Before Ja Rule’s rap career hit the skids after he was incarcerated in 2011 for tax evasion, the Queens artist had a career most aspiring artists could only dream about. Yes, the controversial star’s journey was anything but smooth, but when has a rapper ever been a model citizen?
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After a series of high-profile bust-ups with the likes of 50 Cent, Shady, Fox Brown and Lil’ Mo many expected Ja Rule’s personal life to hit the road blocks before it got better. And as aforementioned that time came in 2011 when he was handed a 28-month prison sentence at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center. When he was eventually released in 2013 it was clear that, if Ja Rule wanted to get back into music, he would have to steer clear of any bad influences for the foreseeable future.
But his life took an unlikely turn in the latter part of 2013 when the rapper befriended poker sensation Phil Ivey during some friendly games of poker in Las Vegas. The friendship blossomed and soon Ja Rule was accompanying the poker superstar to professional tournaments, and even playing competitively himself.
Ja Rule earned his stripes in cash games – a discipline where Phil Ivey has been heralded as the biggest earner ever in the history of poker when it comes to this form of poker. Betfair, a seasoned poker operator defines cash game poker as “simple games where the chips on the table represent their cash value.”
As he soon mastered the art of cash games, Ja Rule also found that he was adapting to tournament poker equally as well. He also began participating in many charity poker events including Dan Fleyshman’s Celebrity Poker Tournament, which supports his Model Citizen Fund. The tournament featured celebrities such as Patrick Chung, Phil Ivey, Justin Bieber and Dan Blizerian.
Playing alongside Ivey, who is also an astute businessmen, obviously had many positive affects on Ja Rule, even so, that he launched his own poker website according to Bluff Magazine in 2014. But with his mind firmly set on his fledgling poker career, is he set to return to the recording studio anytime soon?
There have been many rumours that Ja Rule will return with a full LP by the end of 2015 however no official dates have been slated. What is for sure is that finally the troubled rapper seems to be getting his life sorted out albeit through a completely different pastime.