Poker News

As they are pulling into the final week of what has been a summer-long run, the CBS reality television show Big Brother is down to its final five competitors. Of the five houseguests remaining, one is poker professional Vanessa Rousso. Rousso has shown a dominant mental game throughout the run of this summer’s program, but she still has to make it down to the final two and, after that, through the Jury that will decide who wins the $500,000 grand prize.

But what would be tougher, being on the inside and playing the game or sitting on the outside and worrying about the game? You might have noticed that, when she knows she is on camera, Rousso will kiss her ring finger. That is an “I love you” to her partner, Melissa Ouellet, whom Vanessa has been away from now for almost 90 days and who has been sweating the proceedings heavily. She has also had to deal with the accusations from the Big Brother faithful that the producers are “fixing” the show for Vanessa and other more hurtful statements about Rousso in general.

Poker News Daily was able to speak with Ouellet as Rousso reaches the end of the Big Brother battle and found that it may be tougher for someone outside the game than the person actually in it.

Poker News Daily:  How difficult has it been for you during Vanessa’s time in the house?

Melissa Ouellet:  Before Vanessa left to the Big Brother house, we spent 24/7 together and we were inseparable. Being away from her for four months has been a very lonely summer.

I do believe this time away will only make our relationship stronger. Vanessa being in the house brings a lot of mixed emotions…I don’t think she will ever understand the stress and pain I’ve had to go through, not being able to tell her who is on your side and who’s not, not being able to hug her while she is being emotional…these situations are extremely hard on you, but at the end of the day it is all worth it. Don’t get me wrong…I’ve LOVED watching Vanessa on Big Brother. It has been a great experience on her end and mine.

PND:  To the best of your knowledge, does Vanessa have any roles on television pending once she exits the Big Brother house?

MO:  There is apparently a rumor that the show Big Brother is being rigged for Vanessa to win to promote this new show called Poker Face. I would love to make this nice and clear that this is absolutely NOT true. Vanessa has worked extremely hard to get herself to where she is at in the game and if she wins Big Brother it’s because she deserves it and has played an incredible game.

PND:  Do you pay any attention to the fan blogs and what they say? And how do you handle those who are critics of Vanessa?

MO:  I am on social media quite a bit and I am aware of all that is being said out there. At first I was devastated by what I was reading – it literally broke my heart – but as the summer went by I started to realize that the critics and the things being said about Vanessa are just out of control and there’s a lot of jealousy out there. Normally I would say people are jealous of successful people. Vanessa is a GENIUS and not everyone understands her brain and her intelligence, but she is always 10 steps ahead from everyone. It also seems as if Vanessa has this magical power to get away with anything and everything, she knows how to handle situations and always knows what to say…clearly people aren’t liking that. With this said, I must also say Vanessa has some REALLY incredible loyal fans out there who love her and supported her game play from Day 1.

PND:  Why do you think there is so much vitriol from fans of the show towards Vanessa?

MO:  I never understood and never will understand the animosity towards Vanessa. My best guess for that would have to be because Vanessa is REALLY good at this game, and a lot of fans out there have their favorite houseguest. It also could be because Vanessa had a hand in almost every eviction and they blame her. I think Vanessa has played a fascinating game, not just because she is my girlfriend but I would have to say she has played the best game this season.

PND:  So what is your prediction for what the final days are going to be like for Vanessa? And what will they be like for you?

MO:  For the live eviction show tonight, Austin will go home. Whoever wins the next HOH will most probably put Vanessa up, but 100% she will win one of the most important Veto competition and save herself and most probably will end up in final 2 with either John or Steve. Of course, she will win overall! I do hope and pray the jury isn’t bitter and understands that Vanessa has played the best game.

While Rousso will get through tonight’s episode (airing at 8PM Eastern/7PM Central) and make the final four, the true test will come over the next 24 hours. Another player will be eliminated on Wednesday’s episode (same broadcast time as Tuesday) and the final three will be determined. Will Rousso make it to that pinnacle? And does she have enough gas to make it to the $500,000 finish line? We’ll have to watch and find out, but you can believe Melissa Ouellet will be watching much more intensely!


  1. Anonymous says:

    actually I think all the hate is easily explained. It’s Stupidity. Vanessa played an Incredible game, and yes fascinating to watch. It makes zero sense that anyone would hate a houseguest just because they cried or were paranoid. Every single houseguest of bb17 and every season before it, gets paranoid in that environment. It’s ridiculous to loathe a person just because they ‘played the game’. If anyone thinks they are intersting enough to get accepted on Big Brother, and make it so far without some kind of manipulation is deluded. Just makes me realize even more than I already knew, how little common sense there is out there.

  2. kbruce says:

    I want to thank Vanessa for playing a huge part in making Big Brother so entertain8ng, so much fun to watch. I saw a great strategist, filled with raw emotion, endless gameplay, and above all, a soft heart. I picked her on day 1 for the “best player”, hoping she would win. However, being a fan of the game, I was ready to accept that she may not get to the end and win the prize. Who of us, sitting at home, does not have an opinion about any of the houseguests? Very easy to criticize and teardown a player when we sit in our comfortable armchairs, totally protected from the stress, the isolation, the aggravation, the deprivation, and total exposure of oneself to millions, that Vanessa and all of the Big Brother houseguests undergo? Being a 64 year old grandmother, I pray that one day, we all can just put aside the cruel and negative comments, and send positive, constructive, and enlightened words to all of the fellow human beings that play the great game of Big Brother. I try to always remember how would I feel if I, or even more so, if it was one of my family or friends, receiving so many of the hurtful comments posted on the social media sites. Who of us is perfect? How many of us are willing to give up the security and comfort of home, to willingly subject ourselves to play Big Brother? Without the people who are willing to play, we wouldn’t have the show to watch. Why do we insist on insulting them? To change this world from an angry,pain filled one, to a peaceful, loving one, we must begin by using words that heal, not those that destroy.
    Mel and Vanessa, thank you for being part of my summer fun, and happiness and peace to you and your families.

  3. cpoling375 says:

    Vanessa should of won. she put to much faith in Steve since he told her she was going to the final 2 with him. I have watch you play poker for years when i had cable tv but now i can’t. Would love to see you playin person. Come to Harrahs for the wsop curcuit tour in then NC mountains in Nov. Would love to meet you.

    A Big Fan

  4. Rose says:

    Come on, Steve was dragged by Vanessa. He played a mediocre game at best. Johnny Mac helped him too. He did very little on his own. It came down to one question and if you look at the answers to the 1st four house guest questions, it was all game answers to Steve’s advantage. Anyway, another Ian win. Too bad, so sad. The 3 parts at the end really needs to be at least an 8 part that would some how measure the best of all the games, so that it would be a better measure of the the best of player. Also, the jury should not be able to vote so bitterly. Some how, America should have some input into the outcome. Love BB but very disappointing in seeing such a weak player win again. By the way, I watched live feeds and studied it all this year. Hope Vanessa see this because she was remarkable. Only thing I would have like to have seen her own it more in DR.

  5. Rose says:

    I really really would like for Van to know what I think. She is probably very busy at the moment, but I for one will be trying to let her know what a great player she is. Love or hate her, you can’t take that away from her. Crying because she is human, of course. Paranoia was absolutely a valid response to what she felt to be true. And it was warranted because the house guest were out to get her. True feeling because of a true situation! Great Great job! She is the winner this year. Too bad she didn’t get the money. One question? not a good representation of this year game.

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