Justin Bonomo scores heads-up title, second bracelet and $185,965
Las Vegas, NV (June 8, 2018) - Justin Bonomo is on a heater of historical proportions over the last several weeks and there is no end in sight. He’s won countless high roller events over the last month, including PokerGO’s Super High Roller Bowl for $5 million just over a week ago.
He continued his hot streak on Friday evening at the Rio, picking up his second career World Series of Poker bracelet. He defeated 114 players in the $10,000 no-limit hold’em heads-up championship event, adding another $185,965 to his WSOP career earnings.
“I think I’m dreaming,” said Bonomo. “I think that this is not real life and I think that’s the secret. Just win in your dreams because there you can actually win every tournament.”
With his second bracelet win, Bonomo moved over the $4 million mark in World Series of Poker winnings alone. His first bracelet came in the 2014 $1,500 no-limit hold’em six-max event.
Bonomo already had established himself as one of the top players in the world at the time of his first bracelet, so there was very little doubt that it was a fluke. Now it’s just business as usual for the Denver native. There was very little celebration after the final card was dealt and nothing will compare with the first time he put WSOP gold on his wrist.
“The first bracelet definitely felt a lot more special,” said Bonomo. “I had four second-place finishes at that time without a first-place finish. Now, I don’t really have to feel like I have to get any monkey off my back anymore or kill any kind of curse. The significance of this one just means my insane winning streak isn’t over. I just hope it continues.”
En route to victory, Bonomo won seven separate heads-up matches. He bested David Peters, David Laka, Jake Schindler, Niall Farrell and Mark McGovern to get to the final day of play. The final four players returned on Friday afternoon to play down to a winner.
Bonomo battled back-and-forth with Martijn Gerrits in the semifinals to move to the finals and battle Jason McConnon for all the proverbial marbles. According to Bonomo, it was either his first-round match against Peters or his victory in the finals against the 25-year-old British pro that gave him the toughest battle.
“Relative to how I was feeling, ‘DPeters’ round one [was my toughest opponent],” said Bonomo. “You certainly don’t want to be playing a player that caliber in round one. I did get paired with Jake Schindler in round three, but our match only lasted three hands, so that wasn’t mentally tough or anything. It’s quite possible that my opponent in the finals, Jason, was the toughest opponent I played against for this specific field.”
McConnon is a high-stakes online pro from Great Britain. Of the eight players that cashed in this event, only two reside in the United States. With the lack of availability of online play in most of the country, this event is almost tailored to online players with experience in high-stakes heads-up matches.
“A lot of the field is going to be made up of tournament regs whose name you know, but I think the secret online grinders whose names you don’t recognize are going to have a significant edge,” said Bonomo. “When you are playing no-limit nine-handed ante tournaments, these situations just don’t come up
“But people that play these cash games every single day, they know the different stack sizes, they know how to play heads-up with no ante, they know how to defend the big blind properly, they know c-bet ranges. And all that makes a big difference.”
Bonomo’s final opponent fit that description perfectly. Even though Bonomo’s championship win took much less time than his semifinal match, he credited the speed of the win to a good run of cards. He had nothing but positive things to say about the runner-up’s game.
“In the final match, I simply caught much hotter cards than I did in the semifinal match,” said Bonomo. “I didn’t who my opponent was before the start of the tournament, but I looked him up online and he plays high-stakes cash online. He’s just the type of guy that knows all the spots inside and out. Definitely not someone that you want to face in a heads-up tournament.”
McConnon had a tough road himself just to get to the end boss that Bonomo has become. McConnon made it through Peter Neff, Adrien Allain, Faraz Jaka, Galen Hall, Kahle Burns and Juan Pardo Dominguez before falling to Bonomo in the final match of the tournament.
Bonomo dominated the final match. Without a single all in pot before the last hand of the tournament, Bonomo just grinded down McConnon’s stack. Eventually, Bonomo got all in with pocket fours against McConnon’s queen-nine.
The fours held up and he grabbed his second bracelet. His first bracelet came in a six-max event, but this one is one where he had to battle several opponents and beat all of them individually, which in general will create fewer fluke victories.
“It works on two different levels. On one hand, a player that has no idea what he’s doing is going to have a very tough time winning this event,” said Bonomo. “But someone who isn’t an elite player, but has an okay understanding of all the spots, he’ll have a decent chance of winning. I don’t think they best player will win this every single time, but someone who has no clue will have very little chance of winning this tournament.”
1st: Justin Bonomo - $185,965
2nd: Jason McConnon - $114,933
3rd: Juan Pardo Dominguez - $73,179
4th: Martijn Gerrits - $73,179
5th: Jan Eric Schwippert - $31,086
6th: Mark McGovern - $31,086
7th: Nicolai Morris - $31,086
8th: Kahle Burns - $31,086
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