Bodog's Sponsored Pros Dwindle As Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo QuitsJanuary 4, 2010 9:34 am
Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo made his Team Bodog pro debut at the 2008 World Series of Poker, but is now the latest pro to leave the site, who’s dwindling sponsored pros stable now includes just David Williams and Evelyn Ng.
Justin Bonomo (25) has earned over $2,300,000 from live tournament winnings, including 11 cashes as the WSOP accounting for $876,856. However, the young professional’s career hasn’t always been smooth and in 2006 found himself banned from a number of poker sites, after it was discovered he had multiple accounts at PartyPoker and PokerStars, which he had used to enter the same online poker tournaments.
At first he tried to justify his actions by stating that his poker profits were badly affected by too many people knowing his style under “ZeeJustin”, but as he felt the backlash from the poker community, he took a more repentant stance. He subsequently offered to play on PokerStars with all money going to charity, which the site rejected. At the time, Bonomo said:
“Basically, I realize that what I’ve done is terrible, but I refuse to accept the fact that those actions define me as a person. I see this as a way to overcome what I’ve done, not as a poker player, or a wanna-be celebrity, but as a human being.”
Two year’s later, his checkered past had been put behind him, and he was signed on as a member of Team Bodog, who announced at the time: “Justin is one of the most feared and skilled players in poker today and we’re thrilled to officially have him join our team of world-class poker pros.Justin lives and breathes the Bodog lifestyle and is a perfect fit for us. We expect him to make a lot of noise this year for Team Bodog.”
As from last Saturday, Bonomo’s image is no longer to be found on the Bodog website, and on last week’s UB.com-sponsored poker news show “Poker2Nite” while analysing a hand from a tournament during the 2008 WSOP, the Bodog logo on his shirt had been blurred out.
Here is the official word from Bodog :
· Bodog and Justin Bonomo have agreed that, with the transition of the Bodog-branded poker rooms to the Bodog Network in 2010, now was a natural time to reevaluate the relationship, and have agreed to part ways.
· Justin has served bodog fantastically well and there is no doubt that he is one of the best poker players on the planet but 2010 sees the bodogBrand launch its new poker network and with that a re-focus of what the key aims of the business are and this natural break in the contract seems the right time for us to allow Justin and ourselves to pursue other opportunities.
· Everybody associated with the bodog brand wishes Justin well in the future and those that worked directly with him agree that he his professionalism and respect on the poker circuit is outstanding.
· The new Bodog Poker Network, headed by Patrik Selin will be fully launched at the end of 2010
· The new offering has already caused much debate with its re-working of the rakeback issue and will be looking to reward operators bringing depositing players to the table rather than the traditional method of rewarding the winning players.
I would like to thank Bodog for providing a clear explanation as to the situation, and acknowledge that Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo leaving was a mutual agreement, and the word “quit” used in the title was somewhat inaccurate.