2021 Card Player of the Year; Ali Imsirovic

Ali Imsirovic was just starting out in the poker industry as an 18-year-old, playing $0.02-$0.04 online cash games. Only eight years later, the 26-year-old has had a record-breaking year on the live tournament circuit, winning the Global Poker-sponsored 2021 Card Player Player of the Year title. 

“To tell you the truth, I never imagined this would happen. After his spectacular run this year, Imsirovic told Card Player, “My objective was to make it to $2-$4, or $5-$10 and make a respectable life; to have the flexibility and be happy just to play the game.” “As I improved and worked harder, it seemed more and more likely that I might achieve something greater.” So I started devoting almost all of my time to [poker]. It was the only thing that mattered to me.” 

Imsirovic has reached 30 POY-qualified final tables in the previous 12 months, one shy of tying Jake Schindler’s record of 31. While Imsirovic came close to breaking that record, he managed to set a new standard in another important category: championships won. 

Imsirovic notched up 14 POY-qualifying victories this year, shattering Justin Bonomo’s previous record of ten achieved in 2018. That means in 2021, he converted 47 percent of his final table appearances into another trophy on the mantel. Imsirovic credits his exceptional performance in closing off tournaments this year to his time spent researching ICM in the lab. 

In the month of January, Imsirovic only made one final table, placing third in a $10,000 buy-in high roller at ARIA for $54,400 and 160 POY points. With eight final-table finishes and three titles won from March to May, he earned more over $1.3 million in POY rewards. His record-setting title campaign got off to a great start with the pair of victories, which added over $530,000 and 372 points to his totals. Then he and Sean Perry faced off in three consecutive high roller events at ARIA in April, with Perry taking the first showdown in a $10,000 buy-in tournament before Imsirovic won back-to-back $25,000 buy-in tournaments. 

Imsirovic spent the most of the epidemic online, competing in cash games and tournaments for the greatest sums in the globe. Imsirovic won the greatest no-limit hold’em cash game pot in online poker history, with a prize pool of slightly under $1 million. We asked him what he aims to do in his poker career now that he has won the POY award. He even broke the record for the highest no-limit hold’em cash game pot in online poker history, earning just shy of $1 million at one time. 


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