Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso already had more than $1.3 million in tournament winnings when she arrived in Monte Carlo. She hardly needed to prove her ability to the poker world, but if there's one thing that cements a place among the game's great and the good, then winning a High Roller event will do the trick. It's not just the big prize money, it's the knowledge you have beaten some of the very best players to get it.
This field in the EPT Monte Carlo €25,000 High Roller was no different. Three days ago, 79 of the world's best players paid up, including a host of Team PokerStars Pros like ElkY - who won the High Roller in the PCA in January - Peter Eastgate, Barry Greenstein, William Thorson and Alexandre Gomes. Also lining up were Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, Erik Seidel, Gus Hansen, Devilfish and Tony G, the last of whom went on to take third place earlier today.
We reached a final table of eight late last night, and when we lost half of those in the first three hours of play today, everyone was prepared for an early finish. But it took a couple of hours before PokerStars.de ShootingStar Florian Langmann departed, and around five more hours before Tony G bust when his A-6 failed to hold up against Randy Dorfman's Q-9.
Heads-up developed into something of a marathon, too. Dorfman started with a 2-1 chip lead, lengthened it, lost it, got it back again, then lost it all. The killer blow came on a 3-9-8-5-K board, when Dorfman's K-5 for two pair ran into Rousso's 6-7 for the nut straight. He had been a worthy opponent, and will draw some comfort from going home with €434,000.
The night, though, belonged to Rousso, who was supported on the rail all day by her partner, fellow Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown
"As long as I got my money in good I thought I had a chance. I'm probably going to go and have a good cry after this!
"I have given 110% over the last three days. A few weeks ago I finished second in the NBC Heads Up Championships and I was happy, but at the end of the day second places are no good. You want to win."
Congratulations, Vanessa, on a brilliant performance.
For a look back at the prize payouts, head over to this page.