Ali Imsirovic admits online poker multi-accounting, disputes live cheating allegations

Mo Afdhal
Posted on: June 25, 2023 10:07 PDT

In a stunning video released Sunday, poker pro Ali Imsirovic admitted to multi-accounting on GGPoker, being banned from the site, and having $320,000 seized as a result.

These admissions came via a nearly 30-minute long video titled "Breaking My Silence and Setting the Record Straight," in which Imsirovic explains his side of the story and addresses several accusations leveled against him in recent years.

Imsirovic starts the video by jumping back in time to 2020 when online poker tournaments, specifically on GGPoker, went through a mini-boom in response to the COVID pandemic. Live poker went all but dead at this time, but the online streets saw massive amounts of high-stakes action.

Imsirovic admits that he made "a really bad mistake" and began multi-accounting in online MTTs for a period of four to five months. Imisrovic goes on to say there was, "a lot of shady shit happening in those games. I knew there were people card-sharing and multi-ing, working as teams," but then states that these factors are not an excuse for what he did and apologizes to those that were playing legitimately.

GGPoker issued bans to dozens of players, a group which Imsirovic confirms he was part of. At first, he tried to fight the ban and get his money back, but was unsuccessful and did not pursue the matter any further, his thinking being, "This is my punishment for what I did, and I deserve it."

Pivot to live poker, Foxen accusations

Following his ban and confiscation of funds on GGPoker, Imsirovic says that he essentially ceased playing online poker altogether and switched his focus solely to live poker. His purpose in doing so was to let his merit in live poker speak for itself; to, in essence, whitewash his past misdoings by proving himself a capable player.

In his own words: "I was just trying to erase that past, basically. And erase that perception of me, just prove my worth in the game." He continues, saying, "I should have admitted to my mistakes way back then and faced whatever added consequences would come from it...but I didn't, I was trying to run away from it."

Imsirovic then pivots to address the Twitter thread created by Alex Foxen in regard to a specific hand played during the Super High Roller Bowl Europe in 2022. Foxen accuses Imsirovic of rubbernecking (deliberately trying to see another player's cards) in a live hand. The hand in question involves Triton founder Paul Phua and Australian pro Michael Addamo. Imsirovic describes Foxen's posts as a "Twitter temper tantrum" and denies that he made any purposeful attempt to see Phua's cards during the hand.

RTA and ghosting stable accusations

The next allegations that Imsirovic takes aim at are those of him using RTA (real-time assistance) and ghosting (playing in place of) other players, specifically players that he had financial backing deals with. These allegations came about more recently and were made widely public on Twitter by Daniel Negreanu.

Imsirovic explains that, over the last five to six months, he had either made arrangements for his horses to take on new backers, unrelated to him, or had cut ties completely. This, he explains, makes it impossible for him to have been running a ghosting operation using his horses as he was no longer backing any players in MTTs. Imsirovic goes on to illustrate three examples of his former horses winning big scores while he was physically nowhere near them and, thus, incapable of playing in their place.

The RTA allegations are, according to Imsirovic, "the most mind-boggling ones for me." His first line of defense in disputing the RTA allegations comes in the form of the three sessions of heads-up he played against Doug Polk in the lead-up to Polk's challenge against Daniel Negreanu.

In these sessions, Imsirovic "definitely didn't play well," despite winning, according to him, roughly twenty buy-ins. He goes on to say that Polk, "openly has told people how bad he thought I played in all of the sessions with him." These three sessions worth of "bad play", in Imsirovic's mind, prove that he was not using RTA in the matches against Polk.

"It's literally impossible..."

Imsirovic continues to dispute the RTA-usage allegations by explaining how difficult it is to use these tools during online MTT play, saying, "I don't think people understand what RTA really means and how hard it is to RTA in MTTs." Imsirovic claims that current RTA tools do not provide the necessary assumptions to play perfectly as the tournament progresses.

Basically, Imsirovic claims that the tools that exist aren't accurate enough to affect play in any significant way, "It's literally impossible for me to build an RTA where I just have all these post-flop situations ran for the hundreds of thousands of unique situations that could even come up," he said.

Involvement with Jake Schindler and chip-dumping allegations

Imsirovic takes a brief moment to address and deny rumors of his involvement with Jake Schindler in a joint backing venture. He said, "I've never backed a single person with Jake...he's a good friend of mine, I love that guy, but I never backed anybody with Jake."

Moving on, Imsirovic picks apart allegations of him chip dumping to horses or vice versa. He says that this is "such an outrageous claim" and goes into an in-depth examination of a particular hand between him and a player whom he insists was not part of his backing stable. It's a long-winded explanation, but Imsirovic's defense boils down to there being no upside for him in dumping chips to a player he was backing, saying, "These numbers literally don't add up, there's no win in there for me to be dumping chips to him if I were backing him."

Why now?

Finally, Imsirovic provides viewers with insight into why he took so long to reply to these accusations. At first, Imsirovic says, "I felt like I deserved all the hate to be honest. While I'm here letting you guys know what claims are complete bullshit, I'm also here to admit to what I've done. I have multi-ed a bunch, so I had no interest in denying that. It happened. I regret it, but it happened."

Imsirovic goes on to say that there were so many different accusations flying his way, most of which were, in his opinion, untrue. He was angry, frustrated, and dealing with the emotional fallout within his own family. All of this led Imsirovic to "a really, really bad place" and he "hated himself for putting this burden on my loved ones and I was trying to run away from it all."

It's then, nearly at the end of the video, that Imsirovic drops perhaps the most important nugget of information. After months of dealing with the fallout and the toll it took on his livelihood and mental state, Imsirovic returned to his old ways and "for a little under two months" multi-tabled in online MTTs. Imsirovic says, "I knew it was a mistake. I don't have any excuses for it. I'm not proud of it."

Imsirovic's final thoughts

Finally, Imsirovic ends the video by seemingly calling out his own accusers on their own hypocrisy, "I will say, for some of the main accusers, a lot of you don't even have your own house in order," he said.

Imsirovic doesn't name any names and emphasizes that he isn't trying to call anyone out.

In his parting words, Imsirovic outlines his hopes to put this all behind him and return to poker to re-establish his reputation in a positive manner, saying, "I still love poker, I still want to play some. I'm just trying to move on past this. I posted this video to admit to what I've done and disprove what I haven't. Hopefully this can be the start of moving on past this."