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Justin Bonomo wins WSOP Big One for One Drop $1 million charity poker tournament

18 July 2018

Justin Bonomo won his third WSOP gold bracelet, and has now won just shy of $25 million in the last seven months.

Justin Bonomo won his third WSOP gold bracelet, and has now won just shy of $25 million in the last seven months. (photo by Jamie Thomson/WSOP)

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The fourth iteration of the Big One for One Drop, featured 27 players each ponying up the $1 million buy-in and after three days of play, American poker professional Justin Bonomo was the victor, winning the $10 million first place prize, plus a diamond-encrusted bracelet presented by Jostens at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas late Tuesday night and seen live nationally on ESPN2 and globally via PokerGO.

The red-hot Bonomo continued his torrid run in 2018 to take home the lion’s share of the $24,840,000 prize pool and cemented his name in the history books as just the seventh person to win more than $10 million in a single poker tournament.

Bonomo has taken the poker world by storm, now surpassing $43 million in lifetime poker tournament winnings, becoming the highest earner all-time, passing Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu. The $10 million score, is the largest prize he’s won. This marks his second victory at the 2018 World Series of Poker. He now has three career WSOP gold bracelets, and remarkably has won just shy of $25 million in just the last seven months ($24,940,435). It’s Bonomo’s third high roller victory this year – with scores of $4.8 million, $5 million and now $10 million. Bonomo has 10 victories in 2018, all worth six or seven figures each. The one-time online poker prodigy has reinforced his reputation as one of the most talented and dangerous card sharps in the game today.

“Not even close, this year has been absolutely incredible,” said Bonomo after his latest victory. “It’s more money than I’ve ever played for in my life. I buckled down during all my breaks. I studied. Took the day off the day before and studied all day. I took this as seriously as I possibly could and tried to stay as focused as possible. It paid off.”

The Big One for One Drop has been an even year event, first taking place in 2012 and running again in 2014 and 2016. The first two events took place at the Rio in Las Vegas, while the 2016 edition was held at the famed Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco.

There were 15 new faces in the 2018 edition. They were: Mikita Badziakouski, Justin Bonomo, Stephen Chidwick, Fedor Holz, Byron Kaverman, Rainer Kempe, Bryn Kenney, Jason Koon, Adrian Mateos, Dominik Nitsche, David Peters, Nick Petrangelo, Jake Schindler, Matthew Siegal and Steffen Sontheimer.

That means through four Big One for One Drop events, 101 different individuals have participated, of which 25 have played two or more editions. In all, more than $125 million in prize pools have been created in these four events.

Previous participants in this event who played again this year were: David Einhorn, Antonio Esfandiari (2012 winner), Isaac Haxton, Phil Ivey, Cary Katz, Daniel Negreanu, Brian Rast, Rick Salomon, Erik Seidel, Talal Shakerchi, Dan Smith and Christoph Vogelsang.

Einhorn, Katz and Shakerchi are the only three to have played all four events. Esfandiari, Ivey, Negreanu, Rast and Seidel have each played the three versions open to poker professionals.

A portion of the buy-in — $80,000 — was donated to One Drop, an organization dedicated to sustainable access to safe water.

As a result, the other winners in this event are the people who will be impacted by the work One Drop is doing. A total of $2,160,000 was raised for the cause from this event alone.

Add in the Little One for One Drop, a $1,111 buy-in poker tournament that was also part of the 2018 World Series of Poker, where another $525,252 was raised, plus the $29,756 additional donations to date that players have made this summer. This brings the total raised thus far to $2,715,008 for One Drop during the 2018 WSOP.

Since the WSOP and One Drop began their collaboration in 2012, $23,091,974 has been raised through WSOP run poker tournaments.

The famed Blue Man Group welcomed poker players to the final table by performing a special percussion piece as the players were introduced. Additionally, the Blue Men interacted with players throughout the duration of the event and even created a few segments that were rolled into the TV coverage on ESPN2.

The runner up was 24-year-old Fedor Holz, from Vienna, Austria by way of Germany. Holz, a Harry Potter-esque poker wizard walks away with $6,000,000. Holz himself has had another incredible year, now moving up to fourth place on the all-time poker money list with $32.5 million lifetime, despite not turning 25 years old until next week. The $6 million score, is the largest prize he’s won. In 2016, he won the WSOP’s $111,111 High Roller for One Drop, earning $4,981,775. Holz sits first on Germany’s all-time money list. In 2016, Holz burst onto the scene, winning more than $16 million in his age 22-23 campaign.

The official results were as follows:
1st place: Justin Bonomo, Las Vegas, Nevada -- $10,000,000
2nd place: Fedor Holz, Vienna, Austria (residence) (born in Germany) -- $6,000,000
3rd place: Dan Smith, Las Vegas, Nevada -- $4,000,000
4th place: Rick Salomon, Las Vegas, Nevada -- $2,840,000
5th place: Byron Kaverman, Las Vegas, Nevada -- $2,000,000

Einhorn, the New York founder of Greenlight Capital, finished as the bubble boy, the player who just missed out on receiving winnings by placing sixth. He was playing for the charity Service Year, with a plan to donate any winnings to the group if he had finished in a paid position. A charitable and generous individual, Einhorn has always played poker as a fun and challenging way to raise money for good causes.

The 2018 WSOP attracted a record 123,865 entrants this year, exceeding last year’s record of 120,995. A record prize pool has been awarded at the 2018 WSOP – $266,889,193 million, marking the first time ever the WSOP has eclipsed the quarter billion dollar mark in prize money in one WSOP.

This year’s WSOP featured participants from 104 different nations.

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