Justin Bonomo’s 2018 tournament results put him on a pace never before seen in poker history. Both Super High Roller Bowl titles in 2018 reside in Bonomo’s name and the $14.945 million earned overall rocketed him up to third on the all-time money list.
The $1 million Big One for One Drop is the next mountain for Bonomo to conquer. High Rollers are a daily occurrence for Bonomo but the buy-in size and skill level of the field led Bonomo to put extra preparation into what he hopes are three long days of poker.
“It’s a lot of money on the line so I’m taking it more seriously,” Bonomo said. “I took some days off to prepare and study and rest up for it which I won’t necessarily do for a smaller high roller.”
Bonomo’s results in 2018 launched him to a special place for recent heaters. Bryn Kenney’s 2017 and Fedor Holz’s 2016 come to mind but Bonomo’s wins cement him in a company previously untouched.
Super High Roller Bowl China and Super High Roller Bowl featured the tough fields you would expect for buy-ins of $300,000. Bonomo looks at his results through a telescope to suggest that he’s not the best player overall but one worth mentioning among the game’s most select group.
The Big One for One Drop is another opportunity for Bonomo to prove that he is one of the elite.
“I think a lot of players are too results oriented when they decide who the best player is,” Bonomo said. “Yeah, I’ve definitely had the best results over the last six months but there are other players who have had fantastic results, too.”
Bonomo’s High Roller peers are looking for new ways to improve their game and their betterment forces Bonomo to keep a sharp edge.
“I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished but I don’t let it get to my head. I understand that results don’t mean that I’m the best player in the world and I don’t actually think that I’m the best player in the world. I certainly think I’m up there but I’m not going to try to let the results go to my head.”
PokerGO coverage of the Big One for One Drop starts on Day 2 and features a live stream of the event. Four tables are currently in play and Bonomo is self-conscious of the likelihood he will be on a featured table.
The list of live streamed tables with Bonomo among them extends by the minute and includes appearances in Poker Masters and U.S. Poker Open. Bonomo cares about being perceived well by his peers and the live stream stage is where he intends to display his top form.
“One thing that motivates me, especially with streams, I just don’t want to look bad on stream. I want people to think that I’m a good player and yeah, that’s kind of vain but at the same time, it motivates me to try my hardest.”
Another final table for Bonomo looks to be ripe. His last appearance on PokerGO came in June when he won the $10,000 Heads Up Championship for his second career World Series of Poker bracelet.
The combination of skill level around him and the prestige of the event makes for a microscope placed over Bonomo.
“This is a tournament with a great structure so fingers-crossed I’ll be playing for three days in a great deep structure against great players. In these deeper structures, there’s definitely much more of a chance to showcase your skill. That also means there’s more pressure on you to play as well as you can.”
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