The EPT Grand Final Super High Roller event brought together a star-studded final table, as would be expected considering the player pool at the start. That just makes Justin Bonomo’s performance all the more impressive, taking a dominant chip lead at the beginning of the final table and going wire to wire for the victory.
Bonomo held more than a two-and-a-half to one lead over his closest competition when eight handed play began on Wednesday afternoon. There was still the matter of getting into the money, however, as just six of the remaining players would be paid anything. A €310,000 bubble loomed large for the shortest stacks, and the only player with a Super High Roller win under his belt would be the first one to go. Eugene Katchalov came into the final table in eighth place and could not improve upon his position, taking a stand with A6 but running into the QQ of Masa Kagawa.
No ace meant Katchalov would leave the tournament empty-handed and put the remaining seven directly on the money bubble. Current BLUFF Player of the Year leader Jonathan Duhamel and Patrik Antonius were the two shortest stacks remaining, but Antonius was one of the few to draw blood from Bonomo on this day, picking up a timely double-up and leaving Duhamel in a precarious position. Duhamel three-bet all-in from the small blind with KQ but Bertrand Grospellier had opened with AA and snap-called the bet. Duhamel was drawing dead by the turn, sent to the rail with no money and unable to add to his POY lead.
The remaining six could breathe a small sigh of relief at having dodged the bubble, but it was time for Bonomo to reassert his control. He eliminated Daniel Negreanu in sixth place, winning a coinflip with pocket tens against Negreanu’s AK by flopping a set. Negreanu received €310,000 for his finish, while Bonomo extended his already sizable lead. Then came a unique spot where Kagawa four-bet all-in, Tobias Reinkemeier five bet all-in over the top, and Bonomo called. Reinkemeier and Bonomo had JJ and JJ, respectively, while Kagawa was drawing live with KQ. The board provided no help for Kagawa, and Bonomo and Reinkemeier shared in the last of Kagawa’s chips as he was knocked out in fifth place for €345,500.
After starting the final table in seventh place, Antonius had made the biggest leap and the only real dent in Bonomo’s stack all day. Bonomo would eventually have his number too, though. On a QQ8K9 board, Antonius went all-in with top pair top kicker, but Bonomo had rivered a straight. He quickly called and eliminated Antonius in fourth place, the third straight elimination he would a have a hand in. When three-handed play began, Bonomo had more than half the chips in play.
Grospellier made a move by semi-bluffing all-in on the turn with an open-ended straight draw, but Bonomo once again had the goods and called with top pair. No straight on the river meant Grospellier would exit in third place, €621,000 richer than he had begun the day, while Bonomo would take a chip lead of over five-to-one over Reinkemeier into their heads-up battle.
Reinkemeier would eventually make his stand, four-betting all-in with 44 and finding a willing participant in Bonomo who called with AQ. It was simply Bonomo’s day and his tournament to win, as the board ran out AK5T7 to give Bonomo the best hand and the EPT Grand Final Super High Roller title. After falling just short on a number of occasions throughout his career, this was just the second live win of Bonomo’s poker career, and by far the biggest one. He leaves Monte Carlo with €1.6 million and a signature career victory that had long eluded him.
Here’s how they finished in the EPT Grand Final Super High Roller Event in Monte Carlo:
- Justin Bonomo – €1,640,000
- Tobias Reinkemeier – €1,060,000
- Bertrand Grospellier – €621,000
- Patrik Antonius – €443,000
- Masa Kagawa – €354,500
- Daniel Negreanu – €310,000
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