Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso may have held a bit of an unfair advantage in the $1,000 Ladies Event at the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure this week.
Especially when you consider she taught roughly one-third of the field how to play.
In the end, Rousso bested the field of 91, including 33 women from around the world who qualified for the event on PokerStars, winning the $1k buy-in and a spot in a special Ladies Boot Camp offering onsite tutoring from Rousso and the High Heels Poker Academy.
But Rousso said booking the $24,000-win in the ladies-only field was still no cake walk.
“There were a couple of pros who played,” she told PokerListings. “J.J. Lui was in there, Annette Obrestad. There was a bunch of good players.
“Obviously you have to run well in any tournament you play in. But I didn’t make any mistakes that I know of, I played well and I’m happy with the way I played. Starting the year off with a victory is really cool.”
PCA Victory Icing on Cake for Rousso
A victory in the PCA Ladies Event is really just a bit of icing on the cake that was the past 12 months for Rousso.
The 27-year-old upped her career earnings to over $3.5 million in 2009, was featured in a two-page spread in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, and signed on as the newest spokeswoman for GoDaddy.com.
In addition to her runner-up finish at the NBC Heads-Up Championship, Rousso also booked her biggest career win, taking down the PokerStars European Poker Tour High Roller Event in Monte Carlo for $940,000 this past April.
Once the whipping-girl for online forum posters who believed she was more marketing tool than poker player, Rousso is now letting her results prove the doubters wrong.
“What I learned early on in poker is that results speak,” she said. “It doesn’t really matter what you say about how good you are, or how you talk about strategy. All that matters is your results at the end of the day.
“Early on in my career I just had to put my head down and plow forward making the best decisions I could and hopefully, as I believed, I had an edge over the fields that I was playing in and my results would speak for themselves.
“Now that I’m at the point in my career where I have $3.5 million in earnings, if you count my results live and online, I think my results are beginning to speak for themselves. I’ve only been playing for four and a half years, and I just hope over the next six years or so, my results will continue to speak for themselves.
“Then, after a solid performance of ten years in professional poker, you can establish yourself.”
And as far as her detractors are concerned, Rousso says she isn’t even paying attention these days.
“It doesn’t really matter what anybody says,” she said. “It matters what people in your circle, people you care about, what they think about you. And of course, what matters at the end of the day is your actions, what you do with the gifts you are given as a person. It’s not just about getting good results at the poker table. It’s also about what you do with your success.
“Once you achieve monetary success it’s about what do you do with that to be a better person. So I just try to make good decisions both on and off the poker table. I use my results on the poker table to help open doors off the poker table and hopefully help me make an impact on this world during the time that I’m here.”