Few names shine brighter than Justin Bonomo in the ever-changing world of professional poker. His rise from a young prodigy to a seasoned veteran with remarkable poker wins and an impressive net worth has piqued the interest of poker fans and the general public. However, Bonomo's journey to stardom has not been without controversy. This comprehensive article will explore Justin Bonomo's life and career, including his net worth, poker wins, cheating, strategy, and more.

Justin Bonomo at a poker table

Born on September 30, 1985, in Richmond, Virginia, Justin Bonomo showed an affinity for strategy games from a young age. During his teenage years, he excelled in the highly competitive realm of Magic: The Gathering, the world's most widely played trading card game.

For many young adults, Magic has often served as a gateway to a career as a professional poker player, and Bonomo's journey was no different. While deeply involved in Magic: The Gathering, he stumbled upon the poker world and swiftly began refining his skills through online games.

Justin Bonomo playing poker in the early days of his career

The early 2000s marked the golden era of online poker, and Justin Bonomo was one of the first to embrace this burgeoning trend fully. He played under the alias "ZeeJustin" on PokerStars and rapidly gained recognition and respect within the online poker community. Bonomo's natural aptitude for the game and sharp strategic acumen translated effortlessly to the professional poker arena, propelling him to prominence in the industry.

PokerStars starting out holding online poker games back in 2001 and now the company is worth over 6 billion dollars. They sponsor a slew of tournaments like the European Poker Tour, UK and Ireland Poker Tour, plus a handful of others. Over the years, PokerStars has remained on top of the online poker industry. They’ve expanded to offer fantastic online casino games and sports betting.

Justin Bonomo achieved a remarkable milestone by becoming the youngest player ever to grace a televised final table in 2005. His journey in the poker world began during the first year of the EPT in Deauville, France, where, at just 19 years old, he managed to secure an impressive fourth-place finish. This accomplishment was nothing short of extraordinary for someone of his age during that era.

Over the next few years, Bonomo continued solidifying his reputation in the poker community, amassing an impressive record of notable finishes and final table appearances at prestigious events like the World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas.

Justin's first major tournament victory came swiftly – in April 2009, he clinched the $5,000 WSOP Circuit Event, raking in a substantial prize of over $227,000 and securing a prized WSOP Ring. This triumph catapulted Bonomo's ascent into the upper echelons of the global poker elite.

Bonomo, after winning the $1,000,000 WSOP One Drop in 2018

In 2018, Justin Bonomo achieved a success that was nothing short of exceptional, as he exceeded all predictions and established new records. His incredible journey commenced in May with a triumph at the Super High Roller Bowl China, where he earned an astonishing $4.8 million in winnings. Building on this accomplishment, he continued to shine at the Super High Roller Bowl in Las Vegas, adding a further $5 million to his remarkable earnings.

In 2019, the poker community witnessed the rise of the Triton Poker Series, adding a fresh dimension to the game. Bonomo, as expected, continued to establish his dominance as one of the elite players in this sphere. Bonomo’s expertise in the recently introduced Short Deck Hold'em variant was on display as he triumphed in a £100,000 event, securing a substantial £2.67 million. Additionally, Bonomo earned a runner-up position in a £250,000 Short Deck Hold'em tournament, pocketing an impressive £3.42 million.

He achieved multiple remarkable finishes in the Super High Roller Bowl and Poker Masters tournaments, but his most recent major triumph came in June 2020 at the $100,000 + 2,000 No-Limit Hold'em Super High Roller Bowl event, where he walked away with a staggering $1,775,000 in winnings.

Bonomo had a triumphant trip to the Bahamas for this year's(2023) PCA series. He began with a 44th-place finish in the PCA Main Event, netting $29,400. Bonomo continued his winning streak by taking first place in a $25,000 NL hold'em event, bagging an impressive $574,530. His remarkable journey concluded with a sixth-place finish in the $250,000 Super High Roller, where he walked away with $664,900.

