The death of poker great Johannes Strassmann in June of 2014 has left the poker world stunned and questioning the circumstances of his death. Strassmann, a German national, was visiting the country of Slovenia in June of this year when he went missing after a night of partying with friends (some of whom he barely knew).
Strassmann had been seen in a pub in the city of Ljubljana on Saturday, June 21, 2014. He and a close friend, together with two other men, were drinking in the pub when Strassmann was reported to have suddenly walked out, leaving his cell phone behind on a table. The group was rumored to have been consuming hallucinogenic drugs (possibly “magic mushrooms”) earlier in the evening.
Strassmann’s friends did not report him missing until the following day, June 22, 2014. An all-out search was mounted, but no trace of Strassmann was found until the following Friday, June 27th when his body was recovered from or near the Ljubljana River. A press release was issued the next day, Saturday, June 28th, stating that a body had been found and confirming that it was indeed that of Johannes Strassmann. Thereafter, a toxicology test was conducted, and reports indicated that Strassmann had died as a consequence of the ingestion of hallucinogenic drugs.
However, questions remain in the minds of poker fans all over the world as to the exact manner and circumstances of Strassmann’s death.
- Was this an after-hours dip in the river, or something more sinister?
- Did he die from the ingestion of drugs or from drowning in the river?
- If the cause of death is proven to be drowning, how did he get into the river, voluntarily or otherwise?
- Where was his body for almost a week before the authorities declared he had been found?
- Was his body recovered on shore or pulled from the river?
- Were the friends with whom he was partying that night thoroughly questioned?
- Why had no one followed Strassmann out of the pub when he rushed out?
- Exactly who were these “friends” and what was their connection to Strassmann?
Until these questions are adequately answered, the poker world will continue to have doubts about the death of Johannes Strassmann, a man with a life that held so much promise. Strassmann had recently played in the EPT Monte Carlo tournament in April of 2014, finishing in 50th place. In previous years he had participated in numerous competitions, including the European Poker Tour (2008-2010) and the 2013 EPT London High Roller tournament. He had amassed winnings through several years of tournament play totaling over $1.5 million during his career.
With the scant details coming out of Slovenia, there are still questions on the minds of those who worked with, competed against, and enjoyed watching the Strassmann’s poker finesse. A man with a limitless future in the world of poker tournament competition has had his life and his career inexplicably cut short, and there seems to be no adequate explanation from officials in Slovenia. So many questions have been left unanswered, and the poker world still struggles to understand the mysterious death of Johannes Strassmann.