The Triton Super High Roller Series event in Northern Cyprus was cut short on Saturday morning after the sudden passing of Ivan Leow, a two-time champion on the series and close friend of the co-founders Richard Yong and Paul Phua.
The Malaysian businessmen behind Triton confirmed Leow’s death, from natural causes at the age of 39, in a statement on the series’ social media channels.
“It is with great sadness we announce that our dear friend, partner, supporter and founding Triton member, Ivan Leow, 39, passed away this morning of natural causes,” the statement read.
“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.
“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.”
The statement continued to list Leow’s achievements in the game, which included 12 final table appearances on the Triton Series and two victories, in Jeju and Sochi in 2018. According to the Hendon Mob, he had $13.1 million in documented tournament earnings.
The Triton statement confirmed that the 14-tournament event at the Merit Diamond Resort in Northern Cyprus would end with immediate effect. Two tournaments remained on the schedule, including the $100,000 buy-in short deck main event, while a $50,000 short deck event was paused overnight with seven players left. It too was abandoned.
A previous version of this story identified Leow as 41 years old.
Featured image source: Joe Giron via Triton Poker