Poker com­mu­nity re­mem­bers Mid­dle River man killed in plane crash

‘He was al­ways the most friendly per­son at the ta­ble’

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY LAURA JEAN GRANT

De­scribed as one of the most rec­og­niz­able faces on the Cana­dian poker cir­cuit, Nor­man Overdijk is be­ing re­mem­bered by play­ers across the coun­try.

The 54- year- old Mid­dle River res­i­dent died Satur­day af­ter the ul­tra­light plane he was pi­lot­ing crashed into a barn on West Side Mid­dle River Road. A 26-year-old pas­sen­ger was trans­ported to hos­pi­tal in Hal­i­fax by Lifef­light.

An­thony Char­ter, a con­trib­u­tor to Pok­erNews Canada’s web­site, posted an ar­ti­cle Sun­day remembering Overdijk.

“If you’ve played poker in any main event in Canada, Overdijk may have been at your ta­ble,” he wrote. “From Hal­i­fax, N.S., to Rich­mond, B. C., the 54- year- old Overdijk trav­elled coast to coast play­ing Canada’s big­gest tour­na­ments.”

When reached by phone in Hal­i­fax on Mon­day, Char­ter said Overdijk was well-known and well-liked by poker play­ers across the coun­try.

“He was al­ways the most friendly per­son at the ta­ble. Even if you weren’t sit­ting at his ta­ble, you knew he was in the room be­cause if he wasn’t in a hand, he’d be up walk­ing around to chat. He knew ev­ery­body,” he said. “He was gen­er­ally the loud­est per­son in the room, in a good way.”

An ac­com­plished player, Overdijk was named Cana­dian Poker Tour player of the year in 2011, which led to him be­ing fea­tured on the cover of Cana­dian Poker Player mag­a­zine that year.

“He was def­i­nitely suc­cess­ful and he played in a lot of tour­na­ments,” said Char­ter.

Char­ter said Cana­dian poker play­ers will miss Overdijk’s pres­ence on the tour.

“He loved to gam­ble and I mean that in the sense that he liked to play a lot of hands. He wasn’t one to sit around,” he said. “If you were in a pot with him the chips were mov­ing.”

“If you’ve played poker in any main event in Canada, Overdijk may have been at your ta­ble.” An­thony Char­ter, a con­trib­u­tor to Poker News Canada

RCMP Const. Mark Skin­ner said Mon­day that Trans­porta­tion Safety Board of­fi­cials have noti- fied the RCMP that they won’t be pur­su­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the crash.

“It’s con­sid­ered an ul­tra­light, a home­made plane, and (the board) kinda said that’s out of their man­date,” he said. The RCMP’s pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­di­cated the ul­tra­light crashed into a barn shortly af­ter take­off from a neigh­bour­ing field. And Skin­ner said their ef­forts to de­ter­mine ex­actly what hap­pened are on­go­ing.

“Our in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­tinu- ing,” he said. Skin­ner said they have no up­dated in­for­ma­tion on the con­di­tion of the 26-year-old man in­volved in the ac­ci­dent.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Nor­man Overdijk graced the cover of Cana­dian Poker Player mag­a­zine af­ter be­ing named Cana­dian Poker Tour player of the year in 2011. The 54-yearold res­i­dent of Mid­dle River died Satur­day in an ul­tra­light plane crash.

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