Oliver and Idema claim bracelets 8 and 9 for the Great White North
Canada's bracelet count at the World Series of Poker continued to mount as the new week began, with Justin Oliver of Toronto and David Idema from Vancouver winning bracelets - making it nine for Canada thus far.
Oliver, a 37-year-old jeweller, claimed his first WSOP bracelet in the $2,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em Four-Handed event - number 38 on the WSOP schedule - along with the main prize of $309,071 after coming out tops in a field of 565 other players, many of them respected names in the game.
The entry field generated a prize pool worth $1,287,650, enabling 64 players to cash for a minimum of $4,223.
The Canadian did not look promising at all in the last phases of the game, especially in the six-and-a-half-hour final table, but staged a remarkable come-back which saw him prevail into the heads up against Nick Schwarmann. Despite Schwarmann's 6 to 1 lead Oliver kept his cool and played a few double ups finally enabled him to take the lead and ultimately despatch Schwarmann in the 115th hand of the heads up for $191,434.
The other two finishers were:
3rd: Jared Jaffe - $129,447
4th: David Pham - $89,736
Vancouver professional player Daniel Idema (29) last won a WSOP bracelet - his first - two years ago and was clearly delighted to enjoy the winning experience again in event 39, $1,500 buy-in Seven-Card Stud.
Idema had to get the better of 557 other entrants in the event, which after three days thinned out to a final table comprising Idema, along with Joseph Hertzog, Raul Paez, Matt Vengrin, Mike Leah, Tony Gill, Fei Chu and Artie Cobb.
The heads up in this event was between Idema and fellow Canadian Joseph Hertzog, although at one stage in three handed play Spanish player Raul Paez looked as if he was going to take the title and the big money with a significant chip lead. The vagaries of poker intervened however, and Paez went out in third for $71,736.
Hertzog held the lead going into the 92-hand heads up, with both players celebrating with a round of drinks, but the amiable exchange did not dull the competitive edge of both players as the fight for supremacy and the bracelet began in earnest. Idema steadily played himself back into the game to ultimately send his opponent to the cashier's cage for a second placing cash of $114,109, leaving Idema to celebrate his second bracelet and a bank account-boosting main prize of $184,590.
It was his fifth WSOP final table, his nineteenth WSOP cash in 28 career live tournament cashes, and his second WSOP bracelet and his third firt place win.
Other final table players in the decent money included:
4. Matt Vengrin $51,488
5. Mike Leah $37,552
6. Tony Gill $27,834
7. Fei Chu $20,964
8. Artie Cobb $16,037