The penultimate event of the 2023 Poker Masters saw one of the all-time greats land the top prize of $333,000 and further cement his high roller credentials. Justin Bonomo was no surprise winner, as the man who is currently in second place on the all0-time money list racked up another big win to put himself in contention for the Poker Masters Purple Jacket.
Early Levels Help the Leader
With just six players reaching the final table of Event #9, Justin Bonomo was the man to catch, entering the last six with over 45% of the chips in play. Chino Rheem was the first to fall, busting with pocket deuces as Bonomo made a full house with pocket eights. Rheem, whose result puts him in with a chance of the overall championship win, cashed for $46,250 in sixth place.
Next to bust was the Turkish player Orpen Kisacikoglu. The British-based player thought king-jack worthy enough to send all his chips into battle, but they were crushed by the might of Bonomo yet again, as the American found pocket kings and was never in any danger of doubling up his opponent. Kisacikoglu, for whom a win might well have given him a chance at the Purple Jacket, hit a jack but things never improved further and cashed for $74,000.
Andrew ‘Chewy’ Lichtenberger cashed for $101,750 in fourth place, as his pocket jacks lost to Bonomo’s pocket queens, with the chip leader only becoming more likely to add yet another major title to his already almost peerless poker resume.
Bonomo Wins, Gains More Ground on Bryn
“I really think you’re bluffing me.” ~ Justin Bonomo
With three players remaining, Bonomo put on the afterburners. Chidwick must have thought he’d found a way back into the match when he looked down at pocket queens with only Bonomo and Rezaei between him and the title, but Bonomo had pocket kings, and Chidwick could find no help on the board, crashing out in third place for a score of $148,000.
Heads-up, that meant Bonomo had a 4:1 chip lead, but if he thought he was going to have it easy, it was not to be. Rezaei came roaring back, with pocket sixes beating Bonomo’s pocket fours to double back into contention after the opening hand of heads-up play. Two hands later, pocket sevens for Rezaei beat ace-deuce for Bonomo and the lead had changed hands.
Bonomo now faced exactly the same mountain he’d presented Rezaei to climb at the start of their duel, but after chipping up, faced a call for his tournament life when put to the test for all of his chips with just ace-high.
“I really think you’re bluffing me. I call.” Declared Bonomo and he was right to do so, grabbing the lead after an inspired hero call sniffed out Rezaei’s bluff. A few hands later, aces and queens for Bonomo won against his opponent’s queens and deuces and that gave him the win and yet another six-figure top score in his illustrious poker career.
Poker Masters $25,000 Event #9 Final Table Results:
|1st||Justin Bonomo||United States||$333,000|
|2nd||Daniel Rezeai||United States||$222,000|
|3rd||Stephen Chidwick||United Kingdom||$148,000|
|4th||Andrew Lichtenberger||United States||$101,750|
|6th||Chino Rheem||United States||$46,250|
Who Could Win the 2023 Poker Masters Title?
With just one event to come, the $50,000 2023 Poker Masters ‘Main Event’, it is still the opening event winner Vladas Tamasauskas who leads the field. With two wins from those opening three events, the Lithuanian’s 506 points are well clear. Despite that fact, he’s nowhere near a big favorite to win, because hovering behind him in an equal second place are both Chino Rheem and Stephen Chidwick.
Event #10 has reached the final table and with just eight players left, Rheem is chip leader, with the British player Chidwick third in chips. If either man was to finish in the top four, they would overtake Tamasauskas, but in order to win the Purple Jacket and $50,000 Championship Bonus, they’ll need to outlast each other as well.
You can only watch the final table play out on the live stream by subscribing to PokerGO and watching along with Tamasauskas as the race for this year’s Purple Jacket and title of Poker Masters champion goes down to the wire… tonight.
Poker Masters Leaderboard (After 9 Events):