Justin Bonomo’s Super Heater Continues with WSOP Bracelet Win in Vegas

Justin Bonomo's Super Heater Continues with WSOP Bracelet Win in Las Vegas

The 49th World Series of Poker has already seen a number of top professionals increase their career bracelet tallies, including the likes of Elio Fox (2), Nick Petrangelo (2), Paul Volpe (3), and Joe Cada (3). On Wednesday, Justin Bonomo then became the latest pro to pick up a coveted gold accolade after winning Event #16: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship for $185,965.

In 2014, Bonomo took down the $1,500 NLHE Six Handed event for $449,980, representing his first piece of hardware at the Series. When asked how the two bracelets compare, the 32 year-old replied:

“The first bracelet definitely felt a lot more special. I had four second-place finishes at that time without a first-place finish. Now, I don’t really have to feel like I have to get any monkey off my back anymore or kill any kind of curse. The significance of this one just means that my insane winning streak isn’t over. I just hope it continues.”

Insane Winning Streak

Justin Bonomo has won $32,787,759 since cashing in at his first live tournament back in 2005. The last three years, however, have produced the biggest share of his earnings, having amassed $4,228,457 in 2016, $4,528,569 in 2017, and now a massive $14,753,603 over the first six months of 2018.

Furthermore, Bonomo has captured an astounding 9 titles this year, including victory in March at the HK$2.1M Super High Roller Bowl Entry Macau for US$4,823,077, and in May at the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl Las Vegas for $5 million. As a result of these and his other cashes, Bonomo now boasts $32,787,759 in lifetime earnings, placing him at number 3 on poker’s ‘All Time Money List’, behind Daniel Negreanu ($39,546,094), and Erik Seidel ($34,507,095), but ahead of Daniel Colman ($28,925,059) in 4th place overall.

In 2014, Colman went on live poker’s biggest ever winning streak after winning $22,389,481, including claiming the Big One for One Drop title for $15.3 million. In 2016, Germany’s Fedor Holz then made 15 final table appearances, and won six events that year for $16,093,402, of which his biggest score came after taking down the WSOP $111,111 High Roller for One Drop for $4,981,775.

With just half the year gone, however, few would bet against Bonomo’s incredible run continuing, and his eventually surpassing the huge targets set by his formidable fellow pros, Colman and Holz.

$10k HU NLHE Championship

A total of 114 players entered Event #16: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship, in the process creating a prize pool worth $1,074,600. Bonomo subsequently won all 7 of his matches to claim his second career WSOP bracelet, with his list of vanquished opponents along the way including the likes of David Peters, David Laka, Jake Schindler, Niall Farrell, Mark McGovern, and Martijn Gerrits.

In the final battle, Bonomo faced off against Jason McConnon for the title, with the latter eventually dropping down to a 7-1 chip disadvantage before shoving all-in preflop holding Q-9. Bonomo made the call with pocket fours, and after the dealer laid out a K-10-2-2-8 board, England’s McConnon collected $114,933 for his runner-up finish, while top honors went to Bonomo. Commenting later on his final encounter, Bonomo stated:

“In the final match, I simply caught much hotter cards than I did in the semifinal match. I didn’t know who my opponent was before the start of the championship, but I looked him up online and he plays high-stakes cash online. He’s just the type of guy that knows all the spots inside and out. Definitely not someone that you want to face in a heads-up tournament.”

Final Table Result

1: Justin Bonomo (US) $185,965
2: Jason McConnon (UK) $114,933
3: Juan Pardo Dominguez (SPN) $73,179
4: Martijn Gerrits (NETH) $73,179
5: Jan-Eric Schwippert (GER) $31,086
6: Mark McGovern (UK) $31,086
7: Nicolai Morris (US) $31,086
8: Kahle Burns (AUS) $31,086

Living Your Dreams

In the 2002 James Bond movie Die Another Day, the villain Gustav Graves was robbed of his ability to sleep following gene therapy, but as he pointed out to 007; “One of the virtues of never sleeping, Mr. Bond. I have to live my dreams.” He also warned Bond that “you can’t kill my dreams. But my dreams can kill you.”

It would seem Justin Bonomo has reached a similar conclusion himself, and as he cryptically explained following his WSOP success: “I think I’m dreaming. I think that this is not real life and I think that’s the secret. Just win in your dreams because there you can actually win every tournament.”