Poker Masters assembled some of the best players the High Roller community has to offer and dropped them all inside ARIA in Las Vegas, NV for a week of high stakes events. Many of the biggest names in poker were in attendance, including Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth. But even with all of pedigree in attendance, it was a 23-year-old newcomer who beat them all to win the Purple Jacket.
New champion crowned
Ali Imsirovic is a name poker fans will be hearing a lot more of going forward. The Bosnian-born, American-raised player came from relative obscurity to win one of poker’s toughest prizes. Imsirovic won two events at Poker Masters on consecutive days and finished 10 points ahead of David Peters in the collective standings.
2⃣ two-time winners finish at the top of the #PokerMasters Championship Standings! @aliImsirovic takes home the Purple Jacket, with @dpeterspoker17 just 10 points behind.
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— PokerGO (@PokerGO) September 16, 2018
The series started innocently for Imsirovic. A cash but no final table result in the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em opener gave Imsirovic some wings but he picked up steam soon after. The $25,000 Event 5 is where Imsirovic found his stride. Against the likes of Jason Koon, Jake Schindler, and Brian Rast, Imsirovic beat them all to claim the $462,000 first-place prize.
A day later, Imsirovic all but locked up the title for his performance in the $50,000 No Limi Hold’em event. Imsirovic entered the $50,000 final table with four times the chips of any opponent and rode the wave to victory and $799,000.
The two wins and min-cash equaled out to 660 points with wins worth 300 and a cash just 60.
Imsirovic played all standard Hold’em events on the schedule. The only tournaments he did not play were the $10,000 Short Deck and $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha.
Peters earned 350 for the $100,000 Poker Masters Main Event title won at a final table of Dan Smith and Bryn Kenney.
Short Deck arrives
Event 4 on the schedule was the most anticipated. The $10,000 Short Deck had players buzzing about the potential for both the game and overall numbers. 55 entrants turned out and Isaac Haxton won the event to claim $176,000. Circuit grinder Maurice Hawkins took second for his first career Poker Masters cash.
Also at the Short Deck final table were Andrew Robl, WPT Five Diamond Champion Ryan Tosoc, and Cary Katz.
Peters wins Main Event
The only players eligible to catch Imsirovic heading into Day 2 of the $100,000 Main Event were Haxton and Brandon Adams. Both busted in the early going leaving Imsirovic to bask in the purple glow of the jacket.
Peters took charge on Day 2 and led heading into the final table. $1.15 million went to Peters for the win and he just missed out on matching Imsirovic for the points lead.
Overall, Peters cashed for over $1.35 million between his two wins, just ahead of Imsirovic’s records.