Full Tilt pro Jeff Madsen has cemented his status among poker’s best young players by winning the main event of the 2010 Borgata Winter Poker Open. The 24-year-old player from Las Vegas, Nevada added the well-regarded Borgata title to his growing list of successes. In recent months, Madsen has notched up three cashes in the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond WPT Classic and pocketed $87,500 for his 18th place finish in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. These have all been eclipsed by his $625,000 1st place prize at the Borgata, which brings his lifetime tournament earnings to over $3.1 million.
The Winter Poker Open at the Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa has long been a favorite for pros across North America. Much of this affection is owed to its status as a former World Poker Tour event. Although the WPT has now departed Atlantic City, the Borgata still attracts an impressive roster of players. This was evident at the $3,500 Main Event, which managed to muster 766 players and build a total prize pool to around $2.5 million. Jeff Madsen took control of the tournament early on and ended Day 2 as the chip leader. Going into the 10-man final table he was still in a strong position.
Madsen was easily the most well known face at the final table, but he knew that his opponents were no pushovers. Among his adversaries was feared online pro Tom “KINGSOFCARDS” Marchese along with other high-stakes regulars. First to head to rail was Matt Matros, unable to hold out with his pocket sixes against the A-K of Nick Kamen. Following him to the exit was Chan Pelton, one of Madsen’s many final table victims. Pelton’s A-10 missed the board against Jeff’s 8-8 and he departed in 8th place. Finishing in 7th was Ross Malour, who couldn’t make up his narrow disadvantage with K-Q against the A-10 of Al Grimes.
Madsen had been a force throughout the tournament, but took a big risk 7-handed that could have ended his title challenge. In a play he later admitted was a mistake, Madsen pushed all-in preflop with Ah-Kh and was called by the K-K of Al Grimes. Luckily for the young American, the board fell 4h-Qc-9d-3h-Qh, completing his flush draw on the river. This hand was worth around 6 million chips and propelled him into a big chip lead.
The next player to depart was David Fox. Al Grimes managed to recover some of his lost chips with two pair against the Fox’s A-10. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay his execution for very long, Jeff once again playing the headsman. Unlike his opponent, Al Grimes failed to hit his river draw and was eliminated by Madsen’s trips. Following in 5th place was Nick Kamen, who couldn’t catch any of his outs with A-8 against Barkley Hamilton’s pocket Kings. Jeff Madsen again applied his ruthless streak shortly after, sending Hamilton home in 4th with a classic set-over-set elimination. The last man to leave the table before heads up play began was Tom Marchese. Madsen took a race with A-Q against Marchese’s 9-9 and came out on top.
Going into the one-on-one confrontation, Madsen had a 2:1 chip lead and quickly capitalized on his advantage. By the time of the final hand, he had around 7 times his opponent’s stack. Jeff later confided to Poker News Daily that his opponent Sirous Jamshidi was, “a good player, but he didn’t have an answer for my aggression.” In the final hand, Madsen was all-in with K-10 which held firm against the challenge from Jamshidi’s Q-2. Reflecting on his victory, Madsen said that, “It feels good to get these big wins and to continue to prove myself in the poker world.” When pressed on whether he could continue the form he has shown in early 2010 he admitted that he was a “streaky player,” but still backed himself for a WPT win and a shot at a Player of the Year title.
Jeff Madsen is a Full Tilt sponsored pro who burst onto the scene in 2006, becoming the youngest player ever to win a WSOP event. Later in the same series, he defeated Erick Lindgren heads up to become the youngest player ever to win two bracelets in one year. Although he has never recaptured that high standard of success, Jeff has continued to post strong tournament results. Other notable cash finishes include 8th in the $9,600 WPT Championship Event at the Bay 101 Shooting Star in 2007 and victory in a $1,500 preliminary event at the 2009 L.A. Poker Classic. This latest cash brings his total live tournament earnings to over $3.1 million, a huge total for a player who is only 24 years old. Madsen has also become infamous for the freestyle rap videos often featured on poker community sites.