Jake Schindler and Ali Imsirovic have been getting the cold-shoulder treatment from other members of the high-stakes poker community ever since they were accused of cheating. The allegations range from collusion to the use of real-time assistance (RTA), and both players were reportedly banned from playing on GGPoker online as a result.
Despite rumors that both players were banned from European Poker Tour events (there was no official announcement), Schindler and Imsirovic had been free to compete elsewhere on the live circuit, making appearances at both the PokerGO studio at Aria and at this summer’s World Series of Poker. Imsirovic made a deep run in the WSOP main event and Schindler won his first bracelet, all while dodging verbal jabs from some of the angrier high roller players.
On Thursday, PokerGO dropped another hammer by indefinitely suspending both players from all PokerGO Tour events. The suspensions will last at least through the 2022 season, at which point a review will take place where each can appeal for reinstatement.
“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,” the tour said in a statement.
Additionally, both players have been removed from the PGT leaderboard. Last year, Imsirovic ran away with the honors, winning 14 titles while making 30 final tables and winning more than $5.9 million. His run continued into this year where he has earned a further $3.5 million and once again put himself in the running for several Player of the Year titles.
Schindler not only pocketed $2.2 million at the WSOP to go along with his bracelet, but also another $3.2 million when he won the April Super High Roller Bowl Europe event. The former POY winner was also in the running for the PGT title before he was removed from the rankings.
As it currently stands, Stephen Chidwick and Phil Ivey sit in a virtual tie atop the leaderboard, each with $5.7 million in cashes this year so far. The tour is currently running events for the Poker Masters in Las Vegas, which will feature buy-ins between $10,000 and $50,000.
PokerGO’s announcement was notably absent of any mention of Bryn Kenney, who was also accused of cheating when news of the scandal originally broke. Unlike Imsirovic and Schindler, Kenney has twice publicly defended himself, admitting to some smaller infractions while dodging questions about ghosting or collusion.
Kenney has since been spotted playing online again, which may mean that he has been reinstated following the initial ban. However, he told podcaster Joey Ingram that he has “never been banned on GGPoker ever” or had his “account frozen or suspended.”