2021 Seminole Hard Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
$25,500 High Roller (Re-Entry)
$1 Million Guaranteed
Prize Pool: $2,519,400
November 29-30, 2021
In a massive field of 102 entries, Ali Imsirovic cruised his way thru most of the $25,500 High Roller final table before defeating defending champion Bryn Kenney heads-up to win $695,355.
Remarkably, this was the 14th victory of the year for Imsirovic in high roller events (with buy-ins of $10,000+).
“It feels great,” said Imsirovic. “I was in for four bullets in this thing and it was looking grim. To come out on top feels amazing.”
Imsirovic busted three times before the dinner break on Day 1, but he made that fourth bullet count, finishing the day with the biggest stack heading into Tuesday’s final table.
Martin Zamani was second in chips to start the final table, and for the first three hours or so, Imsirovic and Zamani were the two big stacks compared to the rest of the table, but didn’t play any particularly big pots against each other.
“Martin plays a very unique style and puts a lot of pressure on,” said Imsirovic, “so I didn’t really want to get into many pots with him. Then Bryn [Kenney] just took all of his chips and made it easy.”
The hand where Kenney took Zamani’s chips (in a pot worth more than 4.9 million) was arguably the turning point for the entire final table, and it didn’t even involve eventual champion Imsirovic. (Click here to read the full details of that hand, which includes a lot of in-hand commentary from Zamani.)
That pot effectively ended Zamani’s final table, and catapulted Kenney into the chip lead. Zamani busted in fifth place, quickly followed by Vikenty Shegal in fourth and Anton Wigg in third, leaving Kenney and Imsirovic to battle for the trophy.
Kenney began heads-up play with more than a 2-to-1 chip lead over Imsirovic, though both players had more than 100 big blinds in their stacks.
Shortly after heads-up play began, they got it all in preflop in a cooler situation, with Imsirovic’s holding up against Kenney’s to give Imsirovic a 3-to-2 chip lead.
Not long after that, they got it all in on the turn with Kenney’s top pair, top kicker against Imsirovic’s flush draw with a straight draw. Imsirovic missed his outs on the river, and Kenney doubled up to a 4-to-1 chip lead.
That’s when Imsirovic literally pulled out a magic wand.
It was one of the wands sold at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando, where Imsirovic and his friends spent the day before the Seminole Hard Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open Championship. (You can see the wand in Imsirovic’s hand in his victory photos.)
“I showed up just in time for Day 1A of the main,” said Imsirovic. “I was wearing Gryffindor stuff and I bagged, and then on Day 2 I was wearing a [wizard’s] robe and I cashed, so I felt like when we got heads-up here, a wand should come out.”
It wasn’t long before they got it all in again, this time after the flop with Kenney’s two pair against Imsirovic’s multiple draws. Imsirovic rivered a straight to double into the chip lead, which he held for the rest of the tournament.
“I needed something to run better,” said Imsirovic, “so the wand worked out.”
Kenney didn’t go down without a fight, even when he got as low as five big blinds. Both players showed patience, but Kenney won their next five all-in situations.
Unfortunately for Kenney, it wasn’t enough to climb out of the hole he had been in. On the final hand, Imsirovic’s flopped a six against Kenney’s to give Imsirovic his 14th high roller victory of the year — and his biggest payday of 2021 with a first prize of $695,355.
With high roller tournaments all over the world, what does Imsirovic like about Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood?
“The field sizes are incredible here,” said Imsirovic. “It’s a lot of fun, the structures are really good, and I just really enjoy playing here.”