Justin Bonomo faced Mike Sowers for the winners title in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Six Max event at the 2014 WSOP. This was the decider that would have resulted in one of them winning the coveted bracelet that has so far eluded them both.
28-year-old Justin Bonomo has had a nice career so far. He has won over $7.5 million in live tournament earnings by playing and winning high stakes cash games all over the world. He has also had three career second place finishes at WSOP, but has always been one step away from winning the coveted bracelet that all poker players dream of winning someday in their career.
Interestingly just like Bonomo, Sowers has also had no luck with a WSOP bracelet so far. He has also earned more than $2 million in tournament winnings until now and has had a steady career. So, it was even more interesting to see who among the two will finally win the bracelet
The game changing play
The day began with 10 players left fighting for the gold bracelet. But it didn’t take much time for the players to bust and the final table was set in just 15 minutes. It didn’t take much time for the final table to disintegrate either, with Taylor Paur and Daniel Strelitz all in. They played a pot for the chip lead with nine hands in. Paur actually had a lead over Sowers. But after a few spins he was back in the game, soon eliminating Neil Mittelman and Lance Harris.
Mike Sowers was even able to take on Strelitz in easy swipes. He has experience playing poker and situs slot. As the dealer spread another set of cards, he handed Sowers a full house and left Strelitz at the mercy of his queens. The game favored Sowers with a club of 4 and Strelitz was out. In less than two hours, all players were out except the final two with Sowers holding three-to-one chip lead over Bonomo. Though they didn’t seem to be in a hurry from that point onward and between them they had a 99-hand match with many all-ins.
But Bonomo played a steady game and helped his chip deficit that was soon reduced to two-to-one. This put him in a better position than he started with. Soon he turned two pair and with this hand and Sower’s bluff was soon leading the game.
With Bonomo in the lead, both finalists contented themselves with small pots for the next hour before Bonomo hit big. Bonomo raised on the button to 75,000 and called a three-bet from Sowers with blinds at 15,000/30,000 with a 5,000 ante. The new cards were a flop of J of clubs, three of diamond and 2 of diamond.
Sowers bet 260,000 and got called by Bonomo. This led them to a turn of 7 of spades and Sowers bet another 510,000. Bonomo called again and Sowers moved all in. Bonomo tabled an ace of diamond and five of spades and took the pot
The nail-biting finale
Mike Sowers was left to play with just 25,000. After a few plays he had recovered a bit and had up to 600,000. He moved all in and Bonomo snap-called. Bonomo showed an ace and Sowers a J. With a flop of queen of diamonds, queen of spades, and five of hearts, Bonomo got ahead with his ace. Sowers had a few outs and the pot was soon over 1.2 million.
Mike Sowers was on the verge of a comeback but Bonomo put a hurdle in his way. He raised 80,000 and Sowers called. With a flop of hearts of 8, 7 and 4 Sowers check-raised all in. With Bonomo’s call, cards were tabled.
The turn was the 9 of diamonds, which kept Bonomo in the lead as he flopped a flush with T3. Sowers needed another heart with his QT but the river was the 8 sand with this Bonomo won his first career bracelet.
Sowers at one point of the game actually had six consecutive double-ups after he was left with only a few chips. But he could not go on like this for long and finally Bonomo won and how. He finally won his first bracelet, the only thing he was missing in his long-standing poker career.