CardsChat Presents: Big Winners of the Week (May 23 – 29)

4 min read

Back in the before-times, we’d be getting ready for the World Series of Poker right about now. But as we know, the poker calendar has been totally shaken up, but we’re OK with that so long as we see more and more live tourneys taking place (safely) as the world slowly but surely reopens for business. But pay attention to these names, because we are again seeing a new generation of high-rollers and mid-stakes players showing they can dominate, and will be a force to reckon with in coming years. Read more below about key victories for the week ending Saturday, May 29, 2021:

ali imsirovic poker
(Image: PokerGO)

Ali Imsirovic

Venetian Thursday Night High Roller
Las Vegas


Imsirovic won a high roller poker tournament. Water is wet. The young Bosnian poker pro continues to amaze with his brilliance at the highest stakes. On Thursday night, in a $10K NLH high roller at the Venetian that’s part of the new PokerGO Tour, he beat a field of 77, and is now just a tad shy of $11 million in live tournament winnings. Imsirovic is just 26-years-old and has already achieved poker greatness. With the win, he also earned 200 PokerGO Tour points, extending his lead to 400 points over Sean Perry.

shawn daniels poker
(Image: PokerGO)

Shawn Daniels

Venetian Friday Night High Roller
Las Vegas


Daniels, took down the second $10K NLH of the Venetian high roller mini-series, finally putting an end to Ismirovic’s impressive run. Daniels outlasted a field of 65 players and took the largest share of a $650,000 prize pool. He beat Sergi Reixach, who has been one of the top high rollers the past year, heads-up to win the title. The California native earned the biggest score of his poker career, and now has nearly $1.4 million in live tournament cashes.

Niklas Astedt
(Image: PokerStars)

Niklas Astedt

WPT Online Series PLO


Astedt is one of the greatest when it comes to Texas Hold’em tournaments, but a couple more cards don’t seem to affect his skills. The Swedish sensation is a previous Big Winner of the Week for winning his second GGPoker Super Millions, and he’s back in the CardsChat spotlight for something a bit smaller, but reminding us his game is more than one-dimensional. Astedt took down a $1,575 Pot-Limit Omaha event in the World Poker Tour Online Series on Tuesday, besting a field of 113 after cutting a deal with Brazilian Dante Fernandes.


Bill Byrnes

Ameristar Poker Open Main Event
St. Charles, MO


Ameristar St. Charles, not far from St. Louis, wrapped up its four-event Poker Open last Sunday with the finale of a two-day main event. Bill Byrnes, of nearby Wentzville, took down top honors in the main, cashing for $38,924 after the event’s final four players decided to chop the remaining prize money having nearly equal stacks. Byrnes, a former winner of Heartland Poker Tour St. Louis, narrowly outchipped Jason Simon, Danny Shurtz, and Shawn Brown to claim the win and stretch his recorded lifetime winnings to more than $640,000. The event drew 939 entrants and offered a $319,260 prize pool.


Lily Sotsavanh

WPTDS NLH Freezeout
Star Gold Coast, Australia

AU $19,839

World Poker Tour Asia Pacific recently took its WPT Deep Stacks tour Down Under, where one of the series’ winners was Vannasone “Lily” Sotsavanh. Sotsavanh, of Brisbane, triumphed in the largest-ever freezeout held at the Star Gold Coast in her win on Monday. The single-day $330 event drew 301 players and offered $90,300 in prize money. The big payday was the largest recorded cash of Sotsavanh’s career, and just her second tourney win.

Carlos Estivill
(Image: PS Live The Hippodrome/Twitter)

Carlos Estivill

The Kickoff
Hippodrome Casino


Estivill was all smiles on Sunday night, once he was allowed to remove his facemask and pose for a winner’s photo. His victory in the £275 live event was as much of a win for the Hippodrome as the man himself. COVID-19 restrictions had kept live tournaments in the UK on lockdown for more than a year. However, Estivill was one of 286 players who took full advantage of the recent rule changes last week. Coming through the two-day event, he got the job done with K♠ 8♥. Two pair was enough to take down the final pot and make him the Hippodrome’s biggest (and only) tournament winner of 2021.

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