The 2016 World Series of Poker (WSOP) is just a few days away and the top poker players in the world are flying into to the Rio, to be part of the biggest and most popular poker tournament in the world. One of those players will be the 31 year old Dan Idema, who is not that well known on the poker circuit even though he has won three WSOP bracelets.

Idema has played seven seasons of the WSOP so far and in that short span has already equalled the number of WSOP bracelets that veterans like Sam Farha, John Hennigan and Barry Greenstein possess. He is hoping to add to that tally during the 2016 edition and add to his career prize money which currently stands at $2.2 million.

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Growing up in Canada, Idema was obsessed with hockey and played the sport professionally. He played for the Western Hockey League which is one of the three main leagues that comprise the Canadian Hockey League. While he did not turn pro on the professional Canadian circuit, he moved to the Netherlands and played as a pro for the Geleen Smoke Eaters.

Idema’s older brother Adam Schwartz was a professional poker player and also the host of a popular poker podcast. Idema slowly found himself learning more about the game and developing a passion for playing poker. He also found that poker paid a lot more than hockey and he made a decision to pursue a full time poker career.

In a statement, Idema said “I ended up spinning $100 into about $20,000 playing on PartyPoker. That’s when I kind of felt like I could play poker for a living. For the first couple of years, I was basically playing 60- or 70-hour weeks. I couldn’t wait to come home and put in the hours.”

According to Idema, one of the main reasons for his success is due to his high tolerance for pain. The poker pro states that there are more downs than ups when playing the professional poker and it takes a lot to weather downs and bounce back strong. Idema also states that he is very proud of his three WSOP bracelets and the money that he is able to earn. He likes to take part in as many WSOP events as possible and states that other poker tours do not really motivate him like the WSOP.

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