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PokerGO Tour Indefinitely Bans Accused Cheaters Ali Imsirovic & Jake Schindler
The subscription-based poker streaming service PokerGO announced both on its PokerGO News website and via social media that high-stakes poker beasts Ali Imsirovic and Jake Schindler are banned from PokerGO Tour Events for the remainder of the year.
This means that both players will be removed from the 2022 PokerGO Tour Leaderboard with now Stephen Chidwick as the captain with the legendary Phil Ivey just one point behind.
For starters, this means that both players will be prohibited to compete in the 2022 Poker Masters, which began a couple of days ago and runs through October 2 at the PokerGO Studio located in the heart of the ARIA Casino & Resort. Incidentally, Jeremy Ausmus quietly won in the shadows of other players' controversies the 2022 Poker Masters Event #1: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em for $204,000
The PokerGO Tour (PGT) today announced the indefinite suspensions of Ali Imsirovic and Jake Schindler from tour play, effective immediately. The suspensions will extend through at least the 2022 PGT season, upon which time a review will take place.
“The PGT is committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and emphasizes proper conduct to ensure the safety and security of its players and events.”
Both players have been ruled ineligible for the season-ending PGT Championship and have been removed from the 2022 PGT leaderboard.PokerGO News
Statement regarding the PGT status of Ali Imsirovic and Jake Schindler.— PokerGO Tour (@PokerGOTour) September 22, 2022
🔗 - https://t.co/P1CXlpOVJi pic.twitter.com/WWFsyrOkkw
From Poker Heros to Outcasts
Imsirovic and Schindler were on the top of the world with $53 million in combined live earnings as tracked by The Hendon Mob. In particular, Imsirovic was widely known as the best high-stakes no-limit hold'em tournament player in the world in 2021 when he won a whopping 14 high-stakes tournaments catapulting him to both the PokerGO Tour and the Global Poker Index Player of the Year.
Both players took a big reputational hit in April when many reputable members of the high-stakes poker community including Chance Kornuth and Alex Foxen launched cheating accusations including RTA in online events and collusion during live events.
Poker black-list can't come soon enough.— Alex Foxen (@WAFoxen) April 18, 2022
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.
The poker Twitterverse exploded with most in the poker community calling for them to be blacklisted in both the live and online poker arenas. PokerStars was rumored to have banned both players from the EPT while Triton Poker was rumored to do the same with their events. One thing is for certain is that both Imsirovic and Schindler typically do not miss either event and they were noticeably absent from both the EPT Monaco and the Triton Super High Roller Series Cyprus.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) didn't react the same as the EPT and Triton Poker and allowed both players to compete. This obviously led to some controversy. However, not too much different than former Full Tilt Poker executive Chris "Jesus" Ferguson coming back to play in 2016 after a five-year break while silently ignoring his haters and the media alike. The following year, Ferguson put in a full schedule and went on to win the 2017 WSOP Player of the Year.
In a slightly similar fashion, Schindler and Imsirovic ignored the haters and grinded out the 2022 WSOP as if nothing changed. Schindler went on to win his first WSOP gold bracelet after he shipped the WSOP Event #8: $50,000 High Roller for $1,328,068.
Time will tell whether the WSOP will follow the suit of others and ban both players along with former GGPoker Ambassador Bryn Kenney who was also a prime target of cheating accusations with the 2022 WSOP Europe taking place in November at King's Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.
Is the Announcement Enough?
While most in the poker world support the announcement it is fair to question to ask if this is enough. However, it would also be fair to give PokerGO time to evaluate the situation near the end of the year with the current ban described as indefinite and at least through the end of the 2022 PokerGO Tour season.
While most in the poker community supported the ban, not everyone on Twitter did. Although when players did disagree, it appeared that reputable poker players such as Jason Wheeler were quick to react.
this hurts the fans the most? put the pipe down man. any true fan would support this.— Jason Wheeler (@JDPC27) September 23, 2022
High-stakes poker player Kahle Burns also wasn't shy to share his feelings.
Hit the road LIVEsimrovic and Jakey SWINDLER. Need to be on the lookout as these rodents will try play online everywhere as well. https://t.co/8hYvTRaRxn— Kahle Burns (@ROFLshove) September 23, 2022
Founder and lead instructor of Solve for Why Poker Training Academy Matt Berkey
Big victory for the community today. To the naysayers that believe the community leaders are powerless, this is an important precedence to take note of. Kudos to @PokerGO, other operators, & the Integrity Council for doing the right thing. https://t.co/Hk2vXdLyt4— Matt Berkey (@berkey11) September 23, 2022
Do you agree with this decision? How do you feel the WSOP should react? Share your thoughts in our comments section below.