‘Big Brother’ Alum Vanessa Rousso Reveals Poker-Winning Indulgences

Vanessa Rousso may have lost Big Brother 17, but she had her lucrative poker career to fall back on. Rousso, after finishing third behind Steve Moses and Liz Nolan, went home to propose to her girlfriend and eventually take up her old spot at the tables. Back in March, a few months before Big Brother announced that Vanessa’s sister Tiffany Rousso will be a contestant on Big Brother 18, Rousso told Card Player what she did with her significant poker winnings — which total more than $3 million over her lifetime.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Rousso was practical with her first big purse: $260,000. She paid off living expenses — she was a law student on scholarship at the time — and invested some money for herself and immediate family. After her first $1 million pot, she bought a Lamborghini. Rousso admitted to using her cash on nice cars and her homes.

But her latest obsession with D.J.’ing led to a purchase that fellow musicians can appreciate.

“My most-prized possession is my vintage Moog synthesizer from the ’70s. Over the last six years, I finished four programs of study at the Berklee School of Music, which is how I got into producing digital music, and I basically use the Moog to make really deep, fat bass sounds.

“That synthesizer is about $6,000. It’s an original and there aren’t too many of them around nowadays. Studio equipment can be expensive, but the good thing about it is that it doesn’t really lose too much value. It’s not like a car that will lose value almost immediately.”

As PC Mag reported in 2012, the Moog synthesizer was a big part of 1970s music and revolutionized electronic sounds.

As a new season of Big Brother is set to start this week, Rousso’s name has been bandied about — not just because her sister is in the new cast, but because rumors have swirled that past houseguests could come back as coaches. Rousso seemed to address the rumor on Twitter with a tongue-in-cheek reference to her participation in the World Series of Poker at the same time that she would be in sequester prior to the start of the Big Brother season — if she was joining the cast.

But when Tiffany’s name was announced by CBS, Vanessa was clear who she was rooting for in the new season.

Tiffany Rousso’s cast bio describes her as a Florida native and school teacher who would bring mimosas into the house if given the chance. When asked to name her favorite player, she didn’t single out her sister, but rather Season 6’s Janelle Pierzina. While Vanessa Rousso was known for her constant strategizing and her regular emotional outbursts, Tiffany seemed to promise a more reserved approach.

“It seems like a lot of past Houseguests start getting paranoid and that seems to be their downfall.

“I want to build rapport with everyone, be social, and have one person I can trust until the end.”

Even if Vanessa Rousso does not return as a coach, CBS has revealed in a new promo that there will indeed be four “mystery houseguests” that presumably won’t be revealed to the audience until the season starts. Big Brother Network reported on a different list of potential returning houseguests that did not include Rousso. That list singled out James Huling, Nicole Franzel, Frank Eudy and Da’Vonne Rogers as the veterans who would return — and two of those people are glimpsed in the new promo, although not named as new cast members.

Big Brother 18 premieres Wednesday, June 22 at 8 p.m. on CBS.

[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]