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The Big Brother 17 finale aired Wednesday night on CBS, and was an emotional ride for the remaining three contestants.

In the end, professional poker player Vanessa Rousso was evicted in third place by eventual champion Steve Moses. The New York college student earned his Final 3 Head of Household victory in a Question & Answer segment, and notified “Lady Maverick” that he would not be taking her to the Big Brother 17 finale. Identical twin Liz Nolan was chosen to face the Jury with Steve.

It was gut-wrenching television for all Big Brother fans, with many of Rousso’s detractors admiring how she exited the game with class. In her farewell interview with Big Brother host Julie Chen,

Vanessa understood the reasoning behind Steve’s decision not to take her to the Final 2 while adding that she would have evicted Steve had the Final 3 HOH competition gone her way.

“The Pokerness” was heavily involved in nearly every eviction since Big Brother 17 began, and it was difficult as a fan of hers to see her leave the house and head to the Jury.

Big Brother Champion Decided by Jury Vote

With Rousso’s elimination, the Big Brother 17 Jury consisted of nine former houseguests including the poker pro. They were John McGuire, Austin Matelson, Julia Nolan, Shelli Poole, Jackie Ibarra, Becky Burgess, Meg Maley, and James Huling.

In order to win the $500,000 Big Brother 17 grand prize, Steve Moses or Liz Nolan would have to receive a minimum of five Jury votes, with second place receiving a $50,000 consolation payment.

The Jury was allowed to ask both Steve and Liz a round of questions and listen to the finalists’ closing arguments before casting their votes.

The Jury votes went as follows:

Shelli – STEVE

Jackie – STEVE

Becky – STEVE


James – STEVE

Julia – LIZ

Austin – LIZ

John –  STEVE

Vanessa – LIZ

New York college student Steve Moses won Big Brother 17!

Steve will be awarded $500,000 and Liz Nolan will take home $50,000 for her runner-up performance. James Huling of Wichita Falls, Texas won the fan vote of America’s Favorite Player for $25,000.

Congratulations to Vanessa Rousso

As a poker website, we are obviously biased towards Rousso and her 98 day stay in the Big Brother household. With that said, we congratulate her on a masterfully-played Game and also send our thanks to all Big Brother 17 houseguests for making this season such a joy to watch.

Best of luck to Vanessa as she heads towards new projects in her life, and a big “job well done” to the three main cash prize winners this season: Steve Moses, Liz Nolan and James Huling.


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David Huber

David Huber has been involved in the poker industry for more than a decade: initially as a professional online poker player and later as an editor, consultant, writer, and forum manager. Known as "dhubermex" online, David's poker-related work has been heavily published across numerous websites since 2004.