Michigan Authorities Probe Poker Links in Susie Zhao Murder8 months ago
Michigan authorities investigating the murder of slain professional poker player Susie Zhao have confirmed that they are investigating possible links between her murder and her pro gambling career. The charred body of Zhao, 33, widely known as “Susie Q” in the poker world, was discovered July 13 in a vehicle in the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, northwest of Detroit.
"We have to determine whether or not this is a cover-up or this may be some sort of retaliatory incident because of her profession," said Det. Lt. Chris Hild, a White Lake Township police spokesman, to local media regarding the ongoing investigation into Zhao’s murder.
Zhao, a native of Michigan, had spent most of her recent years in Los Angeles, where she was a frequent player at LA’s Bicycle Casino, Commerce, and other rooms. Zhao both played and commentated on the Bicycle Casino’s popular “Live at the Bike” series, which the room noted in a sad update on Twitter:
According to the Michigan investigators, Zhao had returned from LA to Michigan to live with relatives just a month prior to her murder. Whether Zhao had suffered a financial downturn over the past year or two -- and if so, if it is connected to her murder -- are among the open questions facing investigators. Zhao played in both cash games and tournaments, though she had posted little tournament success of late. Despite having logged $222,671 in recorded tournament winnings, Zhao hadn’t notched a significant tourney cash since 2017.
Zhao’s death continues to send shockwaves across the poker world, and she remains in the thoughts of many.
“Thankful for all of the happy memories Susie <3 <3,” posted elite pro Brandon Shack-Harris on Twitter.
Poker hostess, reporter, and professional massage therapist Drea Renee offered similar thoughts.
“So sad to hear of the tragic passing of Susie Q Zhao. She always so sweet and kind to me and always smiling! You will be missed Susie!”
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