LAS VEGAS -- A 21-year-old film student from Los Angeles who dipped into a college fund and his parents' wallets for his entry stakes has become the youngest player to win a World Series of Poker event.
Jeff Madsen, at 21 years, 1 month, 9 days old, outlasted 1,578 players in a three-day, $2,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em event, to earn $660,948 and his first World Series of Poker bracelet late Sunday night.
"I convinced them that I was going to play well," Madsen said of his parents, who put up $3,500 to help him buy into several events. He took $6,000 more out of a fund his grandfather started to help pay for college to buy into other events.
"They're happy about it now," he said.
Madsen's successful run began early in the world's biggest poker marathon, which began June 25 and wraps up Aug. 10.
Two weeks ago, he placed third in an Omaha high-low tournament, ahead of such pros as Daniel Negreanu, Huck Seed and Andy Bloch, to win $97,552.
"That blew us away," said his mother, Harriet, a 54-year-old health insurance agent. "This ... it's just sort of sinking in."
In his final hand Sunday, Madsen held a jack and seven against an ace and seven in the hands of Taiwanese-born software executive Paul Sheng. After the turn card showed a board of 10, nine, eight and six, all of Sheng's chips went in the pot. Madsen called with a higher straight and won.
The previous youngest player to win a World Series of Poker bracelet was Eric Froehlich, who won a $1,500 limit hold'em event last year at 21 years, 3 months, 3 days.