Where Are They Now: WPT Season IX Foxwoods Poker Finals Champion Jeff Forrest
The latest broadcast of the World Poker Tour Season X on Fox Sports Network featured the World Poker Finals from Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. We thought it would be a good idea to catch up with last year’s winner, Jeff Forrest, for our latest Where Are They Now piece.
Now, we admit that Forrest’s victory wasn’t that long ago, and that he is certainly still active in the poker world, so the question shouldn’t be about where he is now. The question should be about what he has been up to lately.
For those who don’t know, Forrest is a professional poker player from Orlando, Florida, who made a big splash in the poker world in October of 2010 when he won the WPT World Poker Finals for $548,752. That marked the biggest cash of his career, surpassing a score of $117,291 from a second-place finish in a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event at the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, a tournament he lost to Michael “Timex” McDonald.
PokerNews caught up with Forrest, who has $788,563 in career tournament earnings, while he was at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown to see what he’s been up to since his big win.
We know this is a very broad question, but can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My full name is Jeffrey Paul Forrest, I went by “jp4est” on PokerStars back in the good ole days. I was born in Orlando, Florida, and have lived there my whole life. I learned to play poker online from my roommate, Travis Klein, freshman year of college at FSU. After playing a couple of SNGs and small MTTs online, I quickly became addicted to the game. The feeling of winning a tournament can't be matched, so I grinded my way up the stakes and was playing all high-stakes MTT's until Black Friday. Luckily, Foxwoods happened before Black Friday, and I've been able to transition right into playing live tournaments consistently since.
How did you come to play the WPT Season IX Foxwoods World Poker Finals?
I was offered a freeroll by Jason Somerville. He covered the buy-in, I would get 20 percent of whatever I made in the tournament. I'd actually never played a WPT before that one.
The final 12 of that event was stacked with players like Hoyt Corkins, Jason Mercier and Sorel Mizzi. What was it like playing against such players? Intimidating? Did you like your chances?
I have tons of respect for all those guys. Sorel bubbling the final table was pretty crucial for my chances of winning, and having Tom Marchese on my direct left at the final table wasn't ideal either. The guy was at the top of every player-of-the-year race in 2010 and couldn't lose. But I don't really get intimidated playing with anybody. It's my job to have confidence in myself and just make adjustments based on whom I'm playing and how the game is flowing. Plus I'd already had good experience and results before Foxwoods.
Aside from winning, what’s your best memory from that tournament?
My best memory is from Day 5 with two tables left. I started the day as one of the chip leaders but immediately dropped to the bottom half of the field early. Then my dad surprises me and pops up on the rail, he had flown in from Orlando to watch. It gave me a good boost, and I was able to turn it back around and finish that day strong.
Did you do anything fun with your $548,752 prize? Make any big purchases?
The only purchase I made after the event was a big flat screen TV. Other then that, I was just happy to have a good new bankroll.
You've obviously had success at Foxwoods. Where would you rank this in terms of casinos you like?
I've won a tournament both times I've been there, so if I keep getting results and winning money, I'll keep going back.
Have you been doing a bit of traveling since your win?
Since the win in late 2010, I've been traveling a bit more. I play most of the good tournament series that run in Florida and get to Atlantic City and Vegas every now and then. I'm down in Ft. Lauderdale now for the $10,000 WPT and then heading to Jacksonville next week for the WPT there.
Before Black Friday, you played online. How influential was online poker in your life?
I still see myself as an online player first. It's been nice over the years getting to meet the people I used to grind against online and putting screen names with faces. I'm looking forward to online poker returning to the U.S., whenever that may be, and am debating going abroad to get back on the grind sooner. I will say I'm planning to keep my new account names a secret when sites open in the U.S. It's such an advantage to be an unknown player.
Do you have any money stuck on Full Tilt Poker?
No money stuck, but I was supposed to get paid to wear their patch at the Foxwoods final table and never did. It's a lesson to not connect my name with just any company in the future.
Aside from poker, what sort of things do you do for fun?
I really enjoy playing racquetball, though I'm still new to the game and learning the ropes. Go to the gym as much as I can. Always been a video gamer, but all I play these days are FIFA 12 and I just picked up the new Call of Duty recently. I'm big into music, so I try and see great performances when they come to Orlando.
What are your plans for the next few months? Can we expect to see you at the WSOP? If so, which event do you plan to play?
I'll be living in Vegas from May through July and plan to play a lot of events all summer. I hope to go deep a lot and would love to get my first gold bracelet. There are still a couple more WPT's coming up before then, ending with the season finally WPT Championship in a few weeks. I'd like to get a second title with them just as much as I'd like a WSOP bracelet.
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Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.
