A suspicious live hand in which Ali Imsirovic may have rubbernecked Paul Phua’s hole cards at the recently completed Super High Roller Bowl Europe has triggered fellow elite-stakes pro Alex Foxen to accuse Imsirovic of cheating in multiple ways, both live and online.
Foxen, whose three-year run as the Global Poker Index’s Player of the Year run ended when Imsirovic grabbed that honor in 2021, went public after Imsirovic took a highly unusual line in a hand against Phua and Michael Addamo. Foxen began his multi-Tweet rant by talking about the possibility of a global poker blacklist, as chatted about by partypoker’s Juha Pasanen last week, even if the chances of such a blacklist becoming reality are slim, and that Imsirovic should be on such a list.
“Poker black-list can’t come soon enough,” Tweeted Foxen. “Ali is banned from GG for Multi-accounting and RTA. I have witnessed numerous chip dumps to horses, and many suspicious changes in play from people known to be his horses when deep in online MTTs.”
Among other accusations, Foxen then went on to post a screen grab of the hand in question:
Foxen then noted that the following day, Imsirovic showed up wearing sunglasses — which would shield others’ view of his eye movements — for “the first time [Foxen had] ever seen”:
Another Twitter poster, @Mqtttw, followed up by posting a six-second excerpted video of the hand in question:
Whether Imsirovic actually did rubberneck Phua’s hole cards in the hand remains uncertain, and if so, Phua bears some responsibility for not protecting his hand. Ironically, despite Imsirovic winning this hand, he crashed out on the wrong end of a $560,000 money bubble, while Phua went on to finish second for $2,080,000.
Foxen also claims Imsirovic banned at GGPoker for RTA use
As noted in one of the Tweets above, Foxen also accused Imsirovic of having been banned by prominent international online site GGPoker for both multi-accounting and using RTA (real-time assistance, meaning decision-optimizing software).
Foxen also declared that in the ultra-high-stakes community, “Ali is known as a cheater….” Rumors of Imsirovic’s alleged transgressions have spread beyond that community, however, though with little firm evidence.
Little evidence, though, differs from no evidence whatsoever. As noted by PokerStrategy’s Barry Carter, Imsirovic’s graph of results on GGPoker as listed on Sharkscope, a third-party tracking site, abruptly ends on September 29, 2021. That’s exactly the day that GGPoker banned 40 players for RTA and issued warnings to 40 more, while confiscating $1.175 million from 13 of the cheaters’ accounts and redistributing those funds to roughly 4,000 victims.
Imsirovic’s activity on GGPoker ceasing on September 29 does not prove directly that he was one of the banned players, yet it’s an unlikely coincidence otherwise. Like almost all other sites, GGPoker did not identify by name or screen name any of the 40 players it booted from its platform. Several other elite-stakes pros have either been directly accused or have been insinuated to be among players banned by GGPoker for RTA violations.
Featured image source: PokerGO