Poker Pro Justin Bonomo Heads To MaltaAugust 22, 2011 7:39 am
Following the DoJ’s anti-online poker crusade in April, many pros waited until the end of WSOP 2011 before finally moving out of the USA to continue their chosen careers.
Online sensation Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo has now become the most recent big-name American poker pro to join the exodus from the country and add his name to a list which already includes such players as Phil Galfond, Vanessa Selbst, Jon Aguiar, Mike “MeleaB” Brooks, Olivier Busquet, Daniel Negreanu, and Cole South.
Announcing his decision via his Facebook page the 25-year-old pro wrote:
“Now is as good a time as any to announce that I’m moving to Malta…My cousin’s wedding is in Virginia on 9/16, and there’s a WPT in Malta on 9/20, so hopefully I’ll have all my stuff together in time to leave straight from the wedding to live in Malta.”
The former Team Bodog Pro has made $2,894,825 playing live poker tournaments, but also had a lucrative career playing online cash games before Black Friday. Bonomo will now be looking forward to continuing his online profession on the Subtropical–Mediterranean island located between Europe and North Africa.
The island which will soon become his base also has a population of 410,000, is renowned as a tourist resort, and enjoys warm to hot summers and mild winters.
It is also apparent Justin Bonomo is viewing his move as a long-term venture and has even put most of his biggest possessions up for sale including his home in Las Vegas, Nevada. As he commented on Facebook:
“Keep an eye on my facebook statuses if you have any interest in my Apartment, Furniture, or car (2009 G37 under 9K miles).”
With Justin Bonomo’s relocation to Malta, it now becomes more likely other players will now follow him onto the island, especially as it appears a VISA can be obtained without either being a university student or a full-time employee with a Maltese company.
The continued exodus of top flite pros from the US will also likely impact the size and quality of poker tournaments in North America.