Jeff Sharkey (jshark4) Quits McDonald’s, Returns to Poker


After a highly publicized leaderboard bet, Jeff jshark4Sharkey was forced take a McJob and work for 40 hours at a local McDonald’s in Florida. Recently, Sharkey’s run at the fast food outlet came to a close and he quit rather uneventfully. He also donated his entire paycheck to a single mother of two and now makes his return to the poker world on a full-time basis. Sharkey’s girlfriend, fellow community member Julie JRisk17Risk, posted photos of her boyfriend in his new uniform in a thread in Poker Discussion. It was because of Risk’s solid performance in a TLB bet that Sharkey wound up serving Big Macs in the first place. members weighed in en masse on different ways Sharkey could exit his gig at McDonald’s. However, Sharkey quit without much commotion. He told, “It wasn’t anything special. Everyone was really cool there and I didn’t want to make any of them mad, so I just said it wasn’t for me. I told a few people about the bet with Julie, but felt some of them might take it the wrong way and think I was making fun of them or something.”

The ultra-competitive Risk(pictured) sought to make her boyfriend’s life a living Hell throughout the bet and at one point came close to getting Sharkey fired. She explained, “Going in there with my friends trying to get him fired was pretty funny and then having to sneak in to take pictures because I got kicked out the first time was pretty memorable too.” Sharkey told his manager that Risk was a friend, which got him out of hot water.

Many in the online poker world have wondered what’s next for Sharkey and Risk. With the Full TiltOnline Poker Series (FTOPS) and PokerStarsWorld Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) returning following the World Series of Poker (WSOP), another TLB bet may be in the works. However, how do you top working at McDonald’s for 40 hours? Risk forecasted, “I’m kind of scared because I know it’s going to be really bad for whoever loses. I’ll be playing 24/7 during the next competition with no sleep to try to beat him.”

One day while on the job at McDonald’s, Sharkey was instructed to clean up a mess in the bathroom. He ultimately had to offer $50 in order for a coworker to do it for him: “Apparently they knew it was pretty bad, so I offered them $10, but no one took it. I had to go all the way to $50 until one of them took it.” He then revealed why Risk attempted to get him fired: “Julie went in and complained to the manager that I was being rude to her because she wanted me to get fired so I would have to start the hours over again at another McDonald’s.”

If you’re a successful high-stakes poker player who loses a bet and winds up working at McDonald’s, what’s the worst part about the job? Is it dealing with angry customers? What about mopping up a soiled bathroom? Or how about chasing kids through a Play Place? Sharkey revealed what his biggest grievance was: “The worst part was having to get up that early and knowing that I was going to have to smell the gross breakfast all day. That smell doesn’t go away no matter how many showers you take.”

Several in the online poker community were critical of Sharkey’s bet, however. Given a tight job market, some wondered whether the Floridian should be condemned for fulfilling the bet. member LtotheKcommented in a thread in Poker Discussion, “I love how we are in a miserable job market and this 20 year-old kid thinks it’s funny to work at a McDonald’s for 30 hours and then quit. I know it’s no big deal, but the irony of the situation is just hilarious. The young kids making big scores at this age are going to find life really fun when the poker dries up and they have to get a real job. Do your parents find this type of thing admirable?”

Sharkey responded to criticism in part by opining, “I also think it’s funny that a lot of the reason we have a miserable job market is because people think they are too good to work somewhere such as McDonald’s.” We look forward to Sharkey making his full-time return to the virtual felts.


    • the front page doesn’t just have to be about poker accomplishments or strategy, entertainment works sometimes too…

    • I actually like the way he handled himself concerning the feelings of the other workers. There are a lot of people who would have gone in there and been an ass because they thought the job and the people were beneath them. From all appearances, he didn’t.

    • I like how these two idiots thinks it’s funny working 40 hrs a week for min wage………[personal attack deleted by moderator]!

    • I love these people who think this bet is degrading. It was a bet with each other to embarrass the other person, nothing else; not to disrespect other workers or people. He handled himself admirably and donated his cheque to someone who could ultimately use it more than he could. He didn’t treat it like “bullshit” and worked like a regular person. If I make a bet and lose, and I have to eat brussel sprouts, wouldn’t that be poking fun at somalian kids who have nothing to eat, and would literally kill to have what I bet over? Get a grip. Like others have said before, some people believe they’re too good to work at jobs like this. Minimum wage at Mcdonalds, the shoe store in the mall, or cutting grass at a golf course is still minimum wage. Trying to better yourself and take care of your family takes more balls to achieve than anything else.

    • Surely entertaining and something unique to follow – I def enjoyed the updates. Sharkey owned up to his bet, and was professional and diligent in doing so..especially donating his paycheck to someone who needed it for a greater cause. I suppose this is a forum and there will always be differing opinions esp when many have trouble differentiating the ego from self

    • Nice article. Its true the front page article doesn’t always have to be poker strategy. Entertainment is always welcome on the front page. I thought he honored his bet well. Doing that job is not fun I imagine. donating his paycheck was a nice gesture as well. Well done!