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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Interviews

The Round Table – Jeff Madsen Loses his Monkey

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After storming the poker scene in 2006, winning 2 bracelets and the coveted Player of the Year title at the World Series of Poker, Jeff Madsen made everyone stop and stare. Just 21 at the time he accomplished more in that one month span than a lot of players have in their whole poker career. Since then, though, he has found another win to be elusive.  Consistently going deep, but Madsen still didn’t have that next win. On February 14th, that all changed for him. He took down the $1500 NLHE event at the Los Angeles Poker Classic, became $100,000 richer and finally got what he likes to call ‘the monkey off my back.’

KL: How many events at the LAPC have you played?

This was my 5th event.

KL:  How had the others gone?

Well, I kept going deep. I was playing very well, I knew I was, but I can tend to give away chips when I get a lot or when I get bored and want to make a play. Sometimes, though, you realize that plays aren’t so necessary if the cards are falling decent. It’s just solid poker, and then at the final table start to pick it up a bit. So this one I just didn’t do anything too stupid. I maybe played one hand bad the whole tourney, I felt. I got good cards and my reads were on, so it was inevitable I was going to go deep. I feel like I could’ve cashed twice already. It’s just easier to play comfortably when you get chips early and ride them through the tourney.

KL: So you slowed down from the start at this one and let the chips come to you?

It was just less unnecessary plays. I was still 3 betting and bluffing a good amount, but more based on strategy and less about boredom.

 KL: What made this so clear to you all the sudden?

It wasn’t all of a sudden, in poker you know what you’re doing but it doesn’t mean that realization always makes you do what’s right all the time.

KL: What was a crucial play for you in this event?

I just played really well got above average cards all tournament. There was a point where I four-bet pre-flop four hands in a row! I had A-K, Q-Q, T-T, A-Q, so the chips were gravitating towards me. I won all those except the last one.

KL: How was it with fellow Full Tilt pro John Phan at the final table?

Well, it was interesting; we had a last longer bet. He gave me 2-1 odds.

KL: Does that ever make any difference on your play?

No, not at all. You shouldn’t make a bet if it will affect your play. But anyways, he gave away a lot of chips and busted in ninth place.

KL: Who was your toughest opponent throughout the event?

It was a tough tourney but I didn’t face a whole lot of adversity. Once I got chips I held on to them and just chipped up.

KL: So you were set at final table? No swings?
Not really, I was chip leader whole way. I mean there was a little up and down but no big swings down.

KL: How was it once you got heads up?

It was easy. He wasn’t an online pro or a top player so I won it pretty handily. The last hand he called off a lot of chips with A-2 preflop pretty instantly, so it was kind of over before it started.

KL: Tell us how the last hand played out.

I had like 1.3 million maybe and he had maybe 450,000. I raise the button with 10-10 to like 23k. He makes it 70k and I say all in and he calls instantly. My tens held up and I won.

 KL: So you have mentioned having the monkey off your back with this win.

It’s just always good to get that next win after a good intro into poker. It’s a good confidence builder.

KL: Do you think the years in between a win have affected your play or does that not bother you in that way?

I think everything affects your play in some way, so yes.

KL: How will things change now?

Every day is different.  Hopefully I keep playing good.

KL: How did you celebrate your win?

I took 151 shots with my friends. I am going to celebrate for real in a few days.

KL: What do you have coming up next?

I am playing the 10k horse tomorrow and I want to win that. I’m just going to be playing every live tournament I can.

Like a wheel, the Round Table is a circle of adventures and victories, beats and stories, and life as it unfolds with a cast of characters that may, or may not, have joined you in your home on a local TV program. There's so much more to poker than what you see on TV. Although I won't use canvas, I will paint the full picture for you as I follow the lives of some of your favorite (and some unknown) players. The Round Table is an ongoing series of life, viewed full circle.

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