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  1. PocketFives had the opportunity to sit with Pennsville resident Steve 7douche Madara (pictured, ranked #51 in New Jersey), who recently went on a tear on the virtual felts of New Jersey. He was a losing player during his high school days and used that to motivate himself to study the game even harder and become the player he is today. From April 13 through April 20, Madara won three tournaments: the WSOP Spring Poker Series $30,000 Guarantee, WSOP Spring Poker Series $10,000 Guarantee Six-Max, and NJCOP $25,000 Guarantee for a combined $18,689. Visit PocketFives' New Jersey poker community for the latest news and discussion from New Jersey players. PocketFives: Congrats on your three tournament wins in a one-week span. Tell us how you are feeling. Steve Madara: I'm feeling very lucky. I've definitely been on the upside of variance and there's no doubt about that. I also feel that the straight up wins show more of my style of play since I go for the home run, which I think you have to since the payouts are sort of flat. PocketFives: Which field did you find the hardest to get through out of the three wins? Steve Madara: I'd have to say the WSOP Spring Poker Series $30,000 Guarantee. It was a $200 Re-Entry + 1 Add-On that didn't promise a big guarantee, so not too many recreational players were in the field. PocketFives: Do you have any plans for the money? Steve Madara: Nothing too crazy. I'm not staked anymore, so I'll be using it to pad my bankroll. I also may have to take a few shots out in Las Vegas this summer since I've been running so well. PocketFives: What are your favorite New Jersey online poker sites to play on and why? Steve Madara: I play on WSOP the most, but that's only because I have too many technical issues when trying to play on PartyPoker/Borgata Poker. I wish they'd figure it out, but it seems like the sites don't care much anymore. I've tried every fix between getting new software and a more powerful laptop. PocketFives: How many hours do you dedicate to poker each week? Steve Madara: It's pretty sporadic, as my schedule is non-existent. It's hard to say since some days I'm putting in 10- to 12-hour sessions other days I'm only playing 4 to 6 hours. Overall, most of my time is put towards poker and everything else has taken a back seat. I do take breaks when I don't feel focused or off my game. PocketFives: Is there anyone who helped change how you approach the game? Steve Madara: Besides the two brothers who coached and staked me last year, there was one specific kid from the summer after high school. He was valedictorian of his class and a beast card player. Literally every day we played 50 NLHE that summer and we couldn't beat him. I was so broke I remember selling a football jersey to get a buy-in. Long story short, by the end of the summer, another player caught him stacking the deck while the other deck was in play. He was so good at it and we all considering each other best buds after playing daily that he easily got away with it. A few other players were also aware of what was going on, so that made it even harder to play since they avoided pots with him. Losing constantly to these kids pushed me to study more than I ever would have, though. So, I have to thank him for getting me to where I am today, as I probably never would've studied as much had I been winning. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  2. [caption width="640"] Steve Madara captured his first major live title in September following years of dedication to his craft.[/caption] At the tender age of 24, Steve ‘7douche’ Madara has endured a lifetime of accomplishment and hardship from poker. Only three months ago, Madara won the Almighty Stack event at the Borgata Poker Open for a $169,000 score that despite Madara’s young age, was years in the making. For as long as he can remember, Madara has been surrounded by the world of gambling. Madara accompanied his family on trips to Atlantic City and says he always felt like he would eventually work or do something similar in a casino. Prior to becoming a teenager, Madara witnessed Chris Moneymaker winning the World Series of Poker Main Event on television and his interest in the game only grew. Madara himself admits he made the firm decision to make poker his current full-time career path at the worst possible time but has found success despite the adversity he has faced. “My main issue was that I couldn’t even put in the work, since online wasn’t an option and I was only 20-years-old with a [limited] net worth,” said Madara. Madara says he ran up $500 to $7,500 on Lock Poker, only to have the website shut down and his funds incinerated along with it. From there, Madara rebuilt his bankroll by taking on landscaping jobs and playing in small home games. In one of these home games, Madara noticed a player winning at what he thought was an unsustainable rate. As it turns out, the player in question was cheating but Madara says the drive to win in this game made him work harder than ever to become better. “I’ve always [been] naturally lazy so there’s a good chance that losing [during] that summer made me study more than if I was winning,” said Madara. Upon turning 21, Madara received backing and coaching to play online, after the completion of two years of college, in order to pursue poker on a more serious basis. During that time, Madara claims to have been deceived by his backer at the time for a few tournament buy-ins that were never fully reimbursed. Deciding that was the breaking point, Madara deposited $1,000 online on New Jersey sites and built his own bankroll. A few months later, Madara hit his first major five-figure online score and hasn’t looked back on his way to over $300,000 in career online earnings. Madara has remained a consistent face among the New Jersey online player pool since starting play in the state with the many lessons he has learned over the years culminating in his September victory. While still in the relatively early stages of his poker career, Madara already has plans laid out to grow the game and bring more newcomers in. He is set to launch the website, PokerOnSlot, within the next few months with the intention of the site being to “grow the game of poker to its full potential.” “It’s absurd to me how many people you see go to casinos but rarely will ever step into the poker room. My vision is to change the games in the poker room to bring more gamblers over to our tables. Live poker has gotten far too boring and slow for anyone to find it interesting anymore.” In order to promote his new venture, Madara says he will begin streaming on YouTube and Twitch at the start of the new year. Madara has learned plenty about the game of poker in his time as a professional and how to navigate the sometimes seedy nature that lies on the underbelly of it. With his unique perspective, Madara’s ambition to expand the game makes him an intriguing figure to keep an eye on as 2017 arrives.
