Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo

Justin Bonomo unwittingly started his path towards poker greatness already at the age of 9

Displaying his inkling for card games and strategy-oriented thinking, Justin Bonomo unwittingly started his path towards poker greatness already at the age of 9, when he got involved with the game called Magic: The Gathering. Born in Virginia on September 30, 1985, in the year 2005 he had already become the youngest player to ever make the televised final table of a poker tournament. Soon after he discovered Magic: The Gathering, he started playing it competitively and was travelling the world to play against the players who were mostly much older than him. Although he was quite successful in this circuit, there was simply not a lot of money to be made with the game, and around the time when he was 16, Bonomo discovered and transitioned to poker. During his initial years of playing he had moderate success, but it wasn’t until he turned eighteen that he truly started taking the game more seriously, reading books and learning about the strategic elements of the game. Under his online alias “ZeeJustin” he managed to build his bankroll up to $10,000 from the initial deposit of $200. He continued his online climb by playing Party Poker sit and go tournaments. His online fame took a serious hit in 2006, when he was accused of multi-accounting tournaments on Party. The investigation provided evidence that his account was indeed used in cheating activities, resulting in confiscation of $100k from his online funds. He was banned from both Party Poker and Poker Stars, which led to his disappearance from the poker community for several months. Later on, he apologized for his mistake and the entire scandal ignited quite a discussion in the community, as there were many others who were doing the same thing but never got caught doing it. There were numerous voices defending Bonomo as well as those who believed that what he had done was unforgivable. But his success was not the fluke or product of cheating, as he demonstrated time and time again in his live tournament appearances. He was the youngest player to make the televised final table when he finished 5th in the EPT Deauville in 2005. After this, scores just kept coming. In 2008 he finished runner-up in the WSOP $5k event to the tune of $230,000. In 2009 he came 5th in the $40k WSOP Anniversary Event, taking home over $400,000. After a short break, 2012 saw him make his biggest score to date, seizing the title and $2.1 million in the EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller Event. Another $1,000,000+ score came in 2013 when he finished second in the $5,300 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. Although he doesn’t have any WSOP bracelets or WPT/EPT titles to his name, his live tournament winnings are well in excess of seven million dollars. There are many videos featuring Justin Bonomo both in tournaments and cash games here on PokerTube.
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