A French-American dual citizen born in New York, Vanessa Rousso studied at Duke University, where she graduated with honours on full scholarship. She then went to law school in Miami with hopes of becoming a securities litigator. That was until she discovered poker.
During her time at Duke, Vanessa became interested in Game Theory, which teaches how to apply complex math-based decision making strategies to everyday life. Couple that knowledge together with a lifelong love of games and it seems a natural fit that she would wind up as a poker player. Vanessa began making an impact on the live tournament circuit in 2005, developing her skills with several impressive results. A year later, she made the final table of the WPT Championship event, finishing 7th and taking home over $250,000. In the same year, Vanessa also became the youngest ever female player at the time to reach a World Series final table, with an 8th place finish in the $5,000 Shorthanded Hold’em event. This was followed by victory in a preliminary event at the WPT Borgata Poker Open, where Vanessa beat a field of 173 to win first place prize money of $285,450.
Amazingly, her most significant cash finish has been online. In October 2007, she finished 2nd in the main event of the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker. Vanessa walked away with over $700,000, one of the biggest cash prizes in the history of online poker.
In March 2009 Vanessa added another big result to her varied resume, this time in the discipline of heads-up poker. At the star-studded NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship, Vanessa played through a field of 64 of the world's best players to reach the final, where she placed second for a cash of $250,000.
When Vanessa isn’t playing, she somehow manages to find time for many hobbies. Describing herself as something of an adrenaline junkie, she regularly goes skydiving and bungee jumping. Vanessa has also contributed strategy articles to several poker magazines.
With sizeable winnings both live and online, there are surely many more titles on the horizon for Vanessa. She is a member of Team PokerStars Pro and can be found playing in the biggest tournaments, using the screen name ‘LadyMaverick’.
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