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Johannes Strassmann, Poker Pro: 1985 - 2014
The poker world remains in shock after the death of German poker pro Johannes Strassmann this past week in Slovenia.
The body of the 29-year-old was found in a river in the capital of Ljubljana where he had arrived to spend time with friends and lead a coaching seminar.
He had been missing for several days.
According to local police there was no violence involved. The results of the postmortem examination were not published but Strassmann was known to be a determined sportsman who didn’t use drugs and rarely drank alcohol.
His close friend Duc Ngo accompanied Johannes’ mother to Slovenia to identify the body and take care of the necessary things to do.
On a Facebook group called “Missing Johannes Strassmann,” that had been set up to aid in the search for Strassmann, Duc wrote:
"we are all endless sorry to confirm that our friend Johannes Strassmann is dead. The death time was Saturday midnight. There was no indication of a violence impact.
"Death cause is drowning. It was a terrible accident. Johannes was not involved in an illegal poker game. He was just visiting some old friends here in Ljubljana. Everything was just fine until this accident."
Popular, Inspirational and Determined
The poker community has lost a very popular, inspirational and determined member and the reality of the tragedy is only begining to sink in. Writes Robin Scherr in the PokerStars blog:
"The fact that Johannes won’t be at the poker tables anymore, and that he can’t fulfill (t)his dream, is simply not understandable for me and many colleagues. It is sad reality."
For a long time Strassmann had been a regular on the European Poker Tour (he is still 10th in the all-time leaderboard), the TV show German High Roller, and at the World Series of Poker.
He was also a VIP guest of the PokerListings Battle of Malta, which he was going to visit again this year.
Many poker players have expressed their condolences via the media. Battle of Malta tournament director Ivonne Montealegre's thoughts are below:
"Johannes was an unconditional friend, an eternal optimist. His friendship will keep making those of us that had the pleasure of knowing him better, stronger people.
"The way he inspired his peers was contagious. Full of optimism, his views on life at such a young age always startled me. His loving advice was always gentle and spot on. On a professional level, he helped me without restrictions or interest.
"He was a true supporter of our event Battle of Malta, as he loved the relaxed atmosphere and the way he could just hang out with other poker players and discuss for hours games, strategy, his favourite prop bets and 'Jungle' stories. He believed in the tournament, but mostly he believed in me, when others doubted, scorned and conspired.
"Pure friendship like that, just like that… He had the ability and gift to empathize and care for the person sitting next to him like few people I’ve met.
"Dearest friend, that’s all I have to share for now. I’ll raise a glass for your 30th birthday this year and, as always, I’ll keep you in my thoughts and transform the pain of your departure into light.
"Keep shining Johannes!
"Forever missed, and never forgotten."