– General Introduction –
Rob Yong is a British casino owner and recreational poker player. His exact age is unknown, but he’s estimated to be in his early 50’s.
He’s best known for founding and still running one of UK’s premier cardrooms, Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham. It has been the venue for such major tournament series as the WPT, WPT DeepStacks, and partypoker LIVE.
As a player, Yong has $465,509 in live tournament winnings. He’s also appeared on numerous live streams where he played high stakes cash games publicly, both live and online.
Yong is a key partner and consultant for partypoker.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2007: He founds the Dusk Till Dawn Cardroom in Nottingham.
- 2014: He joins the major online poker room partypoker as a key partner and consultant.
- 2019: He finishes 6th in the € 25,500 No Limit Short Deck Hold’em – High Roller event at the WSOP Europe in Rozvadov for €120,946. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date.
– Rob Yong’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Yong wasn’t born into a rich family. According to a profile piece on him on pokerstrategy.com, he and his friend used to sell “Bric-a-Bracs”, small pieces of antique ornaments, as a child to earn extra money. That friend of his, Nick Whiten, works with him at Dusk Till Dawn to this day.
Yong, just like so many other famous businessmen, never finished college. Rather, he went to work for a recruitment agency. After a year, he quit to start an agency of his own.
After miscellaneous business ventures, some successful and some not, he eventually opened the famous Dusk Till Dawn cardroom in Nottingham in 2007. According to Yong himself, he and Whiten decided to set up their own cardroom after being turned away from a poker tournament for being a minute late.
Yong has focused on the low stakes recreational players from the DTD’s grand opening. He made sure they get as good of a customer service as the high rollers do in most other places. He also started to offer big guarantees in small buy-in poker tournaments, banking on the field sizes to pay back his investment. In most cases, it worked.
Now, Rob Yong is one of the best known and most well respected casino owners in the poker world. He started playing small buy-in poker tourneys in 2004, even before he opened up his club in 2007. Evidently, his success as a poker room owner allowed him to buy into much larger games, including high stakes livestreamed cash games.
→ Live Tournaments ←
Yong has cashed for $465,509 in live tournaments during his career, according to his Hendon page. That sum is the product of ITM finishes in 23 different events over the course of 15 years.
The first recorded cash on his profile is from July 2004. He came in 6th place for £2,880 in a £500 Pot Limit Omaha tourney at the European Poker Championships in London.
He continued to sporadically deliver scores from mid-to high stakes tournaments for the next couple of years, mainly from events held in England. The biggest one out of those is a runner-up finish in the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event at the Five-Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Yong pocketed $29,488 then.
The first time he made a cash for over $100,000 was in October 2006. He finished 6th in the €5,000 Main Event at EPT Dublin for €88,690, which equaled an impressive $111,518 at the time.
Somewhat oddly, after his big EPT score and after his poker room opened in 2007, his live tourney scores paused. One would think that these events resulted in a big bankroll for Yong and thus more opportunity to deliver big tourney scores. Yet the next result on his page is from a £56 (!) tournament in May 2010.
Yong does have a couple big tourney scores after all. In November 2012, he came in 2nd in the $3,000 NLHE Main Event at the Dusk Till Dawn Caribbean Poker Party on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. Yong lost the heads-up battle for the title to his fellow Englishman Ashraf Wahid, and got $50,700 for his performance.
→ World Series of Poker ←
Yong has only cashed in one World Series event so far. However, that one cash is the biggest live tournament score of his career to date.
At the 2019 WSOP Europe, held in Rozvadov, Czech Republic in his close friend’s Leon Tsoukernik’s casino, Yong entered the €25,500 Short Deck NLHE High Roller event. The field had 111 players, including some of the biggest names in poker history, such as Daniel Negreanu or Phil Ivey, who all vied for a bracelet in this new, exciting game type.
Yong eventually took 6th place in the tournament for €118,653.
→ Live Cash Games ←
Yong has appeared on shows where he played high stakes games in front of cameras numerous times.
He’s a regular feature in Triton’s super high stakes live cash game streams. In June 2019, for example, he played a session of KRW1 million/KRW2 million/KRW2 million ($900/$1,800/$1,800) No Limit Hold’em NLHE cash against, among others, Tom Dwan, Bobby Baldwin, and the man who ended up winning the £1 million buy-in Triton Million shortly after, Aaron Zang.
In one of the hands of the night, Yong made a correct fold on the river with 3 of a kind against a flush. Popular poker YouTuber Doug Polk decided to provide analysis about the hand.
In 2017, Yong appeared on 8 episodes on Poker Night in America, a poker show airing on CBS Sports. There, he played $25/$50 and $100/$200 No Limit Hold’em. His line-up of opponents included Antonio Esfandiari and Sam Trickett.
However, perhaps the most memorable live cash game session he played wasn’t memorable for him. In April 2018, partypoker put a promotional $100/$200/$400 Pot Limit Omaha game at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal. Straddles ended up going up to $8,000 in curtain hands.
That night, “Aussie” Matt Kirk lost a whopping $3.5 million in one sitting!
→ Online Poker ←
Yong plays under the screen name “Rob_Yong_” on partypoker.
His online tourney scores or cash game results aren’t tracked on by any online poker database. However, in September 2017, he did play a few sessions of $100/$200 PLO on partypoker which was livestreamed on the poker site’s Twitch channel.
He played against his usual “playmates” from the live felt, such as Tsuokernik, Trickett, or Aussie Matt; but they were also joined this time by poker legends Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and Patrik Antonius.
As we mentioned multiple times earlier, Yong is the co-founder and owner of the cardroom in Nottingham called Dusk Till Dawn, opened in 2007.
In addition, he is a key partner of partypoker. Yong joined the online poker room in 2014. He often uses his Twitter account (@rob_yong_) to solicit player feedback about the site, and is constantly tweeting out new, innovative ideas to potentially implement on partypoker.