Jeff Madsen Wins His Fourth Career WSOP Gold Bracelet
Prodigal Poker Pro Tops $3K Pot-Limit Omaha High-Low Split Championship and Pockets $301,314
“I Have Fun and Love What I’m Doing,” Madsen Says Following Victory
MEET THE LATEST WSOP GOLD BRACELET CHAMPION
Name: Jeff Madsen
Birthplace: Santa Monica, CA (USA)
Current Residence: Las Vegas, NV (USA)
Marital Status: Single
Profession: Professional Poker Player
Number of WSOP Cashes: 40
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 11
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories: 4
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 1st (2006, 2006, 2013)
Total WSOP Earnings: $2,650,499
Personal Facts: Madsen is the third-youngest gold bracelet winner in history
[Note: All statistics above include the results of this tournament]
Jeff Madsen won this fourth career World Series of Poker gold bracelet at the 2015 World Series of Poker, adding to the 30-year-old professional poker player’s prodigal legacy as one of the game’s most accomplished younger players.
Only a week removed from his 30th birthday celebration on June 7th, Madsen topped the $3,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha High-Low Split tournament, which was played at the Rio Las Vegas. The three-day tournament ended late on a Tuesday night at 1 am with Madsen dominating the final stages of the grueling tournament with several chip-lead changes and dramatic moments, but none bigger than Madsen rising from the table with a pumped fist when initially realizing the victory.
Madsen topped a highly-competitive field of 480 entrants which created another big prize pool for the series amounting to $1,310,400. The top 54 finishers collected a payout, with the lion’s share going to Madsen for his big win. He earned $301,413.
This marked yet another personal and professional triumph for Madsen, who initially burst upon the poker scene nine years ago inside the very same room where he won gold bracelets one and two. Back in 2006, Madsen won two gold bracelets at the age of 21, the youngest in history to accomplish that feat. His win here also catapulted him into some mighty select company, ranking only behind poker greats Phil Hellmuth, Allen Cunningham, and Stu Ungar, who each won their fourth gold bracelet before their 30th birthday.
“I think the competition is the most important thing to me,” Madsen said following the win. “When I started out, I wasn’t thinking about winning 14 gold bracelets (the high mark held by Phil Hellmuth). If I just keep playing my game, I’ll rank up the stats.”
Madsen won his fourth title in a game that had its early genesis as an online poker game. Pot-Limit Omaha High-Low Split is rarely played anywhere in a live cash-game setting.
“I don’t play this game a lot, but then not many people do,” Madsen said. “I just tend to like anything related to Omaha, so this was a part of it.”
When asked to compare the meaning of wins over the course of his career, an older and wiser Madsen admitted he’s matured somewhat since the breakout year when he won “Player of the Year” honors at the WSOP back in 2006 and couldn’t fathom the notion that every year would be equally as lucrative.
“It’s all about maturity, it affects how you play the game,” Madsen said. “I’ve always tended to be a streaky player. But as I get older I am trying to be more consistent….As for which (WSOP) win is the best, the first win is better because it gives you money and confidence to keep on playing. So, I would say the first win.”
Madsen might have forgotten his third win, which took place two years ago. After that feat, the then 28-year-old poker pro was greeted by superstar DJ Steve Aoki onstage where they performed trademark jumps and exchanged high-fives. Indeed, whenever Madsen wins something, there always seems to be a bit of added drama.
The final table included a mix of veterans and newcomers. Two former gold bracelet winners made the finale – including Madsen and Rami Boukai. By contrast, two players -- Huarong Ma (7th) and Spencer Chen (9th) -- made their first WSOP cash in this tournament.
Among the more notable players who cashed in this event were Robert Mizrachi, fresh off his gold bracelet victory two weeks ago in the $1,500 buy-in Omaha High-Low Split event, and hoping for a fourth career WSOP victory. Mizrachi finished 12th. Also of note was three-time gold bracelet winner Perry Green (age 80), who cashed for the first time this year. Green famously finished as the runner up to poker legend Stu Ungar in the 1981 Main Event Championship. Canadian Jonathan Duhamel also deserves mention for cashing. He won the 2010 WSOP Main Event.
With this victory, Madsen now has 40 cashes and more than $2.6 in career WSOP earnings. His previous wins took place in the $2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event (2006), $5,000 buy-in Six-Max No-Limit Hold’em (also in 2006), and $3,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha (2013).
Prior to becoming a full-time poker pro, Madsen attended the University of California at Santa Barbara as a student. However, he plans to stick with poker at least for now, and in the years ahead so long as the wins occasionally come.
“I have fun and love what I’m doing,” Madsen said when asked about his future goals and plans.
Following behind Madsen in the top spot, the descending order of results was as follows:
Second Place: When play was heads-up Jean-Marc Thomas appeared to be a serious threat to Madsen’s quest for a fourth WSOP win. Thomas drew close to even at one point in chips, but was still playing catch up during most of the two-hour duel. He lost the final hand to Madsen’s trip 6s. For Thomas, who is a 47-year-old real estate investor from Paris, this was a mixed emotional reaction – coming so close to the gold bracelet but also collecting $185,548.
Third Place: Rami Boujai put up a good fight, and with a break or two might have won the event. However, a cold run when play reached three-handed doomed the San Diego poker player who was striving for his second WSOP gold bracelet, following a win back in 2009 in a Mixed Pot-Limit Hold’em/Omaha. Boujai collected $123,976 for this, his 16th time to cash at the series.
Fourth Place: Richard Tucker, a 61-year-old owner of a construction company in Charlotte, NC, took 4th place. He’s a proud Vietnam War veteran who once served as a helicopter pilot. Since then, he’s owned and operated three successful companies. This was Tucker’s third time to cash at the series. He also has 9 WSOP Circuit cashes. Fourth place paid $92,003.
Fifth Place: Sun Kwak from Hicksville, NY took 5th place. He s 33-year-old poker pro originally from South Korea. This is the third WSOP Kwak has attended and marks his second time to cash. His payout amounted to $69,004.
Sixth Place: John O’Shea, from Dublin, hoped to become this year’s first winner from Ireland. However, he came in 6th place instead. The 30-year-old poker player now has 12 cashes and 2 final table appearance on his WSOP resume, with 5th place his best showing back in 2008.
Seventh Place: Huarong Ma, originally from China, took 7th place. He’s 47-years-old. For Ma, this was his first time to finish in the money at the WSOP.
Eighth Place: David “ODB” Baker, from the Houston suburbs, took 8th place. This was his third cash at this series, and 44th over the course of his career as a poker pro. Baker, the winner of a gold bracelet in 2012 (Eight Game Mix), now has close to $1.9 million in winnings at the WSOP dating back to 2004.
Ninth Place: Spencer Chen, a 34-year-old retiree and former Wall Street analyst from Las Vegas, rounded out the final table by finishing 9th. Chen made his first career cash in this event. Chen describes himself as a “miracle of medical science.” He’s survived 8 major operations and had 3 open heart surgeries.
OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS:
Aside from the final table finishers, other notable players who cashed included – Michael Gracz (10th), Robert Mizrachi (12th), John Reading (17th), Jonathan Duhamel (19th), Tom Schneider (31st), Perry Green (36th), Jeremy Ausmus (42nd), and Fabrice Soulier (51st).
Entries broken down by gender amounted to 468 males and 12 females.
The average age of participants was 39 years and 10 months.
(Note: Will appear 48 hours after event concludes)
Written by Nolan Dalla (WSOP Media Staff)