2018 WSOP $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop1$10,000,000
Super High Roller Bowl IV1$5,000,000
Super High Roller Bowl China1$4,823,077
2019 Triton Poker Series London £250,000 Les Ambassadeurs Private Event2$4,135,129
2019 Triton Poker Series London £100,000 Short Deck Main Event1$3,248,728
2012 EPT Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller1$2,165,217
Super High Roller Bowl VI2$1,890,000
2013 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $5,300 Main Event2$1,163,500
2018 PCA $100,000 Super High Roller2$1,077,800
2021 WPT Five Diamond $100,000 Super High Roller1$928,200

Justin Bonomo's Top 10 Live Tournament Scores

Justin Bonomo wins the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl

(Top 10 tournament earnings as of August 2023)

1Bryn Kenney$ 65,036,892
2Justin Bonomo$ 61,956,383
3Stephen Chidwick$ 51,715,121
4Jason Koon$ 51,219,008
5Daniel Negreanu$ 51,077,626
6Dan Smith$ 45,325,216
7David Peters$ 43,776,443
8Erik Seidel$ 43,499,783
9Mikita Bodyakovsky$ 43,221,617
10.Phil Ivey$ 40,760,044

Justin Bonomo currently occupies the second place in the All Time Money List

While Bonomo's poker brilliance has been undeniably impressive, his poker journey has been controversial. Back in 2006, Bonomo was charged with cheating by PartyPoker. The accusation stemmed from PartyPoker's claim that Bonomo had manipulated a software glitch on their platform. This glitch enabled him to quickly create numerous accounts by repeatedly clicking the PartyPoker icon. Once PartyPoker verified this exploitation, they confiscated $100,000 from his account. Interestingly, this sum closely matched his earnings in the week preceding his victory in the Party Poker Big Sunday $600 + 40 tournament.

Partypoker is a great option for players who want a quality site they can trust. The site has gone to lengths to protect players by banning HUD software and allowing players to maintain anonymity at the tables. This shouldn’t put off grinders however, as Partypoker’s tournament value and unmatched rakeback offers of up to 60% are not to be missed by any serious online player.

Justin was embroiled in another controversy in 2011 when Prahlad Friedman accused him of sharing his account with his friend, Isaac Haxton, on an online poker platform. The allegation implied that both Bonomo and Haxton were using the same account. Nevertheless, both Bonomo and Haxton strongly refuted these claims. As per the duo, the reality was quite different: Haxton was acting as a coach for Bonomo during that period, and Prahlad Friedman, unfortunately, misconstrued this situation.

In 2016, Justin Bonomo stirred up a debate when he opted not to reveal his hole cards in a televised Super High Roller Bowl match. This decision drew sharp criticism from other players, with Leon Tsoukernik publicly denouncing Bonomo's action and even going as far as calling him a scandalous individual. Tsoukernik suggested that Justin should face disqualification from the game as a consequence.

Following his victory at the November 2016 European Poker Tour Monaco Satellite Event, Justin opted out of having an official photo taken. He cited PokerStars' failure to uphold the previous SuperNova reward system until the end of 2016, claiming they withheld $50,000 from him in rake. However, he eventually yielded to the request for the photograph after being informed that tournament rules legally bound him to comply.

Какой вид покера предпочитаешь?

Justin Bonomo's poker earnings currently exceed $55 million, but the extent of his wealth remains his closely guarded secret. Bonomo, who currently resides in Vancouver, Canada, has a rich history in high-stakes poker, which suggests he's invested a substantial sum in buy-ins. However, it's challenging to envision that Bonomo has yet to divert much of his earnings into other business ventures or profited handsomely from staking fellow high-stakes professionals over the years.

Justin Bonomo's rise from teenage poker sensation to an acclaimed veteran is one of brilliance, perseverance, and redemption. His considerable net worth, backed by significant poker wins, demonstrates his competence and devotion to the game. While controversies have marred his career, Bonomo's willingness to confront and learn from his mistakes showcases his growth as a player and an individual.