The Las Vegas-based ARIA Resort and Casino hosted a high roller poker competition on April 20, ahead of the 2022 PokerGO Tour Heads-up Showdown event. The 10,000 buy-in no-limit hold 'em event attracted 44 entrants who created a $440,000 prize pool that the top seven finalists shared.
Ali Imsirovic emerged as the champion and received $149,600. This was his 17th time to advance to a final table and fifth title to win this year. The player was already leading in the PokerGO Tour (PGT) and Card Player Player of the Year (POY)points races.
He increased his lead as he wants to go back-to-back after receiving the two titles in 2021. The 27-year-old poker pro has cashed in over $3 million in live poker tournaments in 2022.
Details About the Tournament
The event's money bubble burst after Dylan Linde, a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet and World Poker Tour (WPT) champion, ran pocket sevens into Jesse Lonis' pocket jacks. Andrew Lichtenberger, a Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $50,000 buy-in winner, lost a crucial pot as his pocket kings faced Imsirovic's A-J, thus making him drop to the bottom of the stack counts.
Lichtenberger then got his last chips in using a K-10, but Jamil Wakil woke up with pocket aces. This prevented the former from regaining his previous position. He exited the event in seventh place and won $17,600.
Lonis was the next player to leave the table. Wakil's pocket aces cooled his pocket kings, and they increased his stack lead when his big pair held up. Lonis won $26,400 after finishing in sixth place, and it was his eighth time to reach a final table this year.
He is currently among the top 100 players in the POY standings. Sean Winter had a deep run in the tournament that enabled him to improve his position in the points race. He recently won the U.S. Poker Open Player of the Series award.
Winter finished fifth in the ARIA High Roller event and won $35,200. His pocket threes lost to Juston Saliba's pocket jacks.
The player has $1,890,300 year-to-date poker earnings, two titles, and has reached 11 final tables so far. He holds the seventh position in the overall POY rankings and the PGT leaderboard.
Saliba got in a preflop race for his last stack after a few pair-over-pair situations that caused the recent eliminations. Wakil's K-J suited was behind his pocket sevens at the start, but a king on the turn helped Wakil lead, and he continued widening his margin.
Saliba won $48,400 after finishing in fourth place. Craig Mason used 9Diamond Suit8Diamond Suit to do a KSpade SuitJHeart Suit10Spade Suit flop that earned him his last chips as he faced Imsirovic's KClub Suit9Club Suit.
A 5Club Suit turn and 9Spade Suit river didn't help Mason as he exited the tournament in third place and won $66,000. A heads-up battle started while Wakil held 2,320,000 and Imsirovic 2,080,000. The latter took over the lead and extended it to over 16:1 advantage when the dealer dealt the final hand.
Wakil used the 10Diamond Suit6Club Suit to shove as Imsirovic held the 7Heart Suit7Club Suit when he called. Wakil left the table with $96,800 after being the runners-up after the board ran out KDiamond Suit4Spade Suit4Heart Suit9Spade Suit3Heart Suit.