Vanessa Rousso Poker Tour in Florida

Written by:
Jenny Woo
Published on:

As some of you are aware, Vanessa Rousso has been in South Florida doing her poker tour with Big Slick Camp (  She started out the tour by playing in a charity tournament for her newly launched anti poverty foundation, The No Limit, No Profit Initiative in Jacksonville on the 20th.  Over the weekend, she played in an invitation-only tournament and then made her way down to Pompano Beach Isle Casino for Monday's (23rd) "Battle at the Beach" $300K guaranteed tournament where I got to meet up with her to see how everything was going.

I arrived at Pompano Isle Casino not exactly knowing what to expect seeing that I had never been to this particular casino.  I valet my car and asked (as any damsel in distress would), "Can you direct me to the poker tournament."  They knew exactly what I was talking about and directed me to the nearest escalator.  As I went up the escalator, I was consumed and somewhat intimidated by the large crowd.  You wouldn't of thunk it but Jenny's use to having her entourage with her.

I found the closest person that could tell me what numbered table Vanessa was playing at and he pointed to table 25.  There she was, focused and in the zone, and I didn't want to be the one responsible for snapping her out of that.  I decided to walk the perimeter of the mass amount of players with their chips clanking and see what I could find on the event itself.  That's when Jenny ran into Jim, Vanessa's step dad who runs Big Slick Boot Camp along with Vanessa and Vanessa's mom.

Jim asked if I played poker and I responded with a smile, "Poker was never my forte."  I further told him about needing a cheat sheet when I had been invited to play for online tournament.  He agreed about himself.  However, I could see how proud he was of Vanessa and her accomplishments as he continued our conversation with words of praise when he talked about her contributions to charity and about her determination. 

As I waited for Vanessa to get her next break period, Jim and I chatted about the local media turnout and how great it was.  We also talked about how Vanessa's fiancé, Chris Brown was up a huge lead but had to go upstairs for a previous commitment.  Jim expressed to me that he thought it might have been for an online charity tournament.  Unfortunately, Jenny didn't have the chance to meet Chris but at least it was for a good cause.  However, I did tell Jim that should the two elope that I wanted to be the first to know. 
I finally met up with Vanessa at her 4:45 pm break and she was as nice and vibrant as she was on the phone.  We chatted for a bit and I was about to get a quick statement from her when a waitress from the casino hesitantly asked if she could get an autograph for her husband.  Of course, Vanessa accepted with a smile on her face and took time to write and sign a note for the waitress' husband. 

We did our brief interview as she only had a ten-minute break but couldn't be more enthusiastic on the start of this whole tour and what's to come in April.

JENNY:  How's the tournament going on?

VANESSA:  It's going awesome.  It makes me think that I'm coming back to Florida for even more tournaments.  We started with twenty two thousand chips and I'm almost at sixty.  I haven't really been playing in that many very big pots, it's just been a couple five and six thousand pots and chipping up.  I was down to nineteen thousand after the first hand I played but then from there it was straight up.  It's been going very very well.  I've gotten some people to call some river bets not believing me I guess.  I hope they don't catch on that every time I bet on the river that I have it but it's okay - they haven't caught on yet.  (haha) 

JENNY:  How has the boot camp been going?

VANESSA:  We started our boot camp's events in Jacksonville a couple days ago.  The first thing we did was a charity event and that was great.  We raised $7500 for No Limit, No Profit Initiative, my charity that Chad's also on the board of and then we also raised money for a couple of other charities around the Jacksonville area.  Then Saturday, I taught a mini boot camp on game theory and then played their special tournament with a $200 buy-in with a bunch of players.  I got 20th place in that which was just out of the money - 16 places paid but it was a great day.  The boot camp went well, everyone seemed to enjoy it and can't wait to teach my full days which start April 5th here at the Pompano Beach Isle Casino and then another one on the 11th back at the Jacksonville Orange Park Kennel Club and then I closeout my 1 day boot camps on April 26th at the Palm Beach Kennel Club.

JENNY:  Will you have any time off after all of this?

VANESSA:  My boot camp ends on April 26th at 5 pm - I have a flight at 8:30 pm that night leaving Miami into Monte Carlo for the Monte Carlo Millions.  So I'll be playing a main event the very next day.

JENNY:  That's crazy. (haha)  Well you're going to get a little time off after this half of the boot camp.  Will you be able to relax a bit?  What will you be doing?

VANESSA:  Well yesterday I got to lay out and get a little sun, it was the first time I had been outside in 3 weeks.  (haha)   So I want to get more sun.  I also, got to work out the last three days and it feels great.  What else - catch up on some movies, we haven't seen any movies - there are a lot of good ones out.  Hang out with the family and catching up with friends who live in town. So all good stuff.

JENNY:  Good, I'm glad to hear that.

Those of you who are on the fence about joining Big Slick Boot Camp in April and learning a thing or two from this self taught successful poker pro, check out the Q&A at  HERE  to see what makes them different from the rest.


Thanks again Vanessa for taking your full ten minute break for little ol' Jenny and can't wait to see you again in April.