WPT Gardens Poker Championship: Ali Imsirovic & Jim Collopy Win $25k Events

Some 12,000 years ago, the men and women of this great planet of ours, riled God in such a bad way that he pulled the plug from his bathtub drowning 99.9% of all life. The only people who escaped God’s wrath were those permitted to trot, slither and hop onto Noah’s Ark. 

If there is a God, then surely there’s another flood on its way. Adolf Hitler aside, there hasn’t been a time in the past 12,000 years when humanity has been so thoroughly annoying. 

With so many crazies having fingers and thumbs on the nuclear weapon launch buttons, it’s time to start the two-by-two process all over again. I proposed that Sam Soverel and Ali Imsirovic keep the live tournament poker bloodline going.

The 2018 and 2019 Poker Masters recently reached the final table of the $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) High Roller at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Gardens Poker Championship in California. 

There was only one table.

When Soverel and Imsirovic reached the punchline, they decided to split the prize money according to chip stacks, with Soverel’s $122,000 slightly meatier than the $103,000 of Imsirovic. With a trophy, title and #1 stamp in the Hendon Mob to play for the pair were in no mood to create some poker poetry, choosing to flip.

Imsirovic won the flip, and he’ll be hoping the title, albeit against a paltry field, will give him the moonshine kick of confidence that all poker players covet. The win comes on the back of Imsirovic’s most successful year on the live felt, winning $5.2m. The Bosnian star won seven titles, made 26 final tables, and finished in the top 3 spots 58% of the time. 

The Bosnian warmed up for this one by winning the 30-entrant $50,000 NLHE Bellagio High Roller during the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in December. 

Despite winning the most cash, the stats will show Soverel’s run ended in the #2 position, and that’s ok with him. Soverel also had his best year to date in 2019. He won $5.8m in total, including taking down the British Poker Open (BPO), the Poker Masters, and defending his Poker Central Player of the Year (PoY) title. Of his 28 final tables, Soverel finished in the top 3 spots an incredible 71% of the time, winning eight of them.  

Not this one.

Jim Collopy Also Bags a Win

Despite only nine players turning up for the $25,000 buy-in event, the WPT and the Gardens Casino put on a second event, and Jim Collopy stuck around to win it.

Like Imsirovic and Soverel, Collopy also enjoyed his richest year in 2019 with $590,796 in prize money. The win is his second cash in the Gardens Casino after his deep run in the 2019 WPT Gardens Poker Championship ended in 26th place.

Amongst Collopy’s seven titles sits a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet victory after winning a 172-entrant AUD 1,650 Pot-Limit Omaha contest during the 2013 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific (WSOP-APAC). 

It’s rare to see Collopy playing at these stakes, and his $245,000 purse is the second-best of his life behind the $274,924 he collected for finishing runner-up to Gus Hansen in a £10,350 NLHE Heads-Up High Roller at the 2010 World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) in London.

Collopy is more likely to step on a big ladder than slide down the throat of a giraffe. He warmed up for this one by winning the 16-entrant $10,000 NLHE High Roller at the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) at The Bike at the beginning of December.