‘Big Brother 17’: Was Vanessa Rousso’s Breakdown A Ploy?

Big Brother 17 has barely begun, and already there’s some drama inside the house. Vanessa Rousso, the immensely successful poker player who has told the other houseguests she’s a D.J., had an emotional breakdown. The action was seen on the live feeds, as reported by Big Brother Access, and on Big Brother After Dark.

Rousso said she was sad to be leaving her girlfriend of two years to be playing the Big Brother game. She also may have said she’s not sure if she wants to keep playing. Given her pre-season interviews, Rousso’s tears were unexpected, unless they were strategic, as BB Access considers.

“We really didn’t expect it to be tough girl Vanessa breaking down so early on. Unless it is some sort of ploy to make friends and get sympathy.”

Several houseguests, including Steve and Austin, came to comfort Vanessa.

Rousso graduated from Duke University in just over two years years, where she studied game theory, and briefly attended University of Miami law school. The Hendon Mob ranks her fifth on the Women’s All Time Money List for her poker earnings, which the site lists as $3,530,831.

So if Rousso was faking tears for the benefit of her game inside the Big Brother house, few outside watchers would be surprised.

But in her pre-season interviews with Jeff Schroeder and Big Brother Network, Rousso did anticipate she would have a difficult time adjusting emotionally to the isolation of the Big Brother house. Vanessa, who is actually a D.J. although she makes most of her money from poker, told Schroeder it would be hard to be away from her loved ones.

“I would love to be able to say that I am a robot and, ‘no,’ but the truth is I’m not a robot. And I’ve never really spent more than four days apart from my girlfriend in the last two years. So we’re really, really close. We’re like best friends. And it’s going to be like… it’s going to be really hard.”

You can have a look at her interview with Schroeder below. Rousso’s quoted comments start just after the 4:00 mark.

[Spoiler alert — the following contains game spoilers that involve this week’s nominations.]

If Vanessa Rousso did receive some expression of friendship from Austin Matelson, it may have helped Austin’s game.

Big Brother Network reported that Vanessa and Da’Vonne, who did not participate in the the Head of Household competitions, were each given the power to keep one other houseguest safe for the week. Da’Vonne’s choice is unknown but live feeders learned Vanessa gave safety to Austin.

Big Brother 17 airs Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday on CBS.

[Vanessa Rousso image via CanadaPoker]