Justin Bonomo Shows Off Poker Skills as Live Winnings Approach $60M Following PCA Title

Posted on: February 1, 2023, 07:17h. 

Last updated on: February 1, 2023, 12:30h.

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 winnings since his first live cash 18 years ago.

Poker pro Justin Bonomo
Poker pro Justin Bonomo shows off his latest trophy from the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Bonomo has earned almost $60 million in live events since his first cash in 2005. (Image: PokerStars)

Participating in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), where he ran into trouble during the main event, Bonomo redeemed himself in the $25K 8-Handed event. He took it down, adding $574,529 to his bank on Sunday.

Bonomo, a four-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, is among the poker elite. He was already the all-time money leader before his latest win, and 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. Even so, he also understands the importance of knowing how to respond when the cards don’t cooperate.

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.

140 players grabbed a seat for the tournament – an impressive count for a game with an expensive buy-in and not a huge following. One by one, Chidwick and other high rollers 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 win. When asked by PokerNews why they agreed to deal, his response was concise and poignant.

Bonomo referred to Haxton, 15th on the All-Time Money List, as “possibly the greatest poker mind in the world.” He also emphasized Ferreira, Portugal’s third-ranked player, and his poker skills as being in an elite class, as well.

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. Last December, he took down the $10K High Roller in the PokerGO Tour series. Two months earlier, he won back-to-back high-roller events at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Classic.

His all-time best month came in August 2019. He quickly ran 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 in two events, and 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 on the felt has put him at the top of several lists. He leads the US All-Time Money List, the Virginia All-Time Money List, and the game’s All-Time Money List.

As he continues to make deep runs in different types of events, Bonomo is showing that there is much more skill than luck required to play poker. His talents, as well as those of others, should be enough evidence to support poker as something other than gambling.