After putting his name on the High Roller map in capturing the previous event on the 2018 Poker Masters schedule, Ali Imsirovic has reinforced that status in going “back-to-back” and winning Event #6. In taking down the $50,000 No Limit Hold’em championship, Imsirovic has also put a stranglehold on the overall leaderboard, making it so only five competitors have a shot at the overall championship.
Imsirovic Dominant from the Start
Carrying over from his victory in Event #5, the $25,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament, only seemed to get Imsirovic warmed up for this tournament. He registered late after winning Event #5 and went on a rampage, taking a dominant chip lead to the six handed final table. How dominant was Imsirovic’s edge? While Imsirovic was sitting with 3.63 million in chips, the other five men at the table – Justin Bonomo (980K), Jake Schindler (835K), Koray Aldemir (710K), Seth Davies (465K) and Sam Soverel (430K) – didn’t even add up to his stack.
There wasn’t anything that stopped Imsirovic at the final table, either. He eliminated Bonomo with an inferior J-8 off suit against Bonomo’s K-2 when a Jack hit on the turn, then took down Soverel in fifth in a classic race. Once Imsirovic’s pocket Queens stood tall against Soverel’s Big Slick, Imsirovic was over the four million chip mark and on cruise control.
The remainder of the table would continue to feel the wrath of Imsirovic, however. Schindler, who was also at the final table of Event #5 and saw Imsirovic’s work previously, was the next to exit the proceedings. After Imsirovic made the power play of moving all in from the small blind with a meager hand (7-5 off suit), Schindler decided to make a stand with pocket fours. Imsirovic’s “run good” continued as he caught a five on the flop and saw it hold to the river to eliminate Schindler in fourth place.
Davies was the next to fall at the hands of Imsirovic, who once again caught magic in an all-in situation. After limping in from the small blind, Imsirovic would see Davies raise off the big blind and he called. An A-6-5 flop saw Imsirovic slow down with a check but, after Davies made a continuation bet for 155K, Imsirovic moved all in and Davies beat him into the pot with the call. Davies had a good hand, pocket tens, but Imsirovic had flopped gold with a 6-5 for bottom two pair. A trey on the turn and a Queen on the river didn’t bring Davies what he needed as he packed his bags and headed to the rail in third place.
Down to heads up, Imsirovic held more than a 3:1 lead over Aldemir. For those that thought it would be a quick process, however, underestimated Aldemir’s tenacity. After about 40 minutes of play, Aldemir had eliminated the disadvantage and taken the chip lead away from Imsirovic for the first time at the final table. By the time the “price of poker” increased with a level up, Aldemir had taken a 3:1 lead and looked to thwart Imsirovic’s run.
While he had Imsirovic on the ropes, Aldemir couldn’t put him away. Over more than an hour of action, Aldemir’s efforts at eliminating Imsirovic were dodged until Imsirovic caught a big hand during an all-in clash. After Aldemir limped with A-5 and Imsirovic shoved with a J-10 (and Aldemir called), an A-K-Q flop was about as good as it could get for Imsirovic. After flopping a Broadway straight, Imsirovic had Aldemir in dire straits and, after a blank on the turn, had Aldemir drawing dead. The roughly 2.4 million pot and the chip lead was shoved to Imsirovic and he wouldn’t look back.
On the final hand, Aldemir shoved his final chips to the center with a 9-8 off suit and Imsirovic didn’t hesitate in calling with his K-Q off suit. An A-6-3 flop brought nothing for Aldemir and a Queen on the turn left Aldemir drawing dead. After the formality of the river was dealt, Imsirovic was victorious for the second time during the Poker Masters schedule.
1. Ali Imsirovic, $799,000
2. Koray Aldemir, $517,000
3. Seth Davies, $352,500
4. Jake Schindler, $235,000
5. Sam Soverel, $188,000
6. Justin Bonomo, $141,000
Five in Contention for Overall Championship
With Imsirovic’s second win on the Poker Masters schedule, he has taken a commanding lead in the overall standings for the Purple Jacket. In fact, that dominant edge has eliminated many from contention, with only five men having a shot at winning the overall title.
1. Ali Imsirovic, 660 points
2. Brandon Adams, 510
3. Isaac Haxton, 480
4. Jake Schindler, 390
5. Benjamin Yu, 360
This situation may have contributed to some of the problems with the $100,000 Main Event (or whether the buy in is the issue), which started yesterday. Only 15 entries were received on Day 1, with only eight players earning the right to bag chips. This is problematic as the tournament, which is featuring late registration, may not get enough actual entries to be able to pay the final table of six. What happens on Friday will be critical not only for the players but also potentially for the Poker Masters event itself.