Ali Imsirovic has been an elite closer over the past 12 months. In that span, he has made it down to heads-up play in a 20 live high roller events and came away with the title an astounding 18 times. Imsirovic’s most recent victory saw him defeat a field of 36 entries in a $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em high roller event at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, earning $129,600 for the win. The score increased his career tournament earnings to just shy of $16.8 million.
In addition to the title and the money, the 27-year-old poker pro also took home 240 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his third title and fifth POY-qualified final-table finish of 2022. He now sits in fifth place in this year’s standings and is off to a strong start in his quest to become the first player to ever win the POY race in consecutive years.
Imsirovic was awarded 130 PokerGO Tour points as the champion of this event, enough to see him climb to second place on that leaderboard. He is also the defending champion of that points race.
2021 saw Imsirovic set the record for the most POY-qualified titles won in a calendar year with 14. With three titles already secured in 2022, Imsirovic is currently on pace to break his own record by five titles, as he is currently winning one tournament every 19 days.
Imsirovic knocked out February ARIA high roller event. no. 1 winner Cary Katz on the money bubble to ensure that the remaining six players all earned at least $18,000 in this event. 2021 World Poker Tour Choctaw main event winner Adedapo Ajayi was the first to hit the rail inside the money, with his pocket nines losing out to the flopped trips of Jake Daniels. Ajayi’s sixth-place showing saw him increase his career earnings to just shy of $1.6 million.
Six-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu’s run came to an end when his pocket threes lost a preflop all-in against the A-Q suited of Alex Foxen. An ace on the river sent Negreanu home with $28,800. He remains third on poker’s all-time money list with more than $44.8 million in tournament cashes to his name.
Imsirovic scored his first knockout after the bubble burst when his A-K held up against the A-Q of Sean Perry, who was fresh off of two titles won at the recent PokerGO Cup. Perry earned $39,600 to move within striking distance of $6 million in earnings for his young career. With the aforementioned two titles and five final-table finishes so far this year, he has moved inside the top ten in the 2022 POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker.
Alex Foxen was left on fumes after a clash with Imsirovic. He found a pair of double ups, but the third time was not the charm for him. He got all-in with A-K leading the Q-6 suited of Imsirovic, but a queen-high runout resulted in Foxen’s elimination in third place. The WPT champion has now cashed for more than $20.7 million in total.
That left Imsirovic with 2,220,000 to Jake Daniels’ 1,380,000. Daniels, who won one of the early events at the PokerGO Cup, was unable to get anything going early in the heads-up battle. Imsirovic extended his lead to roughly a 19:1 advantage by the time the final hand was dealt. Daniels got all-in with K-4 against the A-10 of Imsirovic. Daniels took the lead when a four hit the flop, but a ten on the river locked up the pot and the title for Imsirovic. Daniels was awarded $86,400 for his runner-up showing.
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Photo credit: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.