EVENT #35: $3,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E.
PRIZE POOL: $1,026,480
FIRST PLACE PRIZE: $261,774
PLACES PAID: 40
Dan Idema Rides Away with a WSOP Gold Bracelet in H.O.R.S.E.
Canadian Poker Pro Collects a Third WSOP Title and $261,774
Late Rush of Cards Propels Idema to Victory, as Matthew Vengrin Comes in Second
MEET THE LATEST WSOP GOLD BRACELET CHAMPION
Name: Dan Idema
Birthplace: Vancouver, BC (Canada)
Current Residence: Vancouver, BC (Canada)
Marital Status: Single
Profession: Professional Poker Player
Number of WSOP Cashes: 25
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 8
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories: 3 (2011, 2013, 2015)
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 1st
Total WSOP Earnings: $1,335,086
Personal Facts: Idema operates his own hot air balloon, which he enjoys in his spare time
[Note: All statistics above include the results of this tournament]
Add Dan Idema’s name to the elite list of three-time gold bracelet winners at the World Series of Poker.
The poker pro from Vancouver, British Columbia came out atop in the $3,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. tournament (Event #34), which was played over an extended four-day period at the Rio Las Vegas. He conquered a field which included 376 entries on the way to a $261,774 payout.
Idema now has 25 cashes at the WSOP, including 8 final table appearances, and 3 victories. Remarkably, his first cash at the annual classic was only five years ago (2010), making him one of the most successful players in recent years. Idema’s two previous gold bracelet victories took place in 2011 ($10K NLHE) and 2013 ($1,500 Seven-Card-Stud High-Low Split). His career earnings now exceed $1.3 million.
With all due respect to his opponents, this latest victory wasn’t a surprise – not to those who were watching the final table play out, nor to Idema himself.
“I really like this format of mixed limit games,” Idema said. “You don’t see that many players play all the games well, so I think this is suited to someone who has tried to develop in all of them, as I have.”
Idema has now won titles in several different games. He admitted that the heads-up victory was easier than expected. The tournament was forced into a fourth day of action, because three days wasn’t enough time to determine the winner given the amount of chips and betting limits. So, three finalists – Idema, Matthew Vengrin, and Kevin Iacofano – returned to the ESPN main stage to play for the gold bracelet on a Friday afternoon. The outcome was determined in a flash.
Idema dominated the hour-long match, as Iacofano fell first, finishing in third place. It took Idema only another half hour to demolish Vengrin in a flurry of cards that left everyone breathless that was a witness to Idema’s domination.
“It was amazing, every time I looked down in the last stages, I had a good hand,” Idema said. “My rush came at just the right time. I got hit by the deck against a very strong opponent.”
Idema won the final hand in Seven-Card Stud and was immediately swarmed by several fellow Vancouver-based poker pros and friends who were there to witness yet another one of Idema’s career high points. “It’s right up there,” Idema said when asked about how this victory compares to the other two. “Winning your first is always the best, but this is sure nice.”
With this victory, Dan Idema joins to joins some of his widely-respected peers who have garnered additional titles at this year’s series. Among those who are multi-gold bracelet winners adding to their jewelry collection in 2015 have been Robert Mizrachi, Max Pescatori, John Gale, Phil Hellmuth, Tuan Le, Keith Lehr, Daniel Alaei, Brian Hastings, Phil Galfond, Jason Mercier, and Jeff Madsen.
There were three former gold bracelet winners among the final eight players – including Randy Ohel, Taylor Paur, and Daniel Idema. Following Idema on the payout list, the descending order of results was as follows:
Second Place: Matthew Vengrin finished as the runner up. His consolation prize amounted to $161,680. Vengrin is a 30-year-old self-employed man. This was his 20th time to cash in a WSOP event, including five other final table appearances.
Third Place: Kevin Iacofano took 3rd place. The 29-year-old poker pro received $104,280. Oddly enough Iacofano told his fiancé that if he won a WSOP H.O.R.S.E. tournament, he would buy her a horse. “Me and my big mouth,” Iacofano joked later. At least for now, the soon-to-be Mrs. Iacofano will remain horseless.
Fourth Place: John Racener, from Tampa, FL busted out in 4th place. He added $75,559 to his WSOP winnings, which now totals $6.4 million. Racener is best known for finishing second in the 2010 Main Event Championship won by Jonathan Duhamel. No doubt, Racener belongs in the discussion of best players yet to win a gold bracelet. He’s now cashed 32 times at the WSOP, including on four occasions this year.
Fifth Place: Iakov Nepomnyashchiy, from Moscow, Russia came in 5th. His payout amounted to $55,553. This was Nepomnyashchiy’s third career cash at the series and first time to make the money since 2011.
Sixth Place: Paul Sexton, a 32-year-old poker pro from Henderson, NV finished in 6th place. That was a disappointment since he was ranked second in chips when six-handed play began. This was Sexton’s first WSOP cash since 2008, which was worth $41,438. Back in 2005, he made an ESPN televised final table where he finished 5th, an event won by Erik Seidel. Sexton also holds a degree in electrical engineering from the University of San Diego.
Seventh Place: Randy Ohel, from Las Vegas, NV was the 7th-place finisher. This marked his 17th in-the-money finish, including a gold bracelet win in 2010 ($2,500 buy-in 2-7 Limit Triple Draw Lowball). It was also his fifth final table appearance. Ohel collected $31,358 for another fine effort.
Eighth Place: Taylor Paur, from El Dorado Hills, CA rounded out the official final table. He made $24,070 in what was the 24th cash of his career. Paur earned a gold bracelet in 2013 in a $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event.
OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS:
Aside from the final table finishers, other notable players who cashed included – three-time gold bracelet winner Farzad Bonyadi (10th), gold bracelet winner David Benyamine (12th), gold bracelet winner Mike Leah (13th), poker gadfly Allen Kessler (19th), 2005 world poker champion Joe Hachem (22nd), six-time gold bracelet winner Ted Forrest (22nd), and two-time gold bracelet winner Dan Kelly (24th).
There were 361 males and 15 females who entered this event (3.1 percent).
The average age of participants was 42.7 years, which is about 5 years older than the overall tournament average.