while James is in power and make it through to the end.

Things change so quickly in the Big Brother house, it can be hard to keep up. To keep track of everything going on in the Big Brother house, check out Bustle’s very own Big Brother podcast, The Diary Room. Listen to the latest episode below, and be sure to check out future episodes on Bustle’s SoundCloud page and iTunes.

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