Another review from the World Series of Poker, this time focusing on Justin Bonomo’s incredible performance in the $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship, his ninth victory of the year.
There are people with boils the size of potatoes, complaining about the puss with a lisp. Ghosts that sleep underneath the arches staring at tins of sardines wondering how to get at the chow without a tin opener.
And then there’s Justin Bonomo.
Poker is a game of skill and luck.
Bonomo is one of the most skilful players in the game. You don’t amass $32,787,761 in lifetime earnings without knowing your way around a poker table. Still, there is no doubt the deck is smacking him in the face like WWE Superstars used to smack the Brooklyn Brawler back in the 90s.
I have a theory.
In May of 2017, Bonomo was one of seven poker players who joined Raising For Effective Giving (REG) as ambassadors. Not only would they commit to donating a percentage of their income to effective charities, but they would sing the praises of the movement to anyone and everyone.
Since taking the vow, Bonomo has earned close to $20m in earnings. When you read self-help books from the sages and read how financial gain lies in service, Bonomo is the modern day example.
114 players entered Event #16: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Championships, 15 fewer than last year when Adrian Mateos defeated John Smith, heads-up, to claim his third bracelet.
All told there were 113 matches, with Justin Bonomo and Jason McConnon competing in seven of them, more than anyone else in the competition.
To win a title as prestigious as the $10,000 Heads-Up you have to beat the best, and Bonomo did that in the very first qualifying match when he beat the former Global Poker Index (GPI) Player of the Year (POY), David Peters.
Next, Bonomo shoved David Laka into the rail before a couple of behemoths decided to get in his way. First, ARIA High Roller star, Jake Schindler, was shown little mercy in a rapid-fire second round match, and then Bonomo ousted the Triple Crown winner, Niall Farrell.
Mark McGovern was the next player to feel the wrath of Bonomo, and a semi-final victory over Martijn Gerrits, where Bonomo overcame an 8:1 chip deficit, saw him come face-to-face with the online high stakes cash game player Jason McConnon in the final.
McConnon began well, but once Bonomo took the lead, he was like a snake with fangs embedded in the skull of a mouse, swallowing the hopes of the man from the UK.
“It’s like a dream,” Bonomo told PokerNews after his win.
Here are the guts of a Bonomo dream.
Since the beginning of the year, Bonomo has won nine events.
It began by thrashing 75 entrants to take the $556,873 first prize in the World Poker Tour (WPT) $25,000 High Roller in January. In February, Bonomo triumphed over 68 entrants to win the $190,400 first prize in a US Poker Open event. Then in March came the most thundersome victory of his career up to that point when he KO’d 75 entrants on his way to a $4.8m payday in the inaugural Super High Roller Bowl (SHRB) in China.
In May, Bonomo took a trek to Monte Carlo for the European Poker Tour (EPT) and came away with two titles ambushing 50 entrants to win the €378,000 first prize in one €25k buy-in event, and 29 entrants to take the €259,700 first prize in another.
Lamps containing Genies.
A few weeks ago, Bonomo broke the hearts of 48 entrants on his way to a career-high $5m score when he won the SHRB.
On a high, Bonomo entered the ARIA High Rollers and beat 35 entrants to win the $350,000 first prize in one $25k buy-in event, and 27 entrants to bank $310,000 in a second event.
And now this.
His second bracelet after breaking the backs of 1,587 players to win a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event earning way back in 2014.
When will it end?
The Top 8 ITM Spots
1. Justin Bonomo – $185,965
2. Jason McConnon – $114,933
3. Juan Pardo Dominguez – $73,179
4. Martijn Gerrits – $73,179
5. Jan-Eric Schwippert – $31,086
6. Mark McGovern – $31,086
7. Nicolai Morris – $31,086
8. Kahle Burns – $31,086