It seems hard to believe it was almost seven years ago when most of us in the poker world first became aware of Jeff Madsen. Of course, his introduction on the scene was so sudden and spectacular, the impression was strong enough to last a long time.
As a 21-year-old Madsen became at the time the youngest ever to win a WSOP bracelet (a record since broken). Then within a week he'd win a second. A third-place finish at yet another event days later helped ensure 2006 WSOP Player of the Year honors for Madsen, and that we'd all be keeping an eye out for him at subsequent events for years to come.
Madsen has remained a part of the scene ever since, gathering more than 25 cashes at the Series although never quite getting back to the top. Until today, that is, as Madsen earned his third career bracelet and a first prize of $384,420 here in Event #35: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha.
Today's final day saw 19 return from the starting field of 640, with Madsen bringing the chip lead to the start of play. He'd continue to maintain it as they played down to a final table, with Steven Loube (19th), Christian Harder (18th), Jarred Solomon (17th), Mike Sexton (16th), and Ashton Griffin (13th) among those falling shy of the final nine.
Madsen kept out in front as the final nine whittled down as well, watching as Douglas Corning took out another two-time bracelet winner, Scott Clements, in fifth after hitting a four-outer to do so.
It was Corning who'd meet Madsen heads-up, and in fact for the only time all day Madsen would be in second position, though less than a big blind behind Corning as the pair's stacks were virtually even.
But they wouldn't stay that way for long, as Madsen took the lead on the first hand, began increasing it steadily over the next 30 hands, then after a few more finally claimed the last of a short-stacked Corning's chips.
Somewhat uncannily, Madsen becomes the fourth former WSOP Player of the Year to win a bracelet in 2013 along with Tom Schneider, Erick Lindgren, and Daniel Negreanu (winner of the WSOP APAC Main Event).
Madsen is presently posing for pictures and celebrating with friends, and perhaps like the rest of us is thinking back to seven years ago when he first grabbed the gold in Las Vegas. Congratulations to Madsen, and thanks to all for following our coverage of his stirring return to the top.