In the early morning hours of this past Saturday, Vancouver British Columbia poker player Daniel Idema became Canada’s 3rd bracelet winner at the 2011 World Series of Poker, winning $378,642 in Event 27, the Limit Hold’em $10,000 Championship.
Daniel defeating the field of 152 entries a big personal success story in itself, when you take into consideration he finished an oh-so-close second place in the same event at the 2010 WSOP. To come back the very following year and grab the coveted first prize bracelet is nothing short of amazing, particularly in the game of poker, with its many pitfalls and random situations. That didn’t stop Idema though and while this wasn’t his largest poker win money wise, having taken down the 2007 British Columbia Poker Championship $2,500 Main Event for over $400,000, this is most likely the most meaning full moment in any poker players career.
Having been keeping an eye on Daniel’s WSOP journey since his epic results last year, (Daniel also final tabled a $2,500 Limit/No Limit event), we reached out to Idema to see if he would answer a few questions about his latest win; here is what he had to say…
CP: “You just kind of “grinded out” that final table and continually added to your stack. Was that the original strategy you had in mind going into Day 3?”
Daniel Idema: “Playing well and not trying to overplay my stack was my strategy. I think i did that pretty well.”
CP: “Standard question, but I need to ask; How hard was it to have that bracelet inches away for your second heads up battle for this title, did you need a huge gut check or did it just fuel you this time?”
Daniel Idema: “Not that tough, as long as I feel I play well in any situation, I am generally happy with the result. If I play a few hands poorly then I suppose I would be harder on myself to play better next time.”
CP: “It didn’t last long, about five hands with an almost 4-1 chip advantage, must have been nice to just crush and collect the win?”
Daniel Idema: “Heads Up is by far the most stressful because of the big swings and harder decisions. My opponent was also quite a skilled player, so having it over so quick was definitely a relief.”
CP: “Do you think this bracelet win came with any extra excitement and feeling of accomplishment considering last year?”
Daniel Idema: “Well, coming second was still pretty fulfilling. Anytime I can come second in a tournament has to be considered a success. I think I played well in the Heads Up part of my second place, so not much regret. The general consensus was a lot of ‘sorry to hears’, but I was pretty happy about the second place.”
CP: “It’s a pretty unique situation to be able to ask the same Player how different the emotions were coming second and then first in the same $10,000 Championship. Can you share the experiences?”
Daniel Idema: “It was nice that I ran extremely well in this win, but I feel that I was forced with a lot tougher decisions in my 2nd place finish.”
CP: “Did you feel like this was yours from the onset? Has this title been on your mind much over the last year?”
Daniel Idema: “Not really, but this event is my best chance at a 1st place finish. The small field and gameplay cater well to my style of play. Again, I just try to play well and consider any results a plus.”
CP: “Another one for the BC boys; any prop bets in your crew as to who was going to get one first?”
Daniel Idema: “No, no props. Just cashing in any WSOP event is enough for me.”
CP: “You and your brother pretty much know and hang with all the top players out west, any that have helped shape your game?”
Daniel Idema: “Yeah, exposure to players with advanced game theory, through conversation, has its advantages to advance the way to play your cards.”
CP: “Money wise, this isn’t your largest tournament win, but we are guessing it means just as much to you, if not more. Since you biggest score was a No Limit Hold’em Event at BCPCs what is the story behind you and Fixed Limit?”
Daniel Idema: “Been a Limit Hold’em cash game player since the state of my poker playing days. So, the transition to this type of tournament is easily done.”
CP: “It definitely appears to be a specialty of yours, have you played a lot of Limit Cash games?”
Daniel Idema: “Yeah, was my main center point for many years.”
CP: “Back to another standard question, but it’s always fun to ask; is there anything you have been waiting to reward yourself with until a huge win like this?”
Daniel Idema: “Not really, I’ve done some things in the past. Just investments and what not.”
CP: “You were probably playing all summer regardless, but does this change your WSOP plans at all? Mission accomplished and time to chill, or time for number #2 or Player of the Year?”
Daniel Idema: “Play more tournaments and just grind out and hope for more results.”
CP: “Maybe we should know, but are you a serious online player at all?”
Daniel Idema: “I was a serious online player, but considering the current environment, Ive’s been making the leap to more live play.”
CP: “You are pretty well known in the WSOP scene, how crazy did the party get and was it pretty loud with friends at final and the bracelet ceremony?”
Daniel Idema: “Not too wild, I think the partying would peek closer to the end of the WSOP, big dinner with friends and family was about it.”
CP: “How long did it take you to ‘wind down’ after this?”
Daniel Idema: “Still resting now, after a long one like this, it takes me a few days to regroup to be feeling in peek form.”
CP: Are you more of a cash game player normally or is tournament poker your game?
Daniel Idema: “Both.”
CP: How long have you been at the game seriously and how did you pick it up?
Daniel Idema: “9 years, from a book recommended by my bro, ‘Winning Low Limit Hold’em’, by Lee Jones.”
CP: Are there any other disciplines outside of No Limit or Fixed Limit Hold’em you want to win a title in most next?
Daniel Idema: ” I like to just zone in on playing well, and not worrying about results.”
To the point, knowledgeable and definitely one of the best in today’s game, we want to thank Daniel for take some time to answer our queries. We would also like to wish him all the best over the rest of this year’s WSOP and hope to see him make a run at the Player of the Year title, Daniel certainly has a good start on it!