Published on 2008-01-30 11:41:56

poker player justin bonomo - zeejustin - breaking through paperDay 3 of the World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Classic is now in the books, with many familiar names still remaining. There are currently 27 players left in the tournament, including the likes of Lee Watkinson, Gavin Griffin and Justin "Zeejustin" Bonomo. Bonomo is currently sitting with 878k in chips, which is good for sixth place. The remaining players will play down to a final table on Wednesday, and the winner of the $1.4 million dollar first place prize will be crowned on Thursday.

Bonomo has had to endure quite a bit of heartbreak in his young "live" tournament career, so a victory at the Borgata would be especially sweet.

Bonomo has made over $900k in "live" tournaments during his short career, with the bulk of that coming in the last fifteen months. He has 18 cashes and numerous final tables to his credit. However, if you asked Bonomo, he would probably tell you that he is somewhat disappointed in his results so far, due to two particularly soul-crushing moments in major tournaments.

The first occurred at the 2007 PCA (Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure). "Zeejustin" was cruising along, and was one of the tournament's chipleaders with about a dozen players left.

Bonomo was dealt pocket kings and got into a raising war with another of the chipleaders, Isaac Haxton. Haxton eventually pushed all of his chips into the middle, putting Bonomo to a decision. Did Haxton actually have pocket aces? Bonomo thought for a while and eventually called. His worst fears were realized when Haxton flipped over the pocket aces, and Bonomo was soon out of the tournament. Haxton went on to place second in the tournament and earn almost $900k. Bonomo finished in eleventh and took home $78k.

History repeated itself at a $2k No Limit Hold'em event at the 2007 World Series of Poker. Bonomo had a massive chip lead entering the final table, with more than double the chips of his closest competitor. He was playing great poker and seemed a lock to win the event and his first ever bracelet.

Again, disaster struck when Bonomo was dealt pocket kings. This time Will Durkee, the eventual winner of the tournament, was dealt the pocket aces. Again, all of the money got in pre-flop. Bonomo couldn't believe his eyes when his pocket kings were dominated yet again. Bonomo was bounced from the tournament just a couple of hands later, taking fourth place.

Heartbreaks aside, Bonomo has also come close in several other big events, including taking 7th place at the WPT Doyle Brunson Classic in December of '06 and fifth place in the main event of the Caesars Palace Classic this past October.

Bonomo is clearly one of the best young poker talents playing today. The question is, will he finally break through and take down his first major "live" event at the Borgata Winter Poker Classic, or will he fall short once again?


Filed Under: Live Tournament Results

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