Image courtesy of PokerGO.com
Poker has seen its fair share of cheating scandals over the years, with allegations against well-known players making headlines periodically. The latest headline once again involves Ali Imsirovic, the 2021 GPI Player of the Year, who has been accused of continuing to cheat by Daniel Negreanu on Twitter, stating that all operators, both online and live, should proactively ban him indefinitely.
Previous FormAli Imsirovic's history with cheating allegations dates back to October 2020 when he was presumptively one of several dozen players banned by GGPoker for the use of real-time assistance (RTA).
Though GGPoker never named the players it banned, Imsirovic was named in numerous features and forums after action on his GGPoker account vanished at the same time as the bans.
In April 2022, Imsirovic faced another round of cheating accusations. Alex Foxen publicly slated Imsirovic for catching a sneaky glimpse of the hole cards of Paul Phua at a Super High Roller Bowl final table. He also went a step further, tweeting, "Ali is known as a cheater to almost all in the high roller community, however without much ironclad proof, most stay silent."
Foxen also wrote about a global blacklist for known cheaters, which was rumoured at the time but still in its formative stages.
Foxen wrote: "Poker blacklist can't come soon enough. 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, GGPoker and the WSOP announced the launching of the Poker Integrity Council (PIC). The setup was designed to create an avenue of discussion regarding players suspected of unethical play between GGPoker and the most prestigious live poker series, with other online platforms considering joining. Players who are thought to have cheated would also be banned from live series including the WSOP and the WPT.
According to Jason Koon, a prominent player-council member at GGPoker, banned players would have the opportunity to request reactivation of their accounts during a three-week grace period starting from August 1, 2022. This move was intended to offer a second chance to cheaters previously banned from the site.
However, after the grace period ended, two players, Imsirovic and Schindler, were indefinitely banned by one of GGPoker's live-poker partners, the PokerGO Tour. Negreanu was quick to tweet a message confirming this move shortly before the official announcement of the suspension.
In Negreanu's recent accusation, he singled out Imsirovic without specifying which site(s) the alleged cheating occurred on or naming any sources. It's also worth noting that neither Imsirovic nor Schindler have cashed in any live events recently, despite their participation in many WSOP events last year. Both players were also present at the joint PIC press conference held by the WSOP and GGPoker, while they were active in the WSOP Main Event.