US Poker Open $25K NLHE: Ali Imsirovic wins title for $442,500
23-year-old Ali Imsirovic is now a Poker Masters champion. The poker pro from Bosnia and Herzegovina claimed the Poker Masters Championship by winning $50K ($799,000) and $25K buy-in ($462,000) tournaments along with the titles at the Borgata Spring Poker Open ($246,066) and a $10K PCA event in The Bahamas for $160,050.
Imsirovic put his skills to the test playing online poker as he ground up from $25 No Limit Hold’em cash games to $25,000 buy-ins, now adding a US Poker Open title to his brilliant poker resume, overcoming 59 entrants in the $25K buy-in Event #5 to grab $442,500 in prize money.
The first time Imsirovic played poker, he won $1,500 in a $60 buy-in with money his father gave him to play. $100 of those winnings went online and Imsirovic ran the stake up from there. “He was working three jobs and did whatever he could for us,” Imsirovic said about his father. “He gave us that work ethic and made sure we strived to be the best.”
Imsirovic's career has been on the rise, evident by him conquering a final table that included partypoker Team Pro Kristin Bicknell and high stakes amateur Dan Shak.
Imsirovic was leading in chips at the 6-player final table where Joseph Cappello became the first player to hit the rail, followed by Bicknell when her Q-J failed to connect against the pocket nines of Shak. Imsirovic then went on to dispatch Nick Petrangelo and his pocket jacks with his pair of bullets in the hole. Shak followed Petrangelo, leaving only Cary Katz in Imsirovic’s way for the title.
Katz encountered a huge chip disadvantage and couldn’t possibly overcome the same, and was beaten by Imsirovic when his flush draw fell short, earning second place for $295,000.
With this victory, Ali is nearing $4 million in lifetime earnings.
Imsirovic calls poker a “lifestyle” and his travel schedule shows the devotion he has to the game. Imsirovic is one of the success stories of the Upswing Poker course.
“My goal is to become the number one tournament player in the world,” he bluntly stated. “I put everything into this.”