Winning the PokerStars Women Live event and other PCA favorite things

When it comes to special poker memories, ask any player and they will most likely tell you that winning an event tops the list. Vanessa Rousso has that special accomplishment at the top of her list, but there are many other memories about the PCA that are noteworthy more for their humor than their drama. Take for instance her last-longer bet with Liv Boeree at last year's PCA. That story, a challenge for this year, and other thoughts on the PCA are included in the interview with Vanessa that follows.

PokerStars Women (PSW): How many PokerStars Women Live ladies events have you played at the PCA, Vanessa?

Vanessa: I have played two PokerStars ladies events and I won one in 2010.

PSW: What's your favorite memory?

Vanessa: My favorite memory is winning the event in 2010. That was amazing and it was the first time I realized I could actually beat women in poker! For a long time I empathized with how guys must feel at the poker table not knowing how to handle women at the table. I wasn't sure I knew the optimal strategy when approaching women. Obviously, I overcame this in order to win the event in 2010.

PSW: What's your favorite thing about the PCA overall?

Vanessa: My favorite thing about the PCA is the breadth of potential tournaments available to the poker players. Poker Stars does an amazing job preparing the tournament schedules to account for every conceivable variation of the game which makes it a really fun schedule to play.

PSW: What makes the tournaments special?

Vanessa: The best thing about the tournaments at the PCA, in addition to the great structure, is the level of players in the field. I find that there are lots of amateur players who come to the Bahamas with their families for a post-holiday "poker" vacation, given that the PCA takes place at a beautiful setting and location. Having amateurs at the tables is always a good thing; lots of fun. It's a lot more casual and the women are very friendly. I find that I embody a different persona when I play ladies events compared to other events. When I play ladies events it's a friendlier atmosphere.

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Vanessa Rousso at the 2013 PCA

PSW: How so?

Vanessa: The ladies events are different than other events because poker is a game where you need to challenge your opponents and the makeup of the average player in the ladies event is very different from an open event. It provides a unique challenge to come up with an optimal way to approach these opponents.

PSW: Any special pointers you would give women playing in a tournament for the first time?

Vanessa: Don't tell the other ladies at the table that this is your first tournament. That is information that can and will be used against you.

PSW: What would you say to an amateur player who is thinking about coming this year to play the women's event but can't make up her mind?

Vanessa: I would say that this is a great opportunity to segueway into the world of high stakes poker tournaments Ladies events are less intimidating than the open events, in my opinion, and they are lots of fun.

PSW: Is there anything else you would like us to watch out for at the PCA?

Vanessa: I would like to know if Liv Boeree would like to renew our challenge from last year where the bet was to see who would last longer; the loser had to sing the national anthem of the other person's country. Obviously she's British, I'm American, and I outlasted her!

She sang the Star-Spangled Banner in front of a large group of poker players at a tournament in San Francisco at the Bay 101 last year. Super funny! Bring it on, Liv!

Rebekah Mercer
@PokerStars in PS Women