In a shock passing, one of the founders of Triton Poker, 39-year-old Ivan Leow, has passed away unexpectedly of a suspected heart attack. An integral part of the Triton Poker team, Leow has been there since the very beginning and was a key part of the recent Triton Poker Series in Cyprus, the last two events of which have been cancelled in light of the tragic news.

The Triton Family in Shock

On Saturday night, in shocking news from the poker world, the young poker player and Triton Poker co-founder Seng Yee ‘Ivan’ Leow, 39, unexpectedly died after a reported heart attack according to PokerNews. The final two Triton Poker Series events in Northern Cyprus have therefore been cancelled as a mark of respect.

In a statement, Triton Poker’s team said: “Ivan was a hugely popular member of the Triton family. He was warm, generous, and enormous fun both at the tables and off – a loyal friend to us all. He was also a fantastic poker player, with a lifelong passion for the game. It immediately made him one of the best known and best-loved poker players in his native Malaysia, and far beyond. Ivan was a very special person, who lived life to the full, was always smiling, and loved the game of poker. He will be sincerely missed by his family, friends, and everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him.”

Leow wasn’t just a key component in putting together Triton events, he was a superb poker player himself. Winning over $13 million at the live felt in tournaments alone, the Malaysian player died at the rank of #67 on the all-time money list, just three players lower than his career peak of 64th place. In passing away, even so young, Leow died as the third most successful Malaysian poker player of all-time, only behind Richard Yong ($15.6m) and Paul Phua ($25.8m).

Poker World Pays Tribute

The poker world is clearly devastated and none more so than Triton Poker’s co-founder Phua. In a post on Twitter he paid tribute to his dear friend.

Danny Tang paid tribute too, saying: “You were special in my life, you bullied me like a big brother but in a fight against the others you were always at the very front too. Thank you for everything you taught me in life. May you win all the all ins up there.”

Justin Bonomo, all-time money list leader, said: “Such a tragic loss for Richard, Paul, all of Triton, and everyone else who had the pleasure of being friends with Ivan. Sending my sincerest condolences.” His rival at the top of the all-time money list, Bryn Kenney, said: “RIP my friend and fellow gangster style player, you will be missed.”

John Juanda, EPT Champion and one of the first players from the East to be phenomenally successful on the live circuit, said: “Ivan was one of the smartest, funniest, kindest poker player I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. He was truly one of a kind. I’ll remember forever all the sweetest memories we’ve shared in and outside of poker: KL, Tokyo, and all the Triton stops. R.I.P. Ivan.”

Scott Ball was one of the Triton Poker Series’ most active players in the past fortnight and expressed shock at having just met the man who passed too soon.

“Omg, this is so sad. Having just had the honor of meeting Ivan this past week he was so welcoming. He brought a kind, warm energy to the environment and will be greatly missed.”

Leow’s Poker Legacy

Ivan Leow’s poker legacy was cemented some time ago, after all, the Triton Poker Series has become one of the most recognized in the world and in terms of elite Super High Roller events, has carved out its path in no small part to Leow.

A great poker player, Leow’s biggest poker result in his sadly short life was the $2.46 million he won in August of last year when he lost out to Wiktor Malinowski in the Merit Poker Super High Roller Bowl Europe event. His most successful year was 2018, when he racked up over $5.6 million in tournament earnings.

Just a fortnight ago, Leow cashed in 12th place on the Triton Poker Series in Cyprus as he won $59,000 in the $25,000-entry No Limit Hold’em tournament that opened the festival. The two final events of the series were among the biggest, with the $100,000-entry Event #13, the Main Event, and Event #14, the $25,000  buy-in Short Deck event will never be played as a mark of respect to the man who Triton Poker will consider a fallen brother.

Having helped to build the Triton Poker Series, Ivan Leow will be fondly remembered by everyone in poker who have enjoyed his work. His is a legacy that stretches a long way, both in terms of impact and time. Everyone at Gamble Online would like to extend our best wishes to anyone affected by the news.


Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller is a veteran casino writer with decades of experience under his belt. He's played at –and reviewed– countless of online casinos, and has written dozens of casino game guides. His strategy articles, and gambling news updates have been a fixture in the industry since 2004. A native of North Texas, Cliff is a long-suffering Dallas Cowboys fan. He enjoys sports and games of all sorts, including sports betting.

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