6 Mins Read
Continuing his winning streak, Ali Imsirovic (cover image) bagged back-to-back titles at the ongoing 2018 Poker Masters. After taking down the $25,000 NLHE for $462,000, Imsirovic went on to capture the $50,000 NLHE, pocketing a hefty payday of $799,000. This is Imsirovic’s largest career score and with this win, his total earnings in the series have crossed $1.2 Million. Not just this, he has now catapulted straight to the top of the Purple Jacket race, holding 660 points.
“I was thinking about that last night. I was just happy to be at another final table. I knew I could take over the lead with another good showing. But with the Main Event coming up, I think I’ll save the partying for later,” Imsirovic said, after his win. The American pro clashed with Germany’s Koray Aldemir in the heads-up match. The duo engaged over nearly 100 hands before Imsirovic defeated Aldemir to claim the title.
The tournament featured the biggest buy-in among the events that had played out so far and 47 runners entered the field, with many firing multiple bullets to re-enter. Only the top seven spots were to take home a minimum assured $117,500.
Imsirovic sent many poker bigwigs packing including Dan Smith, Rainer Kempe, Matt Hyman and Elio Fox. Other prominent faces who failed to make it further included, Nick Schulman, Keith Lehr, Daniel Negreanu and Jason Koon.
The action was tense as only seven players were left in the running and one of them was to miss the final table. Eventually it was Bryn Kenney (7th for $117,500) who missed out, leaving the six finalists that made it to the final table.
Imsirovic clearly had a huge lead with 3,630,000 as the players bagged their chips at end of Day 1. He was followed by Justin Bonomo (980,000) and Jake Schindler (835,000).
Final Table Chip Counts
1. Ali Imsirovic – 3,630,000
2. Justin Bonomo – 980,000
3. Jake Schindler – 835,000
4. Koray Aldemir – 710,000
5. Seth Davies – 465,000
6. Sam Soverel – 430,000
Final Table Recap
Justin Bonomo may have been the second-biggest stack when the final table action kicked off but he was left struggling to survive after he lost a major pot to Korey Aldemir. In the next hand, Bonomo tangled with Imsirovic who raised to 50,000 in the cutoff with and big blind Bonomo added 15,000 to the pot, putting himself at risk with . The board ran out and Imsirovic hit a pair of jacks on the turn while Bonomo failed to connect with the board and was eliminated in sixth place.
Imsirovic then sent Sam Soverel to the rail in a hand where he raised to 70,000 from under the gun with and the action folded to Soverel who moved all in for 225,000 from the big blind with . Imsirovic snap-called and both players turned over their cards. The flop fell and Soverel was still trailing. Though the turn gave him a flush draw, the river was a brick and Imsirovic’s pair of queens held, sending Soverel out in fifth place.
Next up, Jake Schindler found his tournament run cut short in fourth place when Imsirovic moved all in from the small blind with and Schindler who first showed his to Imsirovic, tank called with his last 555,000 from the big blind. Imsirovic flopped a pair of fives on the runout and despite drawing two outs on the turn , Schindler couldn’t improve on the river and bounced off in fourth place.
Imsirovic continued to dominate the three-handed play and soon Seth Davies faced his elimination when Imsirovic limped from the small blind with and Davies raised to 110,000 from the big blind with . Imsirovic called to see the flop open . Imsirovic checked to Davies who bet in 155,000, and Imsirovic check-raised all in with two pair, prompting Davies to snap-call for his last 540,000. The turn was the and the appeared on the river. Imsirovic still held the superior hand and it was time for Davies to depart in third place.
The heads-up match was a long and grueling series of hands where Imsirovic managed to bluff through several hands but Koray Aldemir fought back and the lead exchanged hands. Finally, Aldemir who was down to 10 big blinds moved all in with on the button and Imsirovic wasted no time in calling from the big blind with . The flop didn’t bring any relief for Aldemir and the turn sealed the deal for Imsirovic. Aldemir was forced to concede the title to him, settling for a second place finish.
Final Table Results (USD)
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
Meanwhile, the $100,000 NLHE event has opened with a total of 15 entries and only eight of them remain in the field, with Day 2 action yet to begin.