Twenty-three-year-old Ali Imsirovic is the breakout star of the prestigious 2018 Poker Masters after cashing three times and winning two consecutive events to earn over $1.2 million over the course of the series.
This year’s edition of the Poker Masters drew many of the game’s heavy hitters, including Daniel Negreanu, Isaac Haxton and Dan Smith, but it’s the relatively unknown Imsirovic who takes home the signature purple jacket after amassing 660 points over the seven-event series.
The young poker pro, who hails from Vancouver, Washington, has been playing high rollers for a couple of years now but has never outright won a tournament where the buy-in was over $10,000.
There’s a good chance Imsirovic’s days of flying under the radar are effectively over as he nearly doubled his lifetime live tournament earnings in a little under a week.
Peters Misses Out on Jacket by Just 10 Points
This year’s race for the Poker Masters purple jacket proved to be a compelling one with seasoned poker pro David Peters winning the final $100,000 buy-in tournament of the series for a staggering $1.15 million but still falling just 10 points shy of Imsirovic to win the overall series.
Peters kicked off the 2018 Poker Masters by winning the very first event — $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em — for $193,200. That means the Vegas local cashed in two events and won both of them.
He can take some solace in the fact he was technically the biggest cash earner of the series with just over $1.3 million.
Poker pro/author Brandon Adams also put together a masterful campaign with three final tables, one victory and 510 points but ultimately Imsirovic’s three final tables and two wins (for $462,000 and $799,000) proved to be unassailable.
Here’s a look at the final 2018 Poker Masters standings:
Hard Work Pays Off for Imsirovic
Ali Imsirovic is an oddity in the high-stakes world as he was only 16 when online poker’s so-called Black Friday occured in 2011 put a serious damper on the game’s economy.
Imsirovic, who comes from a hard-working Bosnian-American family, wasn’t perturbed as he was just playing poker for fun with friends. His father was actually an avid fan of the game but didn’t want to encourage his son to get involved in the world of gambling.
When Imsirovic turned 18, he made the trip to a local casino and managed to run a $60 buy-in up to $1,500 on his first try. Of that $1,500 he made the decision to deposit $100 into an online site. It proved to be a smart choice as he quickly found success playing online cash games.
Imsirovic, who studied criminal justice at Washington State University, was doing so well playing online poker that he decided to drop out of school when he turned 21. Surprisingly, that also ended up being a smart decision for the young poker pro as he started focusing on live tournaments and crushing those as well.
For his part, Imsirovic told Poker Central that his strong work ethic played the biggest part in his meteoric ascent to poker greatness.
Poker fans can now watch the entirely of the 2018 Poker Masters via the subscription-based Poker Go streaming app.