These days, the poker world’s most compelling stories don’t end at the World Series of Poker. In fact, most are just heating up.
People play big-time tournament poker all year round. The 2018 WSOP wrapped up 10 days ago. However, there’s still a whole lot poker fans have to look forward to.
There are massive tournament series playing out on both sides of the Atlantic. Plus, the chance to see if some of the amazing trends that developed in the first half of 2018 will continue into the second.
We realize there are undoubtedly a whole lot more, but here at US Poker, we’re focused on two storylines centered around US players we think are the ones to watch for in the second half of 2018.
Can Justin Bonomo stay red hot?
Virginia-raised Justin Bonomo has had such a great start to 2018, his year will likely hold up as the most productive in poker history, even if he doesn’t play another hand for the rest of it.
Bonomo has booked an incredible $24,945,435 in tournament earnings up to the end of the 2018 WSOP. In fact, he’s now on top of poker’s all-time money winners list with $42,979,591 in career tournament earnings.
He collected $15 million alone by winning the two biggest tournaments of the year, the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl and the WSOP’s $1 million buy-in The Big One for One Drop. He collected the other almost $10 million winning the HKD $2 million buy-in Super High Roller Bowl China, finishing second in the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 buy-in Super High Roller, and making the final table or winning another 12 high roller events with buy-ins of $25,000 or more.
Bonomo, who now lives in either Las Vegas, Nevada, Toronto, Canada, or out of a suitcase, depending on what time of year it is, has gone on record saying he is going to take a little post-WSOP vacation. However, odds are he’ll be back for a little heat check before long.
Hot August nights
His outstanding 2018 could continue as soon as August. The 2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open schedule in South Florida includes a $50,000 Super High Roller with a $1 million guarantee on Aug. 8. Plus, the PokerStars European Poker Tour will be back in Barcelona, Spain from Aug. 21 to Sept. 2.
That schedule includes:
- The €100,000 EPT Barcelona Super High Roller with unlimited re-entry on Aug. 25
- A Single Day €50,000 single re-entry event on Aug. 28
- The Single Day €25,000 single re-entry event on Aug. 30
- Another Single Re-Entry €25,000 event on Sept. 1
Heading for the fall
Even if Bonomo sticks solely to high roller events, he’ll have plenty more opportunities to add to his 2018 take.
WSOP Europe will go off in the Czech Republic in October with both a €25,000 High Roller and €100,000 Super High Roller on the schedule. Plus, The World Poker Tour will be in South Florida in November for the WPT Seminole Rock N’ Roll Poker Open, and it will likely include some high roller events.
Into December, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic will run at Bellagio in Las Vegas. It traditionally includes a $10,000 Main Event and a variety of nosebleed buy-in events as well. Plus, EPT Prague is set for Dec. 7 to 18. The full schedule has yet to be released, but will include at least a €50,000 buy-in EPT Super High Roller Dec. 10 to 12.
With almost $25 million in the bank already this year, it will truly be up to Bonomo to decide when and where he plays to close out 2018. However, he’s a good bet to book cashes in at least one or two of these events and add to an annual total the high roller community will likely be shooting at for years to come.
Either way, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on these events just to see if he shows up.
Can Shaun Deeb wrap up WSOP Player of the Year?
Upstate New York native Shaun Deeb could clearly care less what the world thinks of him. But even those who detest slow rolling would agree he’s now one of the most skilled, outspoken, and entertaining players on the planet.
His 2018 WSOP results are certainly impressive. Deeb cashed in an outstanding 16 events this summer for close to $2.5 million. He won two WSOP bracelets. Plus, he’s the clubhouse leader in the WSOP Player of the Year race heading into the 2018 WSOP Europe at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic this fall.
Deeb is committed to attending the 10-WSOP bracelet series running Oct. 9 to Nov. 2. If only to make sure no one edges him out in the POY race.
The WSOP POY clubhouse lead
Deeb has 4,334.06 POY points in the bag. However, there are other top pros close. He’ll want to make sure Ben Yu, Joe Cada and new Poker Hall of Famer John Hennigan don’t catch up. Not to mention the gaggle of players with more than 2,000 points already, including Deeb nemesis Paul Volpe.
It will be interesting to see how many bullets Deeb fires in the €550 Colossus kicking things off. It features a whopping eight starting flights. There should be a boatload of discount points available in that one. Points that could ensure it’s his face on the banner unveiled at the Rio in Las Vegas next summer.
Stay tuned poker fans, because this is bound to get exciting. In addition to these two storylines, there’s still plenty more worth watching for in the second half of 2018.