Justin Bonomo’s Biography – The Biggest Wins and Greatest Achievements
The modern poker scene is full of incredibly talented players, but only a few of them manage to achieve truly legendary status. Justin Bonomo undoubtedly belongs to the group of these most successful gamblers in the world, as his financial prizes have already exceeded $48 million.
Justin Bonomo’s Biography – The Biggest Wins and Greatest Achievements
Gambling enthusiasts, who tend to call the player “ZeeJustin,” admire his ability to concentrate during high roller tournaments and read his opponents’ “hands” perfectly. In this article, we will discuss Bonomo’s approach to poker, take you back to his early career days and highlight the most significant victories that have brought him worldwide fame.
How Did Justin Bonomo Start His Poker Career?
Justin’s gambling life originates from the card game that continues to attract new players to this day - Magic: The Gathering (MTG). 9-year-old Justin fell in love with this multi-layered game right away and devoted a lot of his time to it. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that he has started playing professional MTG tournaments 3 years later.
While the prize pools of some MTG events exceeded a quarter of a million dollars and allowed to make decent money for teenagers like Justin, many of them also tried to benefit from online poker. Bonomo followed suit and tried the game too, but at the same time, he continued to participate in MTG tournaments. One of these events turned out to be fateful for a young and ambitious player. Justin decided to watch some TV in between card battles during the Magic: The Gathering competition, which took place in California, and stumbled upon a random World Poker Tour live broadcast.
The poker action captured Bonomo’s attention so much that he focused on the game in more detail. Justin acquired some theme-related literature to explore different types of poker and various basic strategies. This serious approach to training allowed him to grow into a young poker guru pretty quickly.
He started his online poker career at 16 and went out of his way to generate some bankroll and practice playing for real money. For example, Justin did not hesitate to sell his character in a popular massive online game to earn $500 and use it for new poker sessions.
When Justin Bonomo’s poker bankroll grew to $10,000, he began to monitor the poker scene in search of a suitable tournament. First, the gambler took part in a live event that was a part of the World Poker Tour in 2004. And although he did not even manage to advance to the tournament’s second round, he surely benefited from it.
Justin’s next significant stop was the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, which brought the player over $15,000 in 2006. After this event, it was difficult for him to continue his poker career and improve his skills since the USA’s legislation did not allow him to participate in any live tournaments until he was 21 years old.
Of course, this obstacle did not stop the player, and he took a reasonably bold step to continue his path in the professional poker scene - he moved to Europe, where the gambling age restrictions are less strict. And it is fair to say that without this vital move, Justin Bonomo’s net worth would hardly have reached such colossal heights.
Bonomo’s Significant Career Milestones
Justin’s first competitive experience in the card world was Magic: The Gathering tournaments. And the curious fact is that Bryn Kenney, who is the only poker player to beat Bonomo in terms of total winnings, also began his journey to multi-million-dollar victories with the exact same game.
ZeeJustin’s first success came in early 2005 when he made it to the final table during an EPT (European Poker Tour) tournament that happened to be broadcasted. The player’s next major milestone came three years later when he entered the Team Championship Poker Tournament and competed for $18,000.
The Monte Carlo ETP Super High Roller event in 2012 also proved to be a success for the upcoming poker star. This tournament allowed him to come back home more than $2 million richer. Justin also competed in the 2014 World Series of Poker and received his first bracelet after the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed tournament. When Bonomo finished the event, he only needed $20 to earn a total of $500,000, which was quite a significant amount considering the required buy-in.
Even though Justin Bonomo’s net worth was already a pretty solid fortune, he had no intentions to slow down. So, he decided to participate in the No-Limit Hold’em Super High Roller Bowl with a $300,000 buy-in in 2018. This event brought the gambler one more bracelet of the World Series of Poker and winnings exceeding $5,000,000.
Justin Bonomo’s Achievements at the World Series of Poker Events
- His first WSP gaming experience happened in 2007 and proved to be pretty successful for a newcomer. He received cash prizes in three different tournaments, and the $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em was the most lucrative of them. Although Justin made it to fourth place only, that did not stop him from increasing his fortune for more than $150,000.
- The player’s other significant WSP visit came in 2009 when he entered the $40,000 No-Limit Hold’em tournament. This 40th-anniversary event brought over $400,000 for the gambler when he left the final table. But at the same time, it was not the only ZeeJustin’s prize as he managed to win 5 more cash rewards in addition to this.
- The $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship, which took place in 2017, also gave Bonomo an excellent result. The player took home over $800,000 of the money won.
Overall, the World Series of Poker has brought this successful poker gambler 55 cash finishes by 2021. He also has won 3 prestigious bracelets over the course of his WSP career, and the last one guaranteed him a $10 million win in 2018 when he won No-Limit Hold’em The Big One for One Drop with a $1 million buy-in.
Justin Bonomo’s Achievements at the World Poker Tour Events
Although Justin has never finished the World Poker Tour events occupying the first place, these tournaments also made him much richer. His most successful financial WPT year was 2016. He competed in the 17th No-Limit Hold’em Five Diamond Main Event with a $10,000 + $400 buy-in and finished 5th overall. This win earned him over $340,000.
Besides that, Justin took his talents to WPT events in 2017. She won 2 tournaments and generated over $460,000 in winnings back then, and that victory boosted his high-roller career even more.
Contradictory Facts About Justin Bonomo
Even though ZeeJustin has numerous fans in the gambling community, many of them have been disappointed with his actions related to the Party Poker platform. The thing is that the player used system bugs to participate in lucrative online poker tournaments with multiple accounts. At first, the platform confiscated his $100,000+ winnings, but it decided to cancel this fine after a detailed investigation of the whole situation.
In addition, Prahlad Friedman reemphasized Justin Bonomo’s cheat approach to online gaming in 2011 when he accused him of giving access to his account to another gambler named Isaac Haxton. Justin and Isaac denied this claim and explained that they interacted for educational purposes solely.
Justin’s Current Status in the Poker World
ZeeJustin has already accumulated a colossal fortune thanks to his poker talents, and he continues to work his way towards being the most successful gambler in history. He lives in Las Vegas, monitors prestigious tournaments and is always ready to grab the chance to increase his total winnings.
|Position||Player||Country||Live tournament earnings|
|1||Bryn Kenney||United States||$55,505,634|
|2||Justin Bonomo||United States||$48,508,780|
|4||Dan Smith||United States||$36,742,718|
|5||Erik Seidel||United States||$35,726,969|
|6||David Peters||United States||$33,146,070|
|8||Stephen Chidwick||United Kingdom||$31,720,378|
|9||Jason Koon||United States||$30,344,229|
|10||Daniel Colman||United States||$28,925,059|
Bonomo occupies second place in the world gambling financial rating and loses to Bryn Kenney only. But given that the poker industry is seriously focusing on high roller tournaments today, ZeeJustin has every chance of surpassing its equally talented colleague as the most winning poker player to ever touch the cards.