What Happened To Susie Zhao? Professional Poker Player Found Dead At 33

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What Happened To Susie Zhao? Professional Poker Player Found Dead At 33
Entertainment And News

The professional gambling world is experiencing a big loss this month — and it comes with a tragic mystery. Last week, poker player Susie Zhao was found dead at 33 and so far, police haven't been able to figure out exactly what happened. 

Zhao was found badly burned at a recreational area near a lake, without many clues that lead to what may have led to her death and now, authorities are asking for help from anyone who may have any details about the situation. 

What happened to Suzie Zhao?

What we know about this tragic situation:

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Susie Zhao was found dead on July 13. 

Zhoa was found at Pontiac Lake Recreation Area in Michigan on the morning of July 13, at which point the White Lake Township Police said that she was "badly burned." Though the FBI have gotten involved in the investigation, and so far, they haven't been able to officially determine what a motive may have been. 

Zhoa was a high stakes poker player. 

Zhao was best known for her poker career. She's competed in the World Series of Poker events, and had won more than $187,000 since she started gambling in 2009. 

"She really was a excellent player," Bart Hanson, a fellow player, told local news of her talent. "One of the best in L.A. at the level we played at the Commerce Casino and it's the biggest poker room in the world."

Zhao had been dealing with issues in her personal life. 

A friend of Zhao's said in an interview that only recently had she moved to Michigan after living in Los Angeles because she needed to "confront challenges in her personal life," though they didn't share what that might be. It's hard to know if this would have been connected to why she died, but it's certainly a possibility. 

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She was beloved by other poker players. 

A friend and fellow poker player tweeted about Zhoa's death, and it seems like she was truly loved in the poker community, making it even more difficult to figure out what the motive behind her killing may have been.

"She was one of the bubbliest and most vivacious opponents I've ever had," Clayton Fletcher wrote. "She was a very strong player who also liked to have fun at the table. Do you remember her from our Day Five in 2015, @jeffplatt? I'm heartbroken reading this."

Zhao's death could be directly connected to her gambling.

Police believe that there's a chance her poker playing and gambling may tie into why she was killed, especially since she moved so recently. Detective Chris Hild told local news that it could be related.

"You have to determine whether or not this is a cover-up, or this may be some sort of retaliatory incident because of her profession," Hild said.

Police are looking for witnesses to come forward if they know what happened to Susie Zhao. 

"We still are looking for anybody that may have seen or talked to Susie between Sunday at about 5:30 p.m. and early hours of Monday morning," a statement from the White Lake Township Police said. 

They are now asking anyone with information about Zhao to contact Detective Hild at 248-698-4404 ext. 2381. 

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Nicole Pomarico is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Cosmo, Us Weekly, Refinery29, and more.

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