In this Series
- 1 Where Are They Now?: The 2003 WSOP Main Event Final Table
- 2 Where Are They Now?: The 1989 WSOP Main Event Final Table
- 3 Where Are They Now?: The 2002 WSOP Main Event Final Table
- 4 Where Are They Now: 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Tablist, Phillip Hilm
- 5 Where Are They Now: 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Tablist, Rhett Butler
- 6 Where Are They Now: 2003 WSOP Main Event Final Tablist, Tomer Benvenisti
- 7 Where Are They Now: 2005 WSOP Main Event Final Tablist, Steve Dannenmann
- 8 Where Are They Now: 2009 WSOP Main Event Final Tablist, Kevin Schaffel
- 9 Where Are They Now: 2006 WSOP Main Event Final Tablist, Dan Nassif
- 10 Where Are They Now: 2005 WSOP Main Event Final Tablist, Aaron Kanter
- 11 Where Are They Now: 2007 PCA Champion, Ryan Daut
- 12 Where Are They Now: 2003 Aussie Millions Champion Peter Costa
- 13 Where Are They Now: 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Tablist, Raymond Rahme
- 14 Where Are They Now: Eric Crain
- 15 Where Are They Now: WPT Season 1 Stars Ron Rose & Chris Bigler
- 16 Where Are They Now: WPT Season V Borgata Poker Open Champ Mark Newhouse
- 17 Where Are They Now: WPT Season II Borgata Poker Open Champ Noli Francisco
- 18 Where Are They Now: WPT Season IX Foxwoods Poker Finals Champion Jeff Forrest
- 19 Where Are They Now: Adam Friedman
- 20 Off The Felt With Nadya Magnus: Where Are They Now?
- 21 Where Are They Now: Don Zewin, the Man Who Finished Third to Hellmuth & Chan in 1989
- 22 Where Are They Now: 1981 World Series of Poker Main Event Runner-Up Perry Green
- 23 Where Are They Now: 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event Finalist Lee Childs
- 24 Where Are They Now: 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event Bad Beat Victim Paul Snead
- 25 Where Are They Now: 2007 World Series of Poker Player of the Year Tom Schneider
- 26 Where Are They Now? Harrah's New Orleans Poker Dealer Darrell Guillory
- 27 Where Are They Now: Former Team PokerStars Pro Pat Pezzin
- 28 Where Are They Now: 2007 WSOP Main Event Fifth-Place Finisher Jon Kalmar
- 29 Where Are They Now: The Nine Past EPT Barcelona Champions
- 30 Where Are They Now: EPT Season 1 Barcelona Champ Alexander Stevic
- 31 Where Are They Now: 2006 WSOP Main Event 12th-Place Finisher John Magill
- 32 Where Are They Now: The Past Nine EPT London Champions
- 33 Where Are They Now: EPT6 London Champ Aaron Gustavson
- 34 Where Are They Now: EPT4 Baden Champ Julian Thew
- 35 Where Are They Now: Past EPT Prague Champions
- 36 Where Are They Now: 2011 WSOP Main Event Champ Pius Heinz
- 37 Where Are They Now: 2007 World Series of Poker Runner-Up Tuan Lam
- 38 Where Are They Now: Stan Schrier Reflects on Historic 2001 WSOP Final Table
- 39 Where Are They Now: Bracelet Winner Matt Hawrilenko Temporarily Comes Out of "Retirement"
- 40 Where Are They Now: Battling Multiple Sclerosis, Paul Darden Returns to WSOP Felt
- 41 Where Are They Now? Mike Gracz Returns To Poker After Three Years To Lead Event #31
- 42 Where Are They Now: 2004 Poker Boom Breakout Gabriel Thaler
- 43 Where Are They Now: "Minneapolis" Jim Meehan Pretty Much Out of Poker
- 44 Where Are They Now: Poker's Good Guy, a Survivor, and a Rogue
- 45 Where Are They Now: 2006 WSOP Stud Dmitri Nobles
- 46 Where Are They Now: Esther Rossi’s 7-Card Stud Journey
- 47 Where Are They Now: 2007 WSOP & WPT Champ Bill Edler
- 48 Where Are They Now: Fabian Quoss Announces His Exit from Poker
- 49 Where Are They Now: Jon Aguiar Fondly Remembers Tilting Brandon Cantu
- 50 Where Are They Now: Family & Business First for Adrienne “TalonChick” Rowsome
- 51 Where Are They Now: Xuan Liu Swaps Poker Passion for eSports
- 52 Where Are They Now: Alan Boston Offended to Return to WSOP After Long Hiatus
- 53 Where Are They Now: An 'The Boss' Tran Fighting Curse from Selling Bracelet
- 54 Where Are They Now: 1996 WSOP Chinese Poker Bracelet Winner Gregg Grivas
- 55 Where Are They Now: Ali Eslami Returns to WSOP After Five-Year Hiatus
- 56 Where Are They Now: Former EPT Champ Sander Lylloff Competing in Biggest Backgammon Duel in History
- 57 Where Are They Now: Dustin Woolf Back in Poker But Not as Player