Rob Yong Breaks Silence Over Leon Tsoukernik Loan Debacle

November 14th, 2017 | by Jason Reynolds

The Leon Tsoukernik loan debacle featuring Aussie poker pro Matt Kirk took another turn recently after Rob Yong gave his version of events.

Rob Yong.

Dusk Till Dawn poker room owner Rob Yong (pictured) has given his take on the Leon Tsoukernik loan incident. (Image:

Following Tsoukernik’s claims that he was pressured into playing while intoxicated, Dusk Till Dawn poker room owner Yong has written a blog about the incident. Titled “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas [Not],” the article runs through the sequence of events that eventually lead to Kirk and Tsoukernik each filing claims against the other.

Deal or No Deal

According to Yong, he got involved after Kirk began to worry that King’s Casino owner Tsoukernik wouldn’t pay him back the $3 million he’d loaned him in Ivey’s Room, Las Vegas. After hearing the story, Yong suggested that Kirk asked Tsoukernik for $2 million and another heads-up match to settle the outstanding $1 million.

In Yong’s words, Kirk “regretted” lending the Czech businessman the money while he was in a drunken state, but sympathized with the claim the Tsoukernik refused to ever play again without it. Acting as the mediator, Rob approach Tsoukernik with the offer and he allegedly accepted.

As it transpired, the deal fell through and a further deal, in which the two reportedly agree a $1 million payment, was nixed at the eleventh hour by Kirk.

In between all this, a mystery caller to Kirk appeared to have thrown a spanner in the works which ultimately led to Kirk seeking $3 million in court and Tsoukernik later countersuing for $10 million.

Cash Games Fraught with Controversy

The mess has piqued the interest of the poker community, but the latest information from Yong seems to suggest that Tsoukernik is no stranger to controversy at the tables.

During an interview with Calvin Ayre’s Lee Davy, Elton Tsang claimed that casino owner refused to pay him $2.3 million following a high stakes cash game in Barcelona, Spain. This incident has since been referenced in light of the Kirk case, but Yong’s blog post also implies that he’s also come up against other issues with Tsoukernik.

Although Yong isn’t taking any particular side in the debate, he does say the he has experienced a drunk Tsoukernik at the table. In reference to Kirk suggesting that his opponent said he’d never play him again if he wasn’t loaned some cash, Yong said he’d had a similar experience.

“I told Matty that I had played against Leon when he was really drunk so understood Matty’s predicament – but I chose to get up and quit on him,” Yong wrote in his November 12 blog post.

This clearly doesn’t imply any guilt on Tsoukernik’s part, but it suggests that games of this nature never seem to run smoothly. Yong closed his piece by saying that he’d be happy to repeat the facts he’s given in court, which may be the only way this incident is resolved. 



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