Canadian Dan Idema lifted the $10,000 buy-in limit hold’em title on Friday to improve on his runners-up spot from last year in the same championship.
Exactly one year after his second-place finish, the 26-year-old pro returned to Sin City to complete an incredible 1-2 in the event when seeing off American Matthew Gallin to collect his first gold bracelet and $378,642 in prize money.
Idema, from Vancouver, now has five WSOP cash finishes, while this was his third final-table appearance – and most successful, obviously.
However, even more impressive was the fact he saw off possibly the toughest collection of pros at any final table this year to claim the crown, with the likes of three-time WSOP bracelet winner and Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein ($169,512) eliminated in third, Isaac Haxton – the 2009 $40,000 no-limit hold’em runner-up – out in seventh, 2009 $10,000 no-limit 2-to-7 draw champ Nick Schulman placed ninth, online poker star Justin ‘Boosted J’ Smith only managing sixth, and Microsoft millionaire Richard ‘Quiet Lion’ Brodie back in eighth.
Considered among the toughest events to win, the $10,000 Limit Hold’em event attracted 153 entrants, although by day three we were down to just 14. However, five pros surrendered to the large betting limits as Hoyt Corkins finished in 10th for $28,990, Darren Woods ended in 11th, Tam Hang was 12th, Matt Hawrilenko ended up 13th, and Marwan Abdelal fell by the wayside in 14th.
The penultimate hand put Idema in control and saw him raise on the button and Gallin three-bet. Idema called and repeated that for all three streets of the Kh-9s-5d-2h-6h board after Gallin had led out. Gallin showed 8h-8d, but Idema had him beaten with his As-9d. The hand demolished Gallin to leave him with just 330,000.
The final hand witnessed Gallin raise on the button and Idema call from the big blind. The board showed Jh-7c-3h as Idema checked and Gallin bet. But Idema replied with his own check-raise to put Gallin all-in.
Idema’s Jc-3c gave him two pair, while Gallin showed Qd-Qc. Idema was, of course, ahead, but Gallin could still take the pot if he hit trips or a higher two pair.
The 8c turn meant Gallin now needed a seven, eight or queen to double-up. But the river was the 5d and Idema was champion.
Top 10 final placings and payouts in the WSOP 2011 $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship:
1. Daniel Idema (Canada) – $378,642
2. Matthew Gallin (USA) – $233,994
3. Barry Greenstein (USA) – $169,512
4. Steve Landfish (USA) – $125,120
5. Dom Denotaristefani (USA) – $94,029
6. Justin Smith (USA) – $71,897
7. Isaac Haxton (USA) – $55,908
8. Richard Brodie (USA) – $44,207
9. Nick Schulman (USA) – $35,519
10. Hoyt Corkins (USA) – $28,990