Negreanu accuses Imsirovic of continuing online poker cheating, calls for industry-wide ban

Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: March 08, 2023 14:21 PST

One of poker's most prominent players, Daniel Negreanu, has published new allegations of online cheating against Ali Imsirovic, the former 2021 GPI Player of the Year who has been banned from multiple live and online poker offerings for illicit behavior.

Earlier today, Negreanu tweeted the following regarding Imsirovic's alleged continuing cheating. "All operators both online and live should proactively ban him indefinitely," wrote Negreanu. "He is the opposite of remorseful and is actual(ly) boastful, bragging about robbing former friends":

Imsirovic dogged by cheating accusations since 2020

Imsirovic is one of several high-stakes players to have been embroiled in high-stakes cheating scandals in recent years. Public accusations against him date to October of 2020, when he was presumptively one of several dozen players banned by GGPoker -- the same site where Negreanu is a prominent brand ambassador -- for the use of real-time assistance (RTA).

Though GGPoker never named the players it banned, Imsirovic was presumptively named in numerous features and forums after action on his GGPoker account ended abruptly just before the site announced its sweeping ban.

In April of 2022, Imsirovic again faced cheating accusations, this time from Alex Foxen, who called out Imsirovic for rubbernecking the hole cards of Paul Phua at a Super High Roller Bowl final table. But Foxen hinted at much more as well, tweeting, "Ali is known as a cheater to almost all in the high roller community, however without much ironclad proof, most stay silent."

Imsirovic believed to be among players impacted by PIC's semi-global blacklist

Another Foxen statement issued in conjunction with his wrath at Imsirovic involved talk about a global blacklist for known cheaters, which was rumored at the time but was still in its formative stages. "Poker black-list can't come soon enough," wrote 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."

Last July, the talk of a global blacklist became partly true, when GGPoker and the WSOP announced the launching of PIC, the Poker Integrity Council. While not a true global blacklist, PIC was introduced as a partnership between GGPoker and multiple live poker tours, where players who cheated on GGPoker would also be banned from the live-poker partners, including the WSOP, the PokerGO Tour, the WPT, and several others.

However, as leading PIC player-council member Jason Koon explained, almost all previously banned players at GGPoker would be offered an olive branch -- a chance to apply to GGPoker to have their banned accounts reactivated. That grace period began on August 1, 2022, and lasted for three weeks, during which time previously banned GGPoker cheaters could apply.

Imsirovic and Schindler banned by PokerGO last September

Then, four weeks after GGPoker's "olive branch" window expired, Imsirovic and another player presumptively banned by the site, Jake Schindler, were banned indefinitely by one of GGPoker's live-poker partners, the PokerGO Tour.

PokerGO did not announce a specific reason for the ban, but the timing implied that Imsirovic and Schindler had either not applied for reinstatement at GG or, possibly, that their prior poker sins were considered too egregious to be forgiven. The two players were also removed from the PokerGO Tour's leaderboard.

Negreanu had also offered a snarky take on Twitter just before that PokerGO suspension was announced:

No recent live cashes for Imsirovic or Schindler

Negreanu's latest diatribe targets only Imsirovic, and it does not detail on which site or sites Imsirovic's latest alleged cheating occurred. Negreanu also didn't name any of his sources, though he is among the game's most well-connected figures.

It's also noticeable that neither Imsirovic nor Schindler have cashed in any live events in recent months. (Schindler, it must be emphasized, is connected to Negreanu's latest accusations only by the prior parellels to Imsirovic. -- HH) Both players participated in numerous WSOP events last June and July, and when the WSOP and GGPoker held their joint PIC press conference, both players were active in the ongoing Main Event.

Imsirovic and Schindler both cashed in that 2022 WSOP ME, but for both, it's also their last recorded live cash to date. Imsirovic's Day 5 bustout even generated its own feature report as published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Since then, for Imsirovic, no news presence whatsoever... until Negreanu's diatribe today. Perhaps the biggest poker name to comment to Negreanu's comment was Daniel "Jungleman" Cates, who kept it simple:

Featured image source: Haley Hintze