  3. [caption width="640"] Steve Madara utilized the tools available to him on Upswing Poker and won 9,000 at The Borgata Poker Open as a result.[/caption] The opening and development of Upswing Poker brought a new poker training tool into the marketplace last year. In its relatively short time as an available tool, many customers have walked away satisfied with their experience with the product and are writing rave reviews as a result. Perhaps the most public of Upswing’s happy customers is Steve '7douche' Madara. Last September, Madara won the “Almighty Million” event at the Borgata Poker Open for $169,000. While he was busy winning the title, Madara flaunted the popular Upswing shirt that brings to light the term popularized by Upswing co-founder Doug Polk, “Bad Reg.” Madara wore the shirt in jest and overall has been tremendously pleased with his experience using the site after starting his membership based on name recognition alone. “I first started using Upswing simply after I heard Ryan Fee and Doug Polk were going to be coaches on the site. Being the huge poker nerd that I am, I knew that these two guys were considered top bosses in the game for many years. Then there’s me, an online mid-stakes New Jersey reg winning or losing thousands a day, it was a no-brainer to spend $300 on this new site that had videos made by them with also a chance for them to personally answer your questions.” Like others in his position, Madara realized that his purchase of all the tools that Upswing has to offer was of much better value than seeking out individual coaching, which oftentimes requires students to spend hundreds of dollars per hour. Why spend that much per hour when you can get a much better value that comes at an annual cost? Madara estimates that Fee and Polk’s coaching services were worth four figures each and he was getting a great deal by purchasing the full Upswing Lab, which includes 40 videos made by Polk along with over two dozen available learning modules for players like Madara who are looking to expand their game. RELATED: The Upswing Poker Lab: The Ultimate Poker Training ExperienceBefore he joined Upswing, Madara was climbing the ranks in New Jersey’s online sites but once he fully engaged with the learning material on the website, Madara says he started looking at the game from a whole new perspective. “In poker, there are countless possibilities, but overall, once you categorize all your hands into ranges and start to notice how they play on certain board textures, you begin to be able to build a much more solid framework to build your game around. You begin to feel like you’ve almost been in that spot before even if you’ve never played it simply because you’ve studied enough similar spots,” said Madara. "The lab is all about this core teaching of solid theory and math that once you gain an overall understanding of, there’s really no excuse as to why you can’t be a winning poker player.” There are many options available within the Upswing Lab for what a player can learn and based how much time they are willing to invest, fully grow their knowledge of the game. One aspect of Upswing that Madara particularly enjoys is the familiarity in learning only from Fee and Polk and gaining a comprehensive understanding of their way of thinking. There is still a lot for Madara to learn as he builds his game but he knows that with the tools available to him inside The Lab, the possibilities are endless. Madara may not be the “bad reg” that his shirt advertises and he admits that as he discovers more about the game, his prior understanding was small in comparison. The next Steve Madara is out there. Are you willing to do what it takes to take your game to the next level? Sign up for the UpswingPoker Lab here and use the coupon code 'pocket5s' at checkout and you'll get $20 off your purchase.

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