Justin Bonomo didn’t just have a memorable 2018. He cashed for more in one year than any player in history.
With over $25 million in cashes since Jan. 1, the American poker pro surpassed Daniel Negreanu as the all-time winningest live tournament player. He now has more than $43 million in lifetime winnings, and he’s only 33.
So far in 2018 (as of Oct. 2), that $25 million comes from 25 cashes, 21 of which were final tables, and 10 wins, the biggest being the bracelet for the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop, which paid him a career high $10 million.
Picking Up Where He Left Off
Bonomo’s dominance on the felt actually began the final month of 2017. Last December was a sign of things to come. During that month, he won two high rollers at the WPT Five Diamond in Las Vegas.
He kicked off the new year by turning nearly a $1 million profit in the $100,000 buy-in Super High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas. Just two days of work paid him more than the average American worker makes in a decade. And he was just getting started.
Before he left the Bahamas, he scored another $310,151 cash for fourth place in a $25,000 high roller. Later in the month, he headed back to the mainland to win a $25,000 high roller in Florida for $556,873. And just for fun, he cashed in two other events in the same casino for over $200,000.
If you’re scoring at home, that’s more than $2.1 million in earnings the first month of the year. Here’s the crazy thing: January wasn’t even one of his best months.
Party Just Getting Started
In March, he won the Super High Roller Bowl China for $4.8 million. Two months later, he scooped the Super High Roller Bowl in Las Vegas for $5 million. As insane as this is about to sound, we haven’t even gotten to his biggest score.
But before we discuss that, we must mention his first WSOP bracelet of the summer. Yes, that’s right, he won multiple bracelets.
The first was in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Heads-Up Championship for $185,965. That occurred a week after the Super High Roller Bowl.
Then, on the final even of the 2018 WSOP, he shipped the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop. That win paid $10 million, enough to make Justin Bonomo the all-time winningest tournament player.
From the beginning of the year through July, he cashed for over $25 million. Had he never played a hand of poker before this year, Bonomo would rank 10th all-time.
In 2014, Dan Colman had $22.4 million in cashes, which was a single-year record until Bonomo’s 2018 heater.
Bonomo won more this past year than John Juanda, Phil Hellmuth, David Peters, and Brian Rast have cashed for in their entire careers.
Imagine earning more in just seven months playing poker than the past three WSOP Main Event champs won combined. That sums up how stellar he was throughout the year.
Can anyone even come close to matching that performance in 2019?