Weekly Poker Update: August 16, 2021

Weekly Poker Update August 16, 2021

When does a run of incredibly successful play by an individual player in the world of real money poker cease to be a temporary hot streak and transform into a permanent state of affairs?

That’s the question that poker fans are faced with in the case of Ali Imsirovic. His incredible 2021 season has gone beyond the norm and into rarefied air where hot streaks are concerned.

It continued this past week with yet another major tournament victory. Imsirovic has done most of his damage in high-buy-in events, and this time around was no different. He took part in a $10,000 buy-in no-limit holdem event at The Venetian.

A total of 34 players entered the field and, in an almost foregone conclusion, Imsirovic made it to the final table. For this event, he was sitting in second at that point, behind only chip leader Eric Worre.

Ali Imsirovic Does It Again

Ali Imsirovic made his big move when he knocked out Sean Winter, who actually is second behind Imsirovic for the year in tournament earnings.

On that particular hand, both players were playing pocket pairs. Imsirovic got a lucky break when his pocket nines outdrew Winter’s higher-ranked tens.

Winter’s third-place prize money of $54,400 kept him in his spot as a distant runner-up to Imsirovic in terms of yearly earnings.

That hand put Imsirovic into the chip lead over Worre as they dove into head-to-head play. The match essentially came down to a wild back-and-forth hand that seemed to symbolize the way Imsirovic’s entire year has gone to date.

With the two on relatively even terms, Imsirovic was dealt pocket kings and Worre ended up with a suited queen-seven.

Pro Poker Player Sean Winter

Worre called Imsirovic’s raise to see the flop, and it couldn’t have gone better for Worre when queen-seven-three were revealed.

At that point, Worre slow-played his two pair with a check, then called Imsirovic’s bet in an attempt to lure him in. But the turn card, a king of hearts, gave Imsirovic a set.

That card also gave Worre a flush draw on the river, which occurred after both players checked. A five of spades gave no help to either, meaning Imsirovic would win the hand if he just followed it through to its conclusion.

He went all-in on top of Worre’s bet, Worre followed, and that was pretty much that. Worre had little left to fight and was knocked out on the next hand.

Imsirovic pocketed $136,000 for his latest victory. While most players would be pointing to that as a major score, it’s just another drop in the bucket for Imsirovic’s 2021 total. He has now earned over $3 million in tournament action this year.

This victory gave Imsirovic nine on the year in sanctioned tournaments that count towards Player of the Year honors and official purses. His next closest foe in that department has five victories, a pretty significant margin to be sure.

It was also his 19th final table, which is also top among professional players this year.

The earnings are more than $550k larger than his nearest on the leaderboard to date. At this point, it would take a player going on a streak of massive proportions in the final third of the year to deny Imsirovic any of the end-of-season honors that are most certainly coming his way.

All that’s left now is to see how high the numbers can go before 2021 takes a bow and how long Ali Imsirovic can keep dominating the finest poker players in the world.


As good as Ali Imsirovic has been in tournament play this year, Phil Hellmuth has been just as dominant in the head-to-head forum. Now, you get the chance to ride that hot streak for your own financial benefit.

Hellmuth’s latest battle against old rival Tom Dwan is coming up quick, and you can back him up with $50 of your money.

First of all, let’s set the scene for those who might be new to the Poker Brat’s recent exploits.

Over the past 18 months or so, Phil Hellmuth has engaged in a series of “High Stakes Duels” sponsored by PokerGo. And he has come out on top of every one of them, building a seven-match winning streak in the process.

It started last year with a three-match sweep of Antonio Esfandiari. Aided by an incredible comeback in the first match, he also swept three from Daniel Negreanu earlier this year. For his efforts in those matches, he pocketed $700,000 ($350,000 from each guy).

Hellmuth’s next opponent was a bit off of a head-scratcher, as he took on non-poker pro Nick Wright, known for being a television host on Fox Sports.

The amateur rose to the challenge and took a big lead in the match, only to have Hellmuth grind his way back and get the win. That victory added another $50,000 to Phil’s coffers.

As per the High Stakes Duel rules, the loser gets the prerogative to ask for a rematch at double the original purse. But Wright decided that he had enough of the series and dropped out. Also found in the rules, a replacement can step in at that point, so Tom Dwan did just that.

Targeting Tom Dwan

For those who don’t know, Dwan has risen from his emergence an internet poker whiz in the late 2000s to become one of the finest high-stakes poker players in the entire game.

A bad beat for Hellmuth turned into some bad blood between him and Dwan more than a decade ago in a heads-up elimination match. Although their paths have crossed since then, this will be the first time that they’ve met in with such a spotlight on the action since that fateful dustup.

With $100,000 being put at stake by both players, Hellmuth has decided to let his supporters share in the spoils if he wins. Partnering up with YouStake, he is allowing anyone to contribute a $50 wager on him.

That will go towards his part of the purse, with the same amount (and the original bet) coming back to the supporters if Phil wins.

Hellmuth is going to attempt to get 5% ($5,000) of his stake in this fashion. That means he’ll need 100 people to step forward at $50 a pop. He shouldn’t have any problems getting the action, as people started jumping on board the moment that the announcement was made.

Pro Poker Player Tom Dwan

It’s a clever way for Hellmuth to get engaged with his fans, although they might not be so supportive if he loses the match. Certainly, coming up with the entire 100 grand isn’t any trouble for Phil. But this makes it a bit more of an interactive affair and allows fans to put some money behind their rooting interest.

The match between Hellmuth and Dwan is set for Tuesday, August 24th, at the ARIA in Las Vegas, which is the location of PokerGo’s studios.

This might be the toughest test for Hellmuth yet, as he gets to try and keep his impressive winning streak alive. Whether you come into it as a neutral observer, or as somebody who has put your own hard-earned money on the line to support Phil, the Hold’em match is an event you can’t miss.

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