- »Ali Imsirovic Leads USPO Standings After Winning Event #9
Ali Imsirovic Leads USPO Standings After Winning Event #9
Ali Imsirovic won the Poker Masters Purple Jacket in 2018 and is on course to win the 2021 U.S. Poker Open championship. Imsirovic soared into a 98 point lead after taking down Event #9: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em.
Ninety-nine players bought into the ninth U.S. Poker Open event and created a $990,000 prize pool. Jared Jaffee was the unfortunate soul who popped the money bubble. Jaffee’s ace-jack failed to get there against Alex Foxen’s pocket nines, and he bust in 16th place.
Matthew Ploof, Steven Veneziano, Jim Collopy, Nick Petrangelo, Stephen Chidwick, and Jesse Sylvia busted in success. Alex Foxen crashed out in ninth, with Mazen Abdallah heading for the exits in eighth place, which set the final table.
Key Hand Doubles the Stack of Imsirovic
Imsirovic plays an aggressive style of poker that often sees his stack size swing wildly. He was involved in a key hand when ten players remained, which doubled him past more than two million chips.
He flopped a full house with pocket kings and was paid off by Vanessa Kade, who hit the nut flush on the river. That hand put Imsirovic in a position where he had a realistic shot of glory.
The final table lost a player early on when Jake Schindler lost an all-in confrontation against Cary Katz.
Katz sent Thomas Winters home in sixth place soon after. Katz opened with ace-king before calling Winters’ all-in bet made with ace-three suited. Winters never caught up, and Katz closed the gap on chip leader Imsirovic.
Fifth place and $74,250 went to the poker legend Erik Seidel. The Poker Hall of Famer got his last 16 big blinds into the middle with ace-queen. Katz looked him up with pocket jacks, which held and reduced the player count.
Imsirovic still led, but the other three players were evenly stacked. Something had to give, and it did so in the shape of Kade busting. Kade min-raised to 200,000 with king-queen of diamonds. Andrew “LuckyChewy” Lichtenberger ripped it in with ace-five, and Kade called off her 1,200,000 stack. Kade caught a line on the top, but Lichtenberger paired his ace on the river.
Katz Falls to Imsirovic
Katz came unstuck in a hand against the seemingly unstoppable Imsirovic.
Imsirovic went into his heads-up clash with Lichtenberger with a commanding lead. It did not take long for him to walk away with the title. The final hand saw Lichtenberger shove with king-jack for seven big blinds and Imsirovic call with the dominated jack-six. A six on the turn gifted Imsirovic the lead, much to his amusement. The river bricked, and Imsirovic became the tournament’s champion.
The championship points earned for this victory pushed Imsirovic to the top of the U.S. Poker Open leaderboard. Four cashes, including one win and $406,400 (406 points) of earnings, give him a substantial lead. His heads-up opponent in this event, Lichtenberger, rose to second with 308 points.
Imsirovic earned more points with a runner-up finish in the $10,000 Short Deck event. David Peters won his second U.S. Poker Open tournament in the space of a week and is now second in the overall race. However, he trails Imsirovic by 116 points with only two events remaining.
Peters is at the final table of the $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em event and is guaranteed 103 points, but as many as 466. It certainly makes the $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em event taking place June 14 all the more interesting.
2021 U.S. Poker Open Championship Standings