She has a background in strategic game play
There’s no denying that Rousso’s background in professional poker will give her a powerful advantage over the other Big Brother contestants. Years of experience at the card table will have shaped her strategic insight, ability to read people, and daring disposition. To enjoy consistent success in poker such as Rousso has, one have to demonstrate extreme patience, concentration and – most importantly – a perfect poker face. Each of these qualities is going to put Rousso miles ahead of her housemates, all of whom will be unaware of Rousso’s skills in manipulation and intimidation. The star has regularly competed in the highly popular World Series of Poker tournament, which has a round- and elimination-based system similar to that of Big Brother. Having therefore endured this kind of competitive pressure in the past, along with a series of personal hardships, Rousso has every reason to feel confident in her ability to face the heat.
She’s understands the psychology behind competition
Graduating from Duke University in 2003, Rousso gained her degree in economics and political science. Beside the subjects she studied in academia, Rousso developed a fascination for ‘game theory’, the study of ‘strategic decision-making’ and the ‘mathematical conflict and cooperation between intelligent, rational decision makers’. The complex ‘game theory’ can be applied to any field, from politics to philosophy to…well, poker. But this time Rousso will use her knowledge of game theory to analyze the behaviour of her housemates. Identifying patterns in the actions of other contestants will no doubt prove an invaluable skill as things get tense in the house.
She has selfless motivations for winning
In her pre-season interview with Jeff Schroeder, Rousso reveals she wants to spend the $500,000 prize on taking care of her family, and will also buy a generous gift for her girlfriend. Anything leftover, she plans to invest. Considering the extravagant manner in which past Big Brother winners have blown the prize money, Rousso’s plans for the jackpot is refreshingly sensible and selfless.
She will use her charisma to befriend other players
The contestants of Big Brother are chosen because of their personality – and Rousso has plenty of it. Educated and articulate; the poker-star-slash-DJ will be capable of employing a rational approach to the more ridiculous aspects of Big Brother. An immediately likeable character; Rousso has a playful and chill vibe, but is also a tomboy. People are attracted to her relaxed and seemingly authentic personality. Whilst getting emotional about missing her girlfriend during the first week certainly appeared out-of-character for the poker pro, the comforting response from contestants makes us wonder whether Rousso is simply playing the sympathy card in a strategic move to make friends. For the contestants to assume Rousso is the sweet and harmless type would be, in other words, pretty dangerous.
She has nothing to lose
One of the highest earning female poker players of all time; Rousso has won over $3.5 million in live tournament earnings. At 32 years old, she’s already enjoyed an immensely successful career and cashed earnings that would take other players a lifetime to achieve. Winning Big Brother is not the be-all and end-all for Rousso, who will enjoy future winnings at the card table regardless of the outcome this season of Big Brother has in store for her.
Smart, likeable and bold; Rousso has everything it takes to survive in the house. Known in the poker world as ‘Lady Maverick’, the high-stake player’s eccentric style will most likely come to play throughout the season. As Rousso admitted in her pre-season interview, her biggest flaw is in how difficult she’ll find being separated from her girlfriend. Nonetheless, a career in poker should help Rousso conceal weaknesses from other contestants. Though arguably off to a rocky start, this high-stake player shows every sign of faring well and potentially winning the seventeenth season of Big Brother.