At only 23-years-old, Ali Imsirovic is a Poker Masters champion. The Washington state native by way of Bosnia sits third in the Poker Masters standings following his win in the $25,000 No Limit Hold’em event. An insane work ethic and passion for the game drove Imsirovic to battle at the highest stakes and he plans to stay for longer than this week.
At three-years-old, Imsirovic and his family came to the United States to escape his war-torn homeland. Imsirovic’s father worked three jobs to support the family and the son picked up his work ethic 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 put his skills to the test playing online poker as he grinded up from playing $25 No Limit Hold’em cash games to $25,000 buy-ins. 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.
Cash games gave way to tournaments and Imsirovic is one of the success stories of the Upswing Poker course. The tools combined with an obsession equaled profit for Imsirovic. He dropped out of Washington State University one semester shy of graduation knowing his life’s work belonged on the felt. Reaching the High Roller level was the only goal.
“Not this summer but the summer before that, me and my friends talked about getting to the highest level. I started putting in way more study and effort than I used to. Months after that, I started playing High Rollers and here we are.”
Imsirovic calls poker a “lifestyle” and his travel schedule proves the devotion. Fresh off a deep run in the EPT Barcelona Main Event, Imsirovic played in Poker Masters from Event 1. After the series, he plans to travel to the East Coast for WPT events followed by another overseas journey for WSOP Europe.
“My goal is to become the number one tournament player in the world,” Imsirovic bluntly stated. “I put everything into this.”
The U.S. Poker Open was supposed to be Imsirovic’s breakout but after playing in two events, he realized he was not primed to play at the level where he wanted to be.
“Fundamentally, I wasn’t ready. It was a good wake-up call where I didn’t lose much money but made me improve my fundamentals. It was pretty good that I ended up losing at USPO.”
Those improvements are apparent in Imsirovic’s final table play on PokerGO. Defeating a final three opponent list of Jake Schindler, Brian Rast, and Ben Yu is among the toughest tasks in poker.
Imsirovic already sold action for the $50,000 and $100,000 events in Poker Masters prior to the series and is excited to make his run at the Purple Jacket. He currently sits tied for third place with 360 points next to Yu and is 150 points behind Brandon Adams.
“The Purple Jacket would feel like one of the biggest accomplishments in poker. I’m pretty excited to play the $50K and $100K.”