Vanessa Rousso’s poker and musical pursuits
Music plays a bigger part in the poker scene than most people realize; a fact indicated by the number of players sporting iPods and SanDisks with their corresponding headsets at any given tournament night. Game sessions can take quite a while, so having tunes handy can certainly stave off extreme boredom.
More than that, though, a lot of players actually incorporate music into their overall strategies as a mood modifier of sorts. Of course, opinions on this are divided. A number of players regard listening to music during games as more distracting than anything else. On the other hand, others like PartyPoker’s Mike Sexton actually have pre-made playlists on hand to help them coast through especially long games and/or give them a tactical edge.
And then there are those players like Vanessa Rousso who not only listen to music, but actually make them. A popular card shark in her own right, Rousso also follows a second calling as a DJ. Dubbing herself Lady Maverick and teaming up with another beatmaker – Las Vegas-based Lisa Pittman – to form the party duo Deuces, Rousso can often be seen hyping up crowds in various club events, from Vegas to the Caribbean.
In point of fact, Rousso was actually already interested in music even before she discovered her love for poker, although she first fostered that interest with classical music instead of her now-signature electronica. Beginning with the violin, she eventually mastered nine more instruments and constantly practiced right on to her college years at Duke University.
Needless to say, that musical inclination experienced a semi-hiatus of sorts once she concentrated fulltime on her poker career; although it’s hard to fault her for that decision given her success at the mind sport. Winning a total of $1,500 from multiple games at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino, she used the money to gain entry to the World Poker Tour 2005 tournament at the Bellagio in Vegas. The rest, as they say, is history.
Her great ongoing run in the world of poker notwithstanding, Rousso has now gone back to her first love – music – and has even decided to pursue a career in it. Only this time, she switched tastes from classical to electronic music, thanks to the influence of seminal figures of the genre such as Moby, AVICII, and French House. Only time will tell, though, if her career in DJ booths matches her renown in the world’s many poker rooms.