Seng Yees “Ivan” Leow stormed out of obscurity and into the spotlight in 2018 with live tournament earnings catapulting from US$120K to a stunning US$5.55M. His incredible performance came in a bulk of six months, from May to October, winning several high stakes events that included three titles over six figures. Although he plays amongst the elite and has achievements to boast of, Leow doesn’t consider himself a poker pro stating he has much to learn and much to experience.
Hailing from Malaysia, Leow is an uber-aggressive poker player which he feels is necessary in order to have an edge against the top players. His first significant cash came in February 2017, finishing 4th out of 101 players at the Macau Poker Cup 26 – HK$50K High Roller No Limit Hold’em event. This was the first high stakes event he cashed in pocketing HK$437,400 (US$56,375). Having gotten his first taste at a five-figure dollar payout, he earned two more later that year though both were for smaller amounts.
Enter 2018, Leow earned another small five-figure payout in Macau then headed off to Montenegro in May to attend the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series. Playing amongst the world’s elite with buy-ins to the heavens, Leow held his own, final tabling two events – HK$250K Short Deck Ante only and the HK$1M Super High Roller Main Event. He placed 6th on both. As for payouts, Leow landed his first six digit cash and pocketed a combined HK$3,534,000 (US$450,200).
One week after, he returned to Macau and more than stole the show at the Oriental Poker Championship 2018. Leow shipped his first career victory at the HK$100K High Roller event besting a field of 43 entries then followed it up with a runner-up finish at the HK$16.5K No Limit Hold’em Main Event (Repechage). With a combined HK$2,459,000 (US$310K) pumped in, Leow was fast approaching the million marker in live tournament earnings.
Two months later, it all broke open in Jeju, Korea at the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series. Instead of reaching a million, he shipped over US$1.5M in winnings and crossed over US$2M in live tournament career earnings. It all happened in three events.
Leow cashed HK$313,418 (US$39,925) at the HK$100K Short Deck Ante Only, earned HK$3,540,000 (US$451,076) at the HK$1M Short Deck Only Ante Only 1M event, and bagged his second-ever career victory at the HK$500K Short Deck Ante Only for a massive take of HK$8,470,000 (US$1,080,000). This was his first seven figure payout. Winnings aside, Leow played all six events at the series. He fired four bullets at the HK$2M Super High Roller Main Event but failed to cash.
The next month saw Leow skate off to Sochi, Russia where he won the partypoker LIVE Millions Russia – ₽6M Triton Poker Super High Roller event. This awarded him ₽72,000,000 (US$1,133,555), which was his second-ever seven figure payout in less than two weeks since his victory at Jeju. His total live earnings soared to another tier, now at US$3.2M.
Leow’s high rolling poker journey continued on in Spain for EPT Barcelona in late August. He cashed in two events though neither one significant as compared to his recent achievements. He went back to Korea in mid-September, this time to attend WPT Korea in Incheon. Once again, Korea was victory turf, placing 1st and 2nd at the two ₩15.5M Super High Roller events. This earned him around US$213K combined.
The next big games were in October, at the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. Leow didn’t cash in any bracelet events however he did collect in four other events running at the venue – King’s Casino. His big takes were 2nd at the €25K NLH King’s Short Deck Championship for €142,500 (US$164,200) and another million dollar victory pay at the €100K NLH Leon’s High Roller for €1,251,455 (US$1,422,140). This recent win remains to be his largest payout to date.
Currently, Leow’s quick rise to US$5.55M in live tournament earnings has placed him in 3rd rank in the Malaysia All Time Money list.
Bio by Tricia David