Thursday, July 27, 2006

Jeff Freakin' Madsen

I don't know how many of my readers out there are following the WSOP via the internet or actually being in Vegas right now, but if you're following it at all you should know about Jeff Madsen right now. Jeff's a recently turned 21-year-old out of Southern California. At the time of me writing this he's made four final tables in four weeks at the World Series. One final table in Omaha HiLo, a third place finish in Stud HiLo, and he's won two bracelets in NL Hold'Em. At 21-years and one month he became the youngest bracelet winner ever at the World Series. Just days later he became the youngest person to ever win two bracelets. Why do I bring this up? Well, only cuz Jeff's a Chumasher.

I've played with Jeff multiple times at Chumash over the past year or two. Many people must think that he's an internet player, a new breed of players that lack certain skills of live play, but that's definitely not the case. He's been playing frequently at Chumash for a while, and while I've never seen him with a huge stack at the NL tables, Joe says he's seen him either go huge or lose huge, which is pretty typical of the younger aggressive players at the NL games up at Santa Ynez.

The reason I'm writing about this is that I've been putting a lot of thought into my current situation lately. I've been down recently, and after riding a pretty decent rush and being put in a bad financial situation in personal life, it's taken its toll on me mentally. But looking at Jeff's situation really stunned me. He's had varied success at Chumash, as have I, and he's only played the 2/5NL at the Mash since up until a month ago he's not been old enough to play anywhere else. Many of my reader's don't know that I'm only 20, so his situation is pretty close to mine, one difference being that I won't be 21 until December.

I've put the last three years of my life into this game, and like I said I've had varied results. I've been huge on a couple occasions, and those were great times. But I've also lost some on various occasions. Because I've more or less been a casino junkie for the past years I've also lost a lot playing Blackjack. I've since overcome my gambling tendencies since I've lost a lot of my poker winnings playing against the house, and that was a difficult lesson to learn. More recently I was forced to quit playing in the middle of a downswing. When a poker player is not playing poker, he starts to realize and understand the value of money. When someone's forced to work for their money it makes a huge impact on the way they view it if they've been doing a lot of gaming. And if you're making and losing more than you're making in an "actual" job, it'll definitely affect someone's mentality.

So that's where I've been as of late. Here, at work, no cards, no cash. I have a decent job with a lot of potential for growth, but it's for decent-to-low pay for right now since I'm early into it. But with the money I was tossin around playin cards it really feels like the money I'm makin now is inconsequential. I still have money left from card playing, but like I said in my last post I'm not in a position right now to put it into play, mainly because of the importance of the money to me right now. Because of the whole situation it's made me question the role that poker should be playing in my life. I'd like to make it the number one priority in my life, close to it anyways. I'd really like to make it that way for a long time. Unfortunately I'll have to wait a little bit to make that happen, but in the past couple of days I've come to grips with that.

Right now the plan is to not play cards seriously. Every single person I know that knows about my planned hiatus just laughs when they hear it, simply because I've been all about poker for the past few years now. It's not that I'm quitting poker altogether, just seriously and just for the time being. I do, however, have complete confidence in my game and will continue to do so until I get back into it heavily again. I've decided that I'll still play Paul's game, as that field is easily beatable and it's for decent amount of food money :) Also I'll be playin the weekly CT tournament on PStars most likely. It's just an $11 MTT, usually with around 50-60 people. The CT community is a good one, and although the tourney isn't for big money it seems like, from what I've seen, they still try to play a decent game, and that's good.

I've been puttin a lot of thinkin time into this whole thing. I've been talking a lot with Joe and have gotten some good words from Darsky, as usual, and my views have changed back and forth. I've become settled in some aspects of the matter, and now I'm ok to wait a little bit until I'm in a good position to play strongly again. It's just amazing to me to see this Jeff Madsen kid tearing up the World Series. It really showed me that given varied success and not having a lot of money after playing for so long (he's been playing for 3 years as well, and had to borrow money and use tuition money to get into the WSOP), it doesn't really matter. It hits really close to home considering he's so young AND he's a regular at Chumash!! His story is definitely inspirational to me and his successes so far have shown me a few things that I've blinded myself from.

OK enough about this, next time you will all read about the recent going-ons in my life besides this fiasco.

Until next time