EPT San Remo: Keeping track of table Rousso

“I have about 9k. It’s been slow going, no big hands, no horrible hands. I wish I could say something more interesting!”

That was Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso at the first break today but could easily apply now – four hours later. I stopped by to check out how things were shaping up for Vanessa and ended up on a half hour stakeout waiting for something to happen.

To be fair Vanessa should be used to people hanging around her table by now. Various characters stop by – the press, other players, off duty dealers coming to say "hi". At one stage one of her green chips rolled off the table, onto the floor and across the tournament room before setting under someone’s chair.


Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso

Immediately a player on her table hurried over to retrieve the chip. A gentleman true, but a woman at the table can make people behave, well, decently.

The table has entered into that tricky post-dinner lull. Bets are going uncontested, few flops, fewer showdowns and what action there is emanates from one end of the table, the part that seats Kabbaj, Rousso and Frenchman Guillaume Darcourt.

Kabbaj makes a few raises with little action. When he does get some opposition it tends to be Vanessa. She moves very little, keeps her head down, eyes covered by cap and sunglasses minding her own business like a getaway driver double parked outside a high street bank.

Jon Kabbaj makes it 800 pre-flop which Vanessa calls from the button. They see a flop, 6-8-7 all hearts which both players check. The turn is a three and without thinking Kabbaj puts in three red chips worth 1,500. Vanessa calls, hand over her mouth, the diamond ring on finger sparkling like a beacon – that this hand could be the hand to break it wide open.


Jon Kabbaj

But no. They both check the ten on the river and Kabbaj shows pocket queens. Vanessa mucks again, unable to get the break she needs. The life in this table seems to have disappeared, a point that played no factor in it being the next to break. I was starting to think I’d brought bad luck and left her to it...

“I haven’t had enough chips to really play many pots,” she said. “I had A-K against queens on an all-heart flop (the hand against Kabbaj) and I had the ace of hearts and missed. So now I’m short and that’s it. But the guy in the one seat (Kabbaj) – I figured out he was good!

“I think I like this new table if I can get some chips. I have... not many, 3500. I need to get a double up.... I can double up! I’ve come back from way worse.”

She has, she can and she will. It’s the Rousso fighting spirit.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in EPT San Remo