The poker world is devastated by news of the horrific death of Susie Zhao. Zhao, known on the circuit as Susie Q, was found dead and burned in a park in Michigan earlier this month.
She was 33.
Zhao was a grinder in the Los Angeles casinos and a regular on the popular cash-game stream Live at the Bike.
Friends took to her Facebook page to write moving tributes.
“This society is so cruel. I am so sorry Susie Q Zhao. You were the nicest girl, always cheery and sweet. I always thought you were a bad ass while watching you dominate the poker table while playing with all men. We were just two Michigan girls living a dream in L.A. I pray you get justice sweet girl,” wrote Stephanie Annee on her Facebook page.
“She was a delightful person to be around, a fierce competitor at the poker table, a hilarious and engaging human, and I can’t believe she is gone,” poker player and comedian Clayton Fletcher told Deadspin.
Zhao, who was born in Beijing, China, lived in Los Angeles for several years but moved to Michigan, where her mother lives, in June. Poker player Xuan Liu of Toronto shared a video of the two of them on safari in Africa.
Zhao was last seen alive on July 12 by her mother. The next day, her body was found “badly burned” at a park in White Lake Township, Mich., according to authorities. Local police appear stumped on a motive, and have drawn a connection to her gambling.
“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,” Detective Chris Hild, White Lake Township Police told WIFR.
“Nobody ever remembers her fighting with anybody ever, no conflict, no drama,” friend Michelle Lagrou told WIFR.
“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 July 13, an official told WIFR.