Justin Bonomo Wins The Big One, Becomes Poker’s All-Time Money Winner

Matthew Clark July 19, 2018 2282 Reads
Justin Bonomo

Justin Bonomo’s record-breaking 2018 hit a new high to close out the World Series of Poker. The multiple bracelet winner won his third career WSOP event by defeating a field of 27 to climb the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop mountain.

The $10 million score puts Bonomo first all-time on poker’s all-time money list, passing Daniel Negreanu. Bonomo also breaks Dan Colman’s 2014 mark for most money won in a single year. The respective numbers for Bonomo are $42.979 million won in his career and $24.945 million won in 2018. And the year is barely half done.

Final table lineup

Seat 1.  Rick Salomon  –  19,650,000  (39 bb)
Seat 2.  Byron Kaverman  –  10,525,000 (21 bb)
Seat 3.  David Einhorn  –  12,300,000  (25 bb)
Seat 4. Fedor Holz –  22,125,000  (44 bb)
Seat 5. Justin Bonomo –  48,950,000 (98 bb)
Seat 6. Dan Smith  –  21,450,000  (43 bb)

$2 million bubble

Hedge fund manager David Einhorn was looking to add a second One Drop cash to his career results but ended up going out on the stone bubble. Einhorn opened with ace-queen on the button and Bonomo defended his big blind with seven-five. The flop came out seven-high and Bonomo check-raised Einhorn all-in.

Einhorn called and failed to catch up thus being eliminated in sixth place.

The hand of the year

The WSOP Main Event featured drama to go from 10-handed to the official final table in the cooler of the year. One Drop raised that drama with a three-way all-in featuring one of the strangest series of events in poker history.

Byron Kaverman shoved for 12 big blinds holding ace-five of clubs and Fedor Holz called with pocket tens. 2014 One Drop final tablist Rick Salomon reshoved with ace-king and calamity ensued.

Salomon was forced to turn over one of his cards after tournament director Jack Effel said an ace was exposed. The hand must be seen to be believed and resulted in Holz taking a massive chip lead three-handed.

Into the sunset goes Smith

Dan Smith came into the One Drop final table with a chance to claim his first bracelet along with the largest score of his career. Smith checked one item off the list but fell in a familiar position to earn the bronze medal.

Short-stacked in three-handed play, Smith called an all-in from Bonomo for 15 big blinds effective with queen-ten suited. Bonomo had him outkicked with king-ten and found a favorable board to eliminate Cowboy Dan. The $4 million prize for third is Smith’s best monetary result but his sixth third-place finish at the WSOP.

Bonomo mounts comeback

Holz held the lead heads up and Bonomo mounted a furious rally to claim the win. Bonomo overcame a three-to-one chip deficit to lock up the title and put a stamp on the best year in poker history.

In Hand #115, Bonomo was all-in for 26.2 million over the top of a 2.8 million-chip open from Holz with the blinds at 500,000/1 million. Holz called with pocket fours and Bonomo held ace-eight. No help came on the flop but an ace on the turn surged Bonomo into the lead and he pulled within 28 big blinds of Holz.

17 hands later, Bonomo took the lead for good.

Holz opened to 2.8 million and Bonomo three-bet the action to 8.4 million. The German star called and the queen-four-three flop with two clubs results in a bet of 5 million from Bonomo. Holz stuck with him and Bonomo checked the eight of hearts turn.

11.5 million went in from Holz and Bonomo called to the six of diamonds river. Holz shoved and Bonomo called right away with eight-four of diamonds for two pair. King-jack was all Holz could muster.

Down to a dozen big blinds, Holz’s run came to an end a few hands later when his ace-four failed to catch up to Bonomo’s ace-jack.

Holz’s second bracelet waits until 2019 and he earns a strong $6 million consolation to lift himself to fourth all-time on the tournament money list.

Final table results

1st place: Justin Bonomo  –  $10,000,000
2nd place: Fedor Holz  –  $6,000,000
3rd place: Dan Smith  –  $4,000,000
4th place: Rick Salomon  –  $2,840,00
5th place: Byron Kaverman  –  $2,000,000

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