Vanessa ROUSSO

Family tree of Vanessa ROUSSO

Poker player, Chess player...

AmericanBorn Vanessa Ashley ROUSSO

French American professional poker player

Born on February 05, 1983 in White Plains, New York, USA , United States (39 years)

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Her parents are Marc Rousso and Cynthia Bradley of Hobe Sound. Born in New York, she moved with her family to France at age 3. She lived in Paris, in her father's homeland until she was 10, when she moved briefly to Upstate New York. After her parents divorced in 1992, her mother moved Vanessa to Florida near her maternal grandparents. Rousso attended Wellington Landings Middle School. The oldest of three athletic girls, Rousso was active on the high school swimming, lacrosse and debate teams. She also played softball and basketball for fun. In debate, Rousso excelled in national debate tournaments in policy debate. Her mother is a guidance counselor at Jupiter Community High School. In 2001, Rousso graduated as valedictorian of her high school in Wellington, Florida. She maintained a 4.0 GPA at Wellington High School while participating in the National Honor Society, and French Honor Society. She founded the Environmental Club and served as its president. She was also active as a violinist, varsity swimmer, and volunteer for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. Rousso has two younger sisters: Tiffany a psychology master's student at Florida Atlantic University and Leticia, a pre-med student at University of Florida.

In college, she was on the Dean's list. After studying some game theory, she became proficient with the Rubik's Cube and then chess. However, because she considers both to be fairly objective static games, she began to prefer poker, which incorporated human psychology that allows for inferior hands to win. She graduated early from Duke University after two and a half years with a major in economics and a minor in political science in December 2003. Her collegiate duration of two and a half years was the shortest time to graduate in the history of Duke. At each stage of her life, her mother warned her that she would someday meet her proverbial Waterloo and at each stage she has avoided such downfalls.


Rousso began law school in 2004 and was the inaugural recipient of the Chaplin Scholarship from the University of Miami. During Law School at the University of Miami School of Law, she served on the editorial board of the University of Miami Law Review. A poker player since the age of five, Rousso began serious poker tournament play during her summer break from law school. Rousso was in the top 5% of her law school class, but she did not finish law school. Now, excluding online winnings, she ranks among the top five women in poker history in terms of all-time money winnings. She currently resides part time in Las Vegas, Nevada and part time in Hobe Sound, Florida. Her nickname was given to her by a relative when she sold shares of herself to enter a $25,000 buyin event in a manner that was reminiscent of a storyline in Mel Gibson's movie called Maverick. As of year end 2009, Rousso drove a yellow Lamborghini Gallardo.

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Geographical origins

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