Are Vanessa's Poker Skills Hurting Her 'Big Brother' Game? Playing The Game Too Hard Just Might Be Her Downfall

The start of Big Brother gifted us with two players who immediately had an edge on the competition. Da'Vonne and Vanessa, the resident poker players of Big Brother Season 17Da'Vonne played her hand too early and went home at the very beginning but Vanessa has had ample time to display her stellar poker face. The question is, are Vanessa's poker skills hurting her Big Brother game or helping it? The answer isn't as clear as you might hope. 

Vanessa might have an edge, but that doesn't mean she can take it easy because Big Brother is never a walk in the park, no matter how good you may be at deception. It seems to me that Vanessa has made a classic BB mistake and played too hard. As if her two runs as HoH weren't enough to make her a target, Vanessa has also been way too keen to make deals and openly scheme. She waltzes around the house like she's running the place and her "my word is good" mantra is getting a little old.

I think Vanessa has the makings of an excellent player. She's incredibly intelligent and she's smart about when and who she lies to. She's also great at spotting when other people are lying to her. However, Vanessa has a few key problems with her gameplay. 

She's Too Emotional

The first (mammoth) problem is that she's entirely too emotional. During both of her HoH reigns, she has made split-second eviction decisions based on her emotions. With Jeff, he lied and it hurt her feelings (even though everyone lies in this game because that's the freaking point of Big Brother) and so she put Jeff up for her own emotional satisfaction. Then Vanessa betrayed half of the house and put a HUGE target on her back by backdooring Jason instead of Austin. And why did she do it? She claims it's because Austin was another vote for their side of the house, but I think it's because Vanessa felt guilty when Austin confronted her.

She's Been Too Vocal

Vanessa has been a target from early on. Not only has she pissed people off but she has also been an incredibly active player. Someone wins HoH and Vanessa is always the first to run into the HoH room trying to cut deals and bargain. She played too fast and too hard and it's not doing her any favors. She would have been better off just taking it easy at the start and then amping up her scheming in the later weeks.

She's SO Paranoid

For someone whose job is to lie and manipulate, Vanessa sure doesn't handle other peoples' scheming very well. She is a walking ball of stress and she oozes tension all over her housemates. I can only imagine that having a roommate who is constantly on edge would get really old really fast and the houseguests would want to evict her if for no other reason than for a more comfortable living situation.

She Won't Stop Talking About "Her Word"

Guys, Vanessa's word is good. She's good for her word. Vanessa's got your back, guys. She gave you her word! Newsflash, Vanessa. No one's word means anything in Big Brother. This is not a truth-telling competition where the winner gets a certificate for being honest. This is a cutthroat competition with a cool half a million dollars as the prize. No one cares about (or believes in) your word.


Vanessa's got some good things going for her, but her poker-playing skills just might not be enough to keep her in this game. To hear more on Vanessa, game strategy, and a variety of Big Brother gossip, check out Bustle's BB podcast, The Diary Room. Check out Bustle on SoundCloud and iTunes to always stay up to date with the latest Big Brother podcasts. 

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Images: Sonja Flemming/CBS; Giphy (4)

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