Some people believe that poker is nothing more than a game of luck that requires no skill to succeed. Try telling that to Justin Bonomo, who now has almost $60 million in live tournament action since his first live cash 18 years ago.
Participating in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), where he ran into trouble during the Main Event, Bonomo redeemed himself at the $25K 8-Handed event. He took it down, adding $574,529 to his bank.
Bonomo, a four-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, is at the top among the poker elite. He was already the all-time money leader before the latest win, but the new money will make it more challenging for anyone to catch up.
Chasing The Cards
Poker, especially Texas Hold’em, definitely has an element of luck, but there is also an overwhelming amount of skill involved. Even Bonomo recognizes that it helps to get lucky; however, it’s important to know how to respond when the cards go soft in order to stay in the game.
The PCA $25K High Roller attracted a number of poker greats, including Ike Haxton, Carlos Chadha, Stephen Chidwick and more. It was a veritable who’s who of poker’s greatest names.
The event attracted 140 players – an impressive count for a game with an expensive buy-in and not a huge following. One by one, Chidwick and others fell, until the last remaining nine met at the table.
Tough beats – pocket 9s over pocket 8s, A-Q over A-9 – would see the field dwindle. Chadha made it to fourth for $286,950 before he got mixed up with Isaac Haxton. That left just three players in the fight.
However, there wouldn’t be a fight. The trio – Bonomo, Haxton and Rui Ferreira – agreed to chop the pot and let a card flip determine who got the trophy. Bonomo won, with Ferreira and Haxton taking $664,820 and $491,550, respectively.
Bonomo showed his sportsmanship and modesty after the game. When asked by PokerNews why they agreed to deal, his response was both concise and poignant.
Haxton is 15th on the All-Time Money List, and Bonomo referred to him as “possibly the greatest poker mind in the world.” He also emphasized Ferreira, Portugal’s third-ranked player, and his poker skills.
On the list of winningest poker players, Bryn Kenney falls in second place with $57.2 million. After him is Daniel Negreanu, with $50.11 million. Bonomo has two years on Kenney, whose first cash was in 2007, so the race is on.
Living The High-Roller Life
Bonomo, originally from Virginia, is no stranger to taking on other high rollers – he’s made a career out of it. Last December, he took down the $10K High Roller in the PokerGO Tour series. Two months earlier, won back-to-back high-roller events in the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Classic.
His all-time best month came in August 2019. He ran quickly through three events at the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in London for about $7.4 million. That was the result of first- and second-place finishes, as well as a smaller cash in the third with an exit in 15th place.
However, the world’s leading poker money-maker saw his biggest pot ever a year earlier. He took down the $1M Big One for One Drop at that year’s WSOP for $10 million.
Bonomo’s repeated successes at the felt have put him at the top of several lists. He leads the US All-Time Money List, the Virginia All-Time Money List and the All-Time Money List. Either he’s the luckiest poker player to ever live, or he has the skill to know how to manipulate the tables and gain an advantage.
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