Jeff Madsen Found Friends & Success While ‘Chasing Every Title’

Jeff Madsen has been grinding the live tournament circuit in 2014. (Photo by Thomas Keeling)

Jeff Madsen has been grinding the live tournament circuit in 2014. (Photo by Thomas Keeling)

Jeff Madsen cashed 25 times in 38 weeks across three countries and four states and somehow flew under the radar so far in 2014. Madsen could arguably claim he’s the hardest working player in tournament poker – his manic cash rate came from a dozen different tournament series this year.

Madsen reflected on his life out of a suitcase during his trip to the World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open. “I think the idea of home kind of changes when you’re a tournament poker player,” he said. “I’m from Los Angeles and I live in Vegas. I like traveling, especially on a tour like the WPT. It kind of feels like a family and all my friends are here. I have downtime all the time when I’m out playing.”

“I’m definitely cashing at a higher rate. I don’t know if I’m playing that much more volume-wise than in past years, but maybe I’ve been doing better,” Madsen continued. “I’ve had more money to travel, now I’m going to more stops and I’m able to play in more tournaments.”

Over his career Madsen was the youngest player to win WSOP Player of the Year, he has three WSOP bracelets and double digit tournament wins, but one hole left on his resume is a WPT title. He has 11 cashes and two final tables on the tour and in his words, “I’m always chasing every title. I definitely want to win a WPT.”

“I’ve played a lot of them, these are just really good tournaments,” he said. “I’m friends with the staff and everyone. If I win it, then I’m kind of officially part of the WPT family.”

Madsen takes his success in 2014 with a grain of salt. “I think I tend to fly a little bit under the radar. Maybe because I don’t play the high-rollers,” he said. “They get the most media attention, which is fine. Once you come in and win two bracelets in your first month, then other people have expectations and they don’t even know you.”

“Maybe I’ve flown under the radar a little bit. I tend to be like that; I’m not gimmicky or whatever,” he continued. “I think maybe I haven’t gotten a lot of TV coverage just by chance of the final tables I’ve made. That’s a part of it. I haven’t been on TV so much, just World Series episodes. I think a lot of other players have gotten way more camera time. That will affect the media attention about the run you’re having in general.”

“But that’s my style,” Madsen continued. “Flying under the radar, but not overlooked. I want to be appreciated for the kind of player I am. These (high rollers) were a natural progression of things. I think people have to look at the entire poker world and not weight how good a player is based on how a big a buy-in he plays. But there’s always going to be a misunderstanding about that to people that don’t understand the game.”

“The people that play the super high rollers are going to get the most media attention. But I’d like to play them too – they seem fun and challenging, but they’re not +EV,” he said. “It’s competition, it’s not finding an edge. As long as the public understands there’s a difference between money and skill level.”

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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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