Imagine for a moment that you’re the lord of some castle somewhere. Your billionaire father blew his brains out, leaving you the lot. You can’t tie your shoelace, you love the game of poker, but you’re crap at it.
You decide to find a few horses.
Stallions, that dominate the high stakes.
Who do you choose?
As impatient as a bull waiting for someone to open the door to the china shop, it’s crucial the kid gets off to a good start.
Justin Bonomo is the best shout.
The American has won $25.1m this year.
Mikita Badziakouski, Jason Koon and Alex Foxen are worthy of a text.
But the lad wants a dark horse.
One that the world won’t see coming.
Rewind to the beginning of the year, and you couldn’t get a better pick than Ivan Leow.
The Rise of Ivan Leow
A few weeks ago, Leon Tsoukernik’s mind was whizzing as he saw his waiters and waitresses providing the goods for the players who hang out in the higher echelon of poker’s ecosystem.
The €25,000 & €100,000 World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) bracelet events had come and gone, but it was clear there was enough value to set up more games.
With the Triton Poker crowd in the building, Tsoukernik announced the €25,000 & €50,000 No-Limit Hold’em Short-Deck Championships, and a €100,000 Super High Roller named LEON’s.
Maybe the €25,000 price tag was a tad too high because only 15-entrants took a punt. Only two people left with a profit, Mikita Badziakouski, who won the thing for €213,750, and Ivan Leow, who banked €142,500.
I have waxed lyrical on Badziakouski’s 2018 accomplishments many times, so it’s time to give the Belarusian the day off. Today, we focus on the astonishing rise of Leow.
Then Malaysian part-time poker player began racking up Hendon Mob dollars in 2015, and by the end of the year, Leow had earned a paltry $5,631. The following year, those four digits hardly moved, with annual earnings of $7,096, and then things changed in 2017, with Leow earning $110,547.
But this year has been different gravy.
Ivan Leow Wins €100k LEON’s High Roller
A few days ago, Leow conquered a field of 33-entrants to win the €1,251,455 first prize in the €100,000 LEON’s High Roller. It is the fifth time that Leow has won a tournament this year, and most of them have been monsters.
1/43 in the HKD 100k No-Limit High Roller in the Oriental Poker Championships for $183,745.
1/44 in the HKD 500k No-Limit Hold’em Short-Deck at Triton Jeju for $1,079,367
1/29 in the RUB 6m No-Limit Hold’em Triton Poker Super High Roller at the partypoker MILLIONS Sochi for $1,133,555
1/20 in the KRW 15.5m No-Limit Hold’em Super High Roller at the WPT DeepStacks Korea for $118,036
All told, Leow has earned $5,434,307 in 2018, better than all but 11-players in the world, and he now ranks #3 in the Malaysian All-Time Money list where previously he ranked 5,000,000,000,000,000th.
Leow defeated that other dark horse, Martin Kabrhel, in heads-up action. The Czech player has had a marvellous time at the WSOPE and World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) winning two gold rings, a gold bracelet, and more than $3.8m in tournament earnings including the one-two in both €100k events.
Here are the final table results:
Final Table Results
1. Ivan Leow – €1,251,455
2. Martin Kabrhel – €773,457
3. Michael Soyza – €521,471
4. Tony G – €351,579
5. Dominik Nitsche – €237,038
The €50,000 No-Limit Hold’em Short-Deck Championship was expected to round things off on Wednesday 31 October, but it seems the event didn’t run.
Maybe the players knew, that had it run, Leow would have likely won it.