Justin Bonomo on Pace to Surpass Fedor Holz’s Breakout Year

Justin Bonomo and Fedor Holz

Two years ago, the poker world was abuzz about a German wunderkind named Fedor Holz, who racked up 24 cashes, 15 final table appearances, six titles, and $16,093,402 in winnings. It’s only halfway through 2018, and Justin Bonomo’s heater has him on pace to blow Holz's out of the water.

Bonomo’s recent win in the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl for $5 million brought his yearly stats up to 16 cashes for $13,907,138, 14 final tables, and six titles. He’s already tied Holz for wins and only sits behind eight cashes, one final table, and $2,186,264 in winnings.

Interestingly enough, back in 2016, Bonomo (who had $4,228,457 in winnings – he passed that with $4,528,569 in 2017) and Holz often battled for the lead in the 2016 GPI Player of the Year before David Peters swooped in to win that title. Call it a friendly rivalry.

A Look at Bonomo’s Heater

Justin Bonomo

Bonomo ended 2017 on a high note by winning the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic $25K High Roller for $140,000. After the holidays, he was down at the 2018 PCA where he kicked things off in a big way; first by finishing runner-up to Cary Katz in the $100K Super High Roller for nearly $1.1 million and then less than a week later placing fourth in the $25K High Roller for another $310,150.

Five days later, he nabbed another $197K for taking third in the Lucky Hearts Poker Open $50K Super High Roller. Five days after that, he won the $25K High Roller at the same stop for $556,873.

In February, Bonomo won the first event in the US Poker Open for $190,400, and then headed to across the world to win March’s Super High Roller Bowl China for $4,823,077.

Let that sink in for a minute, Bonomo is a back-to-back Super High Roller Bowl champ for a combined $9,823,077 in winnings… all within a 71-day period. That means Bonomo averaged $138,353 per day. That’s more than a pharmacy manager makes in a year!

That means Bonomo averaged $138,353 per day. That’s more than a pharmacy manager makes in a year!

In April’s EPT Monte Carlo, Bonomo continued to tear it up cashing four times for $1,534,353 and winning a pair of €25K High Roller titles. In between that trip and his Super High Roller Bowl win, he also placed fourth for $75,000 in the ARIA $25K High Roller 85.

Bonomo currently sits third on the all-time money list with $31,941,297 in earnings, behind only Daniel Negreanu ($39,546,095) and Erik Seidel ($34,507,095).

Here's a non-comprehensive look at Bonomo’s year thus far, including only six-figure cashes and above:

Jan.PCA $100K Super High Roller2nd$1,077,800
 PCA $25K High Roller4th$310,150
 Lucky Hearts Poker Open $50K Super High Roller3rd$197,200
 Lucky Hearts Poker Open $25K High Roller1st$556,873
Feb.US Poker Open Event #1: $10K NLHE1st$190,400
MarchSuper High Roller Bowl China1st$4,823,077*
AprilEPT Monte Carlo €100K Super High Roller5th$488,953*
 EPT Monte Carlo €50K High Roller4th$276,700*
MayEPT Monte Carlo €25K High Roller1st$457,356*
 EPT Monte Carlo €25K High Roller Single Day1st$311,268*
 2018 Super High Roller Bowl1st$5,000,000

*prize converted to USD equivalent

A Look Back at Holz’s “Once-in-a-Lifetime” Year

Fedor Holz

As for Holz, his run in 2016 is well documented; in fact, it was our No. 2 story of the year here on PokerNews.

Like Bonomo, Holz had ended the previous year with a big score, taking down the 2015 World Poker Tour Alpha8 Las Vegas for $1,589,219, his first live seven-figure score (remember he won $1.3 million for claiming victory in the 2014 WCOOP Main Event the year before). He also got off to a strong start to the year by winning the $200K Triton Super High Roller Philippines for $3,072,748.

Similar to Bonomo, Holz had a strong showing at the EPT Monte Carlo cashing five times for $525,875, though he didn’t manage a win. Around this time two years ago, Holz finished runner-up to Rainer Kempe in the Super High Roller Bowl for $3.5 million.

Less than a week later, he won the ARIA Super High Roller 9 $50K for $637,392, and a week after that a $25K ARIA High Roller for $393,130. Amazingly, he won another ARIA $25K a week later for $276,012 before placing third in an ARIA $50K for another $407,310.

At the time, he said his “once-in-a-lifetime heater” was “just insane.” It didn’t stop there.

In the 2016 WSOP, Holz topped a field of 183 players to win the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop for $4,981,775. A month later, he was at the EPT Barcelona where he won the €50K Super High Roller for $1,473,127.

The German notched his last cash of the year in October when he finished fourth in an ARIA $100K Super High Roller for $299,880.

Holz currently sits sixth on the all-time money list with $26,310,621 in earnings. Daniel Colman ($28,925,059) and Antonio Esfandiari ($27,628,047) are the only two players between him and Bonomo, though they’re separated by $5,630,676 in prize money.

Here's a non-comprehensive look at Holz's year, including only six-figure cashes and above:

Jan.$200,000 WPT National Triton Super High Roller1st$3,463,500
Apr.EPT12 Grand Final €10,300 High Roller4th$190,123*
MayEPT12 Grand Final €50,000 Super High Roller5th$310,892*
 $50,000 ARIA Super High Roller7th$122,400
 $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl2nd$3,500,000
June$50,000 ARIA Super High Roller1st$637,392
 $25,000 ARIA High Roller1st$393,120
 $25,000 ARIA High Roller1st$276,012
July$50,000 ARIA High Roller3rd$407,310
 WSOP $111,111 High Roller for One Drop1st$4,981,775
Aug.EPT13 Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller1st$1,473,127*
Sept.WCOOP $102,000 Super High Roller (PokerStars)2nd$1,067,639.40
Oct.$100,000 ARIA Super High Roller4th$299,880

*prize converted to USD equivalent

  • In 2016, @CrownUpGuy had an amazing year, but @JustinBonomo's is on pace to best him this year.

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Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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