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Disney, LucasArts Game Developer Vanessa Kade Takes on Pro Poker
Vanessa Kade designed video games for Disney, LucasArts and BioWare before embarking on a career as a professional poker player earlier this year.
The British Columbia Institute of Technology alum was responsible for several popular releases as a producer for some of the biggest names in video gaming.
“I worked on Dragon Age for BioWare, worked on some of the Star Wars games for LucasArts,” Kade said. “I worked on a children’s game for Disney called Club Penguin.”
It was during her time with BioWare that she learned to love poker, and also how to win at the game. She was taking on coworkers and walking away with the money.
“I began about nine years ago; I started playing with a bunch of guys from BioWare. We played little games and I used to win a lot of those tournaments,” Kade recalled.
“We’d have a bigger one once a month and I did well in those. I really enjoyed it so I started playing in the casinos.”
Travel, Photography, Poker
Between her time at Lucasfilms and Disney, Kade made a move to Asia, played poker in Macau, and learned to ride a motorcycle.
She also developed into a talented photographer along the way. Kade’s portfolio is packed with stunning images from around the world with most coming from her time in Southeast Asia.
“It’s just a hobby. I bought a decent camera when I was living in Singapore about four years ago,” Kade said.
“When I was traveling through Southeast Asia; I just took a lot of photos on my trips.
“The most interesting place was Vietnam. One of those places where I don’t think I’d like to live but it was really neat to go and visit,” Kade continued.
“It had a lot of different cultures, a really good mix of modern buildings and older ones.”
Kade left Disney Interactive Studios at the beginning of the year to become a full-time poker player. It was a big career move from gaming development into the volatile world of poker.
“I’ve played poker for quite a while and I’ve always been profitable at it,” Kade explained about her decision.
“I mostly play cash games but this year I’m trying to focus a little more on tournaments. I played a tournament in Calgary and placed ninth just a couple months ago.”
Kade Aiming for Big Tournament Result
Kade also had success during the 2013 World Series of Poker. She had a great start to the Ladies Championship but went out in 62nd. Kade enjoyed her time but was not satisfied with just a deep run in the tournament.
“I was between first and fourth place for most of the time on Day 1,” Kade said. “I was a pretty big stack going into Day 2 and lost five flips in a row against short stacks. It was really good, really exciting.”
Kade picked up her second career WSOP cash in a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em tournament but is still looking for a better finish. Kade is confident she will make a final table before her summer is complete.
“I will eventually. I’m hopeful I’ll hit a final table at some point,” Kade said. “That’s what I’m here to do. I’m not scared of bubbling or anything like that. I want to make the final table or bust.
Kade says she plans to play a full schedule of WSOP events in Las Vegas this summer.