Canadian hockey pro turned professional poker player Daniel Idema joined the ranks of the three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winners club Friday afternoon, taking down Event #35: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E.
"I ran pretty good, I thought I played pretty good, and I beat a tremendous human being heads up, so it feels good," Idema said. "I think the first one was a bit more of a prize personally, but this feels great."
The event returned for a fourth day Friday with just three players remaining. Idema first busted Kevin Iacofano in third and appeared to steamroll heads-up foe Matt Vengrin for the win.
"It was amazing," said the former Dutch league hockey pro from Vancouver, B.C. "Every time I looked down at a hand I had one. My rush came at the right time, I really got hit by the deck heads up, and that's always a good recipe for winning a tournament."
Along with $1,089,385 in career tournament earnings at the WSOP, Idema now has bracelets in seven-card stud hi-low, limit hold'em, and H.O.R.S.E., proving his prestige in limit games.
"I feel like my strongest chance to win a bracelet is in anything limit based," he said. "It's what I'm good at, it's what I've always focused on. It's what I've studied, it is my discipline, and it's nice to be rewarded with prizes as prestigious as this."
He also credited his past experience for putting him in a position to win.
"You know what you're getting yourself in to, you know how to mentally prep and just prepare yourself to play the best possible at that period in time," he said. "Being used to how the Rio clicks and how they run the World Series of Poker, it's a little bit of an advantage over someone who hasn't been here before.
"Having experience is always going to give you a little bit of an advantage for sure."