Poker Player Johannes Strassmann Vanishes in Slovenia
Police have confirmed that prominent German professional poker player Johannes Strassmann has gone missing during a vacation in Slovenia. The former Team PokerStars Pro for Germany disappeared during a night out in Slovenia’s capital city of Ljubljana on June 21 and was reported missing to police by his friends.
The high-stakes cash game pro is thought to have been in Slovenia visiting friends and was last seen on June 21 at around 10:00 p.m. in Gornji, a historic town in the centre of Ljubljana. The people who were with Strassmann at the time of his disappearance told police that Strassmann suddenly left the group they were in and vanished down one of the town’s side streets. That was the last time anyone saw Strassmann and he has been missing ever since.
Slovenian police officer Vesna Drole spoke to PokerNews about Strassmann’s disappearance and was told, “Yes, I can confirm that the Slovenian police is currently looking for a German citizen named Johannes Strassmann. I don’t know the circumstances and I do not know what happened, but I can assure you that we are looking for him as we speak.”
Strassmann, a 180cm-tall, short-haired blonde male, was wearing blue jeans and a white t-shirt at the time of his disappearance and the Slovenian police have requested that anyone who may have seen Strassmann or have any information about his disappearance to contact them as soon as possible via the telephone number +386 801200.
A thread on the Two Plus Two poker forums reveals that Strassmann is shown as being logged onto Skype, with member “Chuck Bass” attempting to send an instant message to Strassmann’s account, but receiving no reply. Another member, “freigeizt,” replied to Chuck Bass stating there is a known bug with Skype that shows people being logged on when they actually are not. I myself have had this problem when I have previously signed in via a mobile device.
Until more facts are uncovered we can only speculate as to the reasons for the Vienna resident vanishing in Slovenia. There are some members of the poker community wondering if Strassmann has been kidnapped, drawing comparisons to the recent story on Flushdraw.net regarding Martin Staszko narrowly avoiding a kidnapping plot.
In May, our very own Dan Katz looked into the story of the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up Staszko’s being targeted by an organized crime gang headed by a man named Michael Šváb.
Šváb’s gang had already kidnapped some wealthy Czech businessmen by luring them to an upmarket location where they were promised a meeting with someone who wanted to pay them an exorbitant amount of money for agreeing to meet and talk with them.
Katz wrote: “in July 2011 a wealthy philanthropist was duped into a supposed trip to Valenica to meet with a man named Robert Kelner, who was said to be interested in donating a large sum of money to charity because of a tragedy his family had experienced. Kelner, though, was actually Michael Šváb. The philanthropist was kidnapped and remained captive for six days before finally paying about $2,000,000 in ransom.”
Staszko was offered a similar deal through the president of the Czech Poker Association, Milan Sláma, but Sláma smelled a rat and he and Staszko declined the offer and only became knowledgably of the plot when the Šváb’s gang was caught and arrested in April.
Here is hoping that there is a less sinister reason for Strassmann’s disappearance and that he is found safe and sound sooner rather than later.