Vanessa Rousso Interview: Poker Boot Camps, WPT & iPhone Poker App

Vanessa Ashley Rousso (born February 5, 1983) is a French American law student at the University of Miami and a professional poker player. She is also known by her Pokerstars online screen name Lady Maverick. Born in White Plains, New York, Rousso has dual citizenships with the United States and France. Rousso is a member of Team PokerStars, and a spokesperson for GoDaddy. She has earned money as a professional poker player since 2005. A photo of her appeared in the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Rousso was her 2001 high school class valedictorian and graduated from Duke University in December 2003. She is the wife of Chad Brown.

Vanessa runs a 5 hour poker boot camp as part of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. The boot camp costs $300 or you can signup on PokerStars and win a free seat in $25 buy-in satellite tournaments. Here’s an interview with Vanessa Rousso:

Does running poker boot camps detract away from your poker play?

You’d think one would detract from the other but they’re really very synergistic. My tourney play forms my boot camp content. And the more I teach the better I play, because when you start playing at a certain level, the strategic maneuvers that separate a good player from a great player are very subtle.

The thing is that process can sometimes stray very far from the fundamentals and if you don’t refocus or recenter on them then you get very far away from an optimal version of the game. Sometimes I may do something that works but I may not necessarily spend the time thinking about why it works. But if I’m going to teach it I have to think about why it works. It forces me to reach new levels of fundamentals.

Teaching this course helps me recenter my game and concentrate on fundamentals. But you have to have good time management.

How was it like to end up 3rd at the final table at the World Poker Tour?

$360,00 was a nice payday even if I’m slightly disappointed. It would’ve been very sweet to set that record. It was nice to break through my TV bubble. (She finished sevent in a WPT event in 2006 and seventh at a WPT in in Biloxi in 2008. To make the TV final on WPT events, players must make the final six.)

But at the end, I just never had the best hand.

I noticed you had a recent boot camp in Daytona – how was it?

It was about how to read people on tells. The cool part of that was I hosted a 65-player tourney and won it. It was a $90 tournament and normally after teaching them I’m exhausted.

How will the Bahamas poker boot camp be like?

We’re going to teach tournament theory. It’s pretty much for the intermediate player, but there are some advanced concepts.

What’s the advantage of a poker bootcamp only for women players?

Often in a male dominated game it can be kind of intimidating for some women to go sit at a live table and give it a shot; I want to give them a more comfortable setting to explore the game

For the more experienced game, it’s about how to deal with the players you encounter. I focus on how to deal with them once you identify with them. Also the psychological aspect of how to deal with being a woman in a game, because men tend to underestimate you. While that’s good it can sometimes be hard psychologically.

Talk to us about your poker iPhone app.

[Tuesday] was the second version of my iPhone app, version 1.2. They integrated the game center function of the iPhone and it lets you play against friends heads-up or match you against a stranger.

There are just all kinds of additions to the game. The key is now you can play it over the internet against anyone in the world.

Her five-hour boot camp is Jan. 14 at the Atlantis Hotel & Resort in the Bahamas, as part of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. The cost is $300, however, players interested in winning a seat can sign up for $25 buy-in satellite tournaments on PokerStars