Ali Imsirovic Admits to Multi-Accounting & Preflop Chart Use, Denies Other Cheating

Accused poker cheater Ali Imsirovic broke his silence on June 25, admitting to some of the accusations against him in a YouTube video, while denying others. He confirmed that his account was banned from the leading international site GGPokerfor multi-accounting and use of preflop charts while playing. According to Imsirovic, the site confiscated $320,000 when it closed his account. However, he scoffed at many other allegations that have been leveled against him more recently, including those involving players he has staked.

Imsirovic and another accused cheater, Jake Schindler, sparked controversy when they attended and ran deep in the 2022 WSOP Main Event amidst the allegations. Shortly thereafter, PokerGO announced that it had banned both men from its tour.

(Meanwhile, this year’s WSOP already has its own alleged cheating scandal, though Poker.org reports that tournament officials have concluded their investigation and have found no evidence to support the accusations.)

The 2022 allegations against Imsirovic came from fellow high-stakes pros Alex Foxen, Chance Kornuth and Justin Bonomo. These included peeking at another player’s hole cards, using real-time assistance (RTA) while playing online, and colluding with or “ghosting” he had allegedly staked.

In the video, Imsirovic continued to deny all those allegations. In fact, he claims he no longer has any “horses,” meaning players he has backed financially and whose winnings he would share.

However, he acknowledged that he did cheat online by multi-accounting in tournaments during two separate periods. The first of these was in 2020, during the pandemic. The second was in 2022 after the public accusations had driven him away from live play.

What Did Imsirovic Admit To?

Multi-accounting means playing on the same poker site under more than one screen name. It’s against all sites’ terms of service. Players do it for a variety of reasons, ranging from using a different screen name to deceive opponents who have a read on their play to entering multiple accounts in a single tournament and coordinating their play as a form of “self-collusion.”

It’s not clear exactly which version of this Imsirovic engaged in. However, early in the video, he explains that he was doing it as an attempt to “fight back” against opponents he believed to be working in teams and sharing their cards. That seems to imply he was likewise using multiple accounts simultaneously, not merely masking his identity.

He claims he did this for about four to five months, after which he began feeling guilty and stopped.

At the same time, he says he was also using “Monker Charts,” meaning pre-calculated solutions for preflop play by a Twitter user named MonkerGuy. 

GGPoker considers the use of such charts to be a form of RTA, though that term is usually understood to mean assistance from software calculating strategies on the fly. Imsirovic admits that he was banned from GG for both the charts and multi-accounting. However, he defends the chart use by claiming that to his understanding, everyone in those games was using similar charts.

Imsirovic says GGPoker banned him in August 2022, alongside 81 other users. To his understanding, the majority of these bans were for RTA use and specifically the use of such charts.

I think, at that time, almost everyone who plays poker didn’t think of that as an actual RTA. And I’ve actually had multiple well-respected high stakes players tell me that they had Monker open on another computer for preflop charts. They were doing the same thing, it was just untraceable because it was on another computer.

At that point, Imsirovic says he contacted GGPoker to try to argue. However, he dropped the matter when the company informed him it had also determined that he’d been multi-accounting.

The ‘Too Bad to Be Cheating’ Defense

Imsirovic admits that he multi-accounted online again in 2022 after the accusations and his resulting unpopularity made live poker intolerable. He says he stopped again after two months at a friend’s urging:

I did it for a short period and then I had a good friend message me and tell me not to become what people are saying I am. So that really stuck with me and I just didn’t want to be this guy.

Aside from that, however, he denies the rest of the accusations against him.

It’s very hard to prove cheating in poker and even harder to prove the absence of cheating. As evidence in his favor, however, Imsirovic repeatedly points to bad play.

One of those accusations involves a 2020 heads-up online match against Doug Polk. Imsirovic claims that he played the match badly and that Polk simply played worse. His defense, in effect, is that if he had been using RTA, there would be fewer errors in his play.

When it comes to “ghosting” his horses, Imsirovic uses a similar argument. Ghosting, in this context, means providing real-time advice to another player while they’re at a final table.

He says that most of the players in question had a losing history even against relatively weak tournament fields. If he’d been helping them, he claims, then surely they would have been winners.

Imsirovic Casts Shade at His Accusers

Imsirovic concludes his video by casting aspersions at some of his accusers. He doesn’t name names and insists he isn’t trying to pick any fights, but he points out that of his “main accusers,” several have used RTA, multi-accounted, or been banned from online poker sites.

One of the accusers he’s referring to is almost certainly Bonomo, who himself admitted to having multi-accounted way back in 2006 and is banned from PokerStars because of it. Meanwhile, Foxen has previously faced accusations of colluding with then-girlfriend Kristen Bicknell; the two are now married.

On the other hand, Imsirovic takes care to explicitly exclude certain players from his vague accusations. Early in the video, when explaining the “shady business” he believes was going on in high-stakes GGPoker games, he mentions David Peters, Isaac Haxton, and Nick Petrangelo as players he says he’s 100% sure were playing “as legit as possible.”

About the Author

Alex Weldon

Alex Weldon

Alex Weldon is an online gambling industry analyst with nearly ten years of experience. He currently serves as Casino News Managing Editor for Bonus.com, part of the Catena Media Network. Other gambling news sites he has contributed to include PlayUSA and Online Poker Report, and his writing has been cited in The Atlantic.
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