David Peters Wins Second U.S. Poker Open Crown, Ali Imsirovic Closing in on Leaderboard Title

  • David Peters is the only player to win two events at the U.S. Poker Open
  • Ali Imsirovic has a large leaderboard lead, but could still be caught in the final days
  • The U.S. Poker Open is the first stop on the PokerGO Tour
  • PokerGO has created its own global player ranking system
David Peters, U.S. Poker Open
As the U.S. Poker Open winds down, David Peters, winner of two events, is trying to chase down Ali Imsirovic for the leaderboard title. [Image: PokerGO.com]

Top two on leaderboard battle heads-up

The 2021 U.S. Poker Open draws to a close this week and with just two tournaments left to be decided, David Peters and Ali Imsirovic stand out as stars of the festival. Peters is the only double winner of the Open, while Imsirovic is running away with the U.S. Poker Championship.

On Sunday, Peters won Event #10: $10,000 Short Deck for his second victory of the series. He previously won Event #7: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em. With an additional cash on top of the two wins, Peters has banked $367,200 at the U.S. Poker Open so far this year.

going into the four-handed final table, Peters had a massive chip lead

With just 27 players in the tournament, only four players made the money. The unfortunate “bubble boy” was Daniel Negreanu, who lost an all-in with pocket Kings to Peters’ Jack-Ten when Peters rivered a straight. Going into the four-handed final table, Peters had a massive chip lead, holding 5.3 million chips compared to Cary Katz’s 1.3 million, Imsirovic’s 1 million, and Thomas Kysar’s 360,000.

Peters eliminated Kysar on the very first hand of Sunday’s final table, while Imsirovic felted Katz a bit later. Largely because of the chip disparity, Imsirovic was never able to mount a serious challenge heads-up and Peters took it down after about an hour and a half.

Timing running out to catch Imsirovic

But even though Peters has won two of the ten completed tournaments so far, it is Imsirovic who closing in on the leaderboard points title, the U.S. Poker Championship, and the new Golden Eagle Trophy. With 483 points, he is 116 ahead of Peters. Only two other players – Andrew Lichtenberger and Joe McKeehen – have over 300, and just barely.

Peters will make up ground on Monday, as he has made the six-handed final table of Event #11: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em. He is one of the short stacks, though, so it will take some work to win his third tournament of the series. If he is the first one eliminated Monday, he would earn an estimated 62 points, narrowing the leaderboard deficit.

After the $25,000 NLH event, there is just one other tournament to be played. It will take some effort, but it is still fully possible for someone to catch Imsirovic, who has one win and five total cashes during the 2021 U.S. Poker Open. All told, he has earned $482,000 during the Open, far and away the most of any player.

First PokerGO Tour stop of 2021

The 2021 U.S. Poker Open is the first stop in PokerGO’s new PokerGO Tour. When the Tour was first announced in April, there were five stops scheduled: the U.S. Poker Open, the PokerGO Cup, the PokerGO Heads-Up Championship, Poker Masters, and the Super High Roller Bowl. Since then, several more festivals have been announced, stretching into late September.

PokerGO also introduced what it calls the “first-ever global professional poker ranking system,” though there are others, such as the Global Poker Index. Where it differs from other ranking systems is that it only takes into account a tournament’s buy-in and the prize a player wins (and, of course, where a player finishes). Other systems tend to factor in the size of the field somewhere, along with the buy-in and a player’s finishing spot.

For example, at the U.S. Poker Open, a cash of $100,000 in an event with a $10,000 buy-in would award a player 100 points. That number actually goes down to 60 points for a tournament with a $25,000 buy-in, possibly because the $25,000 buy-in event would be assumed to have fewer players. It could also be a way to not reward the deep-pocketed players just for having deep pockets.

The overall points leader at the end of the season will win $100,000. Second and third places will win $50,000 and $25,000, respectively.