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Jade Lane - aka "Vigtastical" and "gaygambla"

Poker Coach – Jade Lane

On April 22, 2004, shot twice, burned and bleeding I laid in the dirt near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Pat Tillman, a platoon mate, and former NFL safety for the Arizona Cardinals laid less than 50 meters from me-dead. The medevac helicopters hovered overhead, I slipped in and out of shock and consciousness. Uncertain the severity of my wounds; having wild fantasies about my prognosis, one question kept creeping into my mind: What in the hell am I going to do now?

I didn't know it then, but this was the doorway in time to another life-from US Army Ranger, to Las Vegas Poker Pro.

By the time I was 21 years old I had played poker, dominoes, and several variations of card games in Spain, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I played in Afghanistan while patrolling the Hindu Kush, the weather so cold the cards would freeze and snap when you shuffled them. I played in the desert of Iraq in An Nassiriyah, on the eve of the Jessica Lynch rescue, when the weather was so hot, the sweat from our hands caused the cards to bubble and bow. I played in Baghdad, just after the capture of Saddam International Airfield, while ADA fire ripped the night sky and mortar rounds splashed in the distance. And of course I played in the barracks, while drinking beer with my Ranger buddies.

Unable to walk from my wounds, I started playing poker regularly as a means to pass the time and boredom. All of my life I've hated to lose, and this fueled my desire to improve. I bought books, magazines, read forums, and logged countless hands of micro stakes limit Hold 'em on Party Poker. While I recovered physically, I was going insane mentally. My apartment had become my home, my hospital room, and my prison-I had to get out of the house.

I started playing $3-$6 limit Hold'em at a local casino in Washington. By Christmas, I was an eight dollar an hour winner. With the help of Card Player columnist Roy Cooke, whom I had emailed for advice, I graduated to $4-$8, $10-$20, and $20-$40. Making a big bet an hour in the $20-$40 games at the Muckelshoot Casino, combined with some Party Poker online play, was all the money in the world. On the date of my military discharge, even though I had never been, I loaded up a U-haul and moved to Las Vegas.

Limit Hold'em and limit 7-Card Stud were my games, $20-$40 through $100-$200 my limits. While playing $30-$60 limit Hold'em one late January night in 2008-my bread and butter limit-I was approached by a partner with another training site. He asked me if I would be interested in participating in a mentoring program where I would learn to play No-Limit Hold'em, and of course, play online.

Confident the switch would be easy; I accepted and was eager to start. I quickly found that the internet had changed from the "free money" Party Poker days, and that internet pros were leaps and bounds ahead of their live counterparts. After several months of working with Kyle Hendon, I started winning playing 6-max and Full Ring No-Limit, and I haven't looked back since.

Poker, like the Rangers, takes dedication, mental toughness, and intestinal fortitude. It also takes a lot of hard work. The players who are born with freakish abilities are greatly outnumbered by the players who are willing to out-work the competition every day. That's what we're here for, to help you out-work the competition every day.

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