Top Stories of 2015; #3: Norm Overdijk’s Tragic Death
As 2015 comes to a close, we look back on the 10 most popular stories of the year on PokerNews Canada. It’s like a “Greatest Hits” album for Canadian poker in 2015. One by one, we count down the top stories of the year until New Year’s Eve.
The third-most popular story of the year is one we regret having had to write. Norm Overdijk was a poker player who was well known to the Atlantic Canadian community, and he died tragically in July when he crashed a powered parachute.
One of Overdijk’s greatest achievements, poker-wise, was being named Canadian Poker Tour’s Player of the Year in 2011. In that year, Overdijk made final tables in the $2,200 CPT Kick Off Main Event in Calgary, Alberta, the $800 event at the Station Poker Classic in Regina, Saskatchewan, the $600 event in Winnipeg at the Manitoba Poker Championship, and the $5,000 High Roller at the B.C. Poker Championships, as well as an 18th-place result in the $3,000 Main Event at the same series. Demonstrating a dedication to Canada’s top poker tournament series, Overdijk was well-deserving of the title.
In 2015, Overdijk had already found a couple of final tables and other cashes in events in Alberta and P.E.I. before his life ended too soon on July 18. He was just 54 years old.
He was taking off in a two-seater paraplane in Nova Scotia when it crashed into his neighbour’s barn after failing to lift. He was pronounced dead at the scene while his 26-year-old passenger was rushed to a Halifax hospital by helicopter with life-threatening injuries.
A large man with a boisterous attitude at the table, Overdijk was one of poker’s great personalities in a game that is losing its characters.
Image courtesy of Canadian Poker Player Magazine.