An attorney, television star, successful DJ, and professional poker player, Vanessa boasts one of the most unique backgrounds of anyone to hit the felt. Born in New York and raised in France, Vanessa began playing poker at the age of five. However, it was during a summer break when in Law school that she decided to pursue poker as a profession. Vanessa began playing in small tournaments, eventually parlaying that success into taking a shot in the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event. In her first year of professional poker play, Vanessa scored multiple tournament cashes and was among the top 80 in yearly winnings. Her success has her ranking among the all-time leaders for money won by a female poker player.
In addition to her play, Vanessa has actively represented poker. In 2007, she lobbied for the poker industry and players, speaking with federal lawmakers to try and get anti-poker laws revised. Vanessa has in the past also served as a spokesperson for PokerStars and GoDaddy. In 2015, Vanessa finished third on NBC’s hit show Big Brother.