The young gun, the up and comer, the rising star, the phenom, the prodigy. There are just a few descriptions for some newer success stories at the poker felt.
- Who are a few names to watch that are scoring big at the tables?
- Who could be the next big name to break through?
Here’s a look at a few of these young players making some waves in the poker world and how they got to this point:
Table of Contents
1 – Ali Imsirovic
This young player has been one of the hottest players in poker over the last few years. A poker whirlwind began for Imsirovic in 2018.
He started the year winning a $10,150 event at the PCA in the Bahamas for $160,050. He then followed that up in April at the $2,700 Borgata Spring Poker Open for $246,066.
Later Ali scored back-to-back runner-up finishes in Aria High Rollers in May. The poker world took notice when he notched two wins in the Poker Masters in September at the Aria in Las Vegas for $1.26 million.
He took home the purple jacket for the Player of the Series.
Since then, there have been big wins and final table appearances for Imsirovic on some of the game’s biggest stages:
- U.S. Poker Open
- WSOP Circuit
- Bellagio High Rollers
- Aria High Rollers
- WSOP, Super High Roller Bowl, and many others
In 2021 at age 25, he added a couple more runner-up finishes in Aria High Rollers and continues to score in live events. Originally from Vancouver, Washington, his parents moved to the U.S. from Bosnia when he was young. A basketball player in high school, an injury played a role in Imsirovic taking up poker.
“I messed up my ankle playing basketball, and I needed something else to do,” he told WPT.com in 2019. “So, I found poker. My dad would play with his friends, but they wouldn't let me play. So, I read some poker books, and I got into it.”
That injury led to a big career at the tables, and he remains a force in the poker world.
Nationality: American, born in Bosnia
?Major scores: Poker Masters, WSOP Circuit, U.S. Poker Open
?Career tournament winnings: $9.1 million
2 – Charlie Carrell
After a £10 deposit online, this young poker pro claims to have run that up to more than £3 million by April 2017. His first big live score came in 2014 at age 21in the £2,125 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour event Grand Final.
Carrell took his first major title for $170,950.
Carrell has followed that up by winning the EPT Monte Carlo $25,500 High Roller in 2015 for $1.2 million. A year later, he notched two more big scores at EPT Dublin, winning the £10,200 high roller event for $185,104.
More EPT wins, and deep finishes followed. he also scored well on the WPT, Triton series, WSOP, and many other events.
In 2017, he took runner-up in a $100,000 high roller at the PCA for $1.2 million. Carrell remains a top pro and a regular in high stakes events.
?Major scores: EPT, high rollers
?Career tournament winnings: $9.6 million
3 – Brock Wilson
This 26-year-old broke through with some massive scores over the last few years. 2019 was especially big and produced his first six-figure score. In November, he took runner-up in the PCA $25,500 High Roller for $619,560.
Wilson followed that up in December with a runner-up finish in the $10,500 High Roller at the WPT Seminole Rock & Roll Poker Open for $301,215.
The same month he won a $10,000 event at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles for $110,020.
Big finishes have continued ever since. Wilson remains an interesting player who jumps in lots of events live and online.
?Major scores: PCA, WPT, WSOP Circuit
?Career tournament winnings: $2.3 million
4 – Sean Perry
Poker runs in the family for this player from Encinitas, California. His father, Ralph Perry, has been a pro since 1992 and finished third in the 2002 WSOP Main Event.
His son Sean is no poker slouch either, finishing fourth in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in 2017 for $504,090 at age 21.
In December 202, Perry produced a couple of runner-up finishes in $10,000 Wynn High Rollers. That added another $126,000 to his career winnings.
When not playing poker, Perry works in real estate. It’s been a decent few years for this young poker player. If his winnings continue, more real estate purchases might be in order.
?Major scores: WPT
?Career tournament winnings: $896,639
5 – BlazZerjav
This player made news in 2020 by taking fourth in a massive WPT World Championship online event for $552,006 at only age 23. The young Slovenian has become a hot name in online poker and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
With live poker shut down in 2020, Zerjav found plenty of success on the virtual felt. His best live score came in 2019 when he finished eighth in a €1,100 event in the Czech Republic for $26,944.
He’ll be a fascinating name to watch as the live game returns.
?Major scores: WPT online
?Career tournament winnings: $729,420
6 – Landon Tice
This poker young gun began his poker career grinding it out in $0.10/$0.20 games online and then continued moving on up. He now plays mid- and high-stakes cash games both live and online.
He made news in 2021 by scheduling a heads-up online challenge with hedge fund manager Bill Perkins.
Confident in his skills, Tice felt he held a significant advantage against the wealthy recreational player. In 2020, he also helped Doug Polk prepare for his big heads-up, high stakes matchup with Daniel Negreanu.
Tice and Polk streamed their $2/$4 battle, and Tice came out ahead.
Originally from Boca Raton, Florida, Tice burst on to the poker scene in 2020 at age 21. He won the $1,100 Mid-States Poker Tour Main Event at the Venetian for $201,529.
His hoodie in his winner’s photo had an interesting saying: “It’s only money.”
?Major scores: Mid-States Poker Tour
?Career tournament winnings: $201,529
7 – Lynne Ji
This Californian has already made appearances on cash game shows like PokerGO’s High Stakes Poker and Live at the Bike. She began playing poker in 2017 and spends much of her time playing cash games around Los Angeles.
Ji is aggressive and admits she took some lumps early. She doesn’t have any significant tournament scoresbut makes her living at the cash game tables.
For High Stakes Poker, Ji was literally asked to play only a few hours beforehand. However, she says it was a great experience playing against top names like Tom Dwan and Nick Petrangelo. She might be a player to watch in the coming years as live poker begins returning after the pandemic.
?Major scores: Live at the Bike
?Career tournament winnings: NA
Poker continues to attract younger players looking for a shot at card-playing glory. In recent years,a younger generation is at the forefront of innovative strategies and outlooks on poker.
Adding more players is always good for the game. This younger generation of players on our list brings their own unique insight and attitude.
Not only are younger players attracted to the game, but they continue shaping events like the World Series of Poker.
Since 2008, only four Main Event winners have not been in their 20s. In the early days of the event, gaining experience at the tables took years of live play.
For our web story about 7 young poker rising stars, just click here.