The Winningest Tournament Poker Players of 2018

We are a day into 2019 and for poker players it is the start of a new year that will bring new events and new opportunities for those playing the game to challenge their skills. The first festival on the 2019 poker calendar – the highly anticipated PokerStars Caribbean Adventure – is days away from kicking off at Atlantis Resort & Casino on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, and while waiting for it, we are looking quickly back at 2018, which was indeed a year full of quality poker action an thrill.

It should be said that 2018 was the year of Justin Bonomo, who earned more than $25 million over the course of 12 months and claimed victories in some of the world’s most prestigious tournaments. Here is a bit more about the player’s accomplishments as well as about the other two players who comprised the top 3 list of 2018’s winningest players.

Justin Bonomo – $25,428,935

Bonomo had a blast of a year in 2018, taking down some of the biggest high rollers that took place and winning more than $25.4 million in tournament earnings. His triumphs on the felt boosted his bankroll to $43,463,089 and helped him dethrone Daniel Negreanu from the top of the all-time money list. The Canadian super star had topped the prestigious ranking for years.

Bonomo’s 2018 streak of success started with a runner-up finish in the PCA $100,000 Super High Roller. The player collected $1,077,800 for his efforts. In March, Bonomo won the Super High Roller Bowl China HK$2.1-million Super High Roller for more than $4.8 million in prize money.

The next major tournament the player won was the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl in Las Vegas. His prize totaled $5 million for that accomplishment. Most recently, Bonomo won the $1,000,000 Big One for ONE DROP, yet again in Vegas, for his largest-ever live tournament cash of $10 million.

All in all, the popular poker pro cashed in 28 live tournaments in 2018 and won a pretty good number of those.

Mikita Bodyakovskiy – $14,563,871

The player from Belarus cashed in 13 tournaments last year and scooped more than $14.5 million to end 2018 with a overall bankroll of $20,742,707.

Bodyakovskiy kicked off 2018 with a sixth-place finish in the $25,000 High Roller for $195,150. It only got better for the player as the year progressed. In May, he took down the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro HK$1,000,000 Main Event for nearly $2.5 million.

A few months later, Bodyakovskiy won another Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Main Event. That one took place on South Korea’s Jeju Island. The player collected $5,257,027 for his terrific run.

During the EPT Barcelona festival, the poker professional was crowned the victor in the €100,000 Super High Roller, good for €1,650,300. Most recently, Bodyakovskiy captured €213,750 and a gold bracelet in the WSOP Europe €25,000 King’s Short Deck Championship.

Jason Koon – $12,478,538

US poker pro Jason Koon rounded out top three of 2018’s winningest players with annual earnings of nearly $12.5 million. The player started a busy and successful year with a PCA $25,000 High Roller victory for $421,080.

In May, the player took down the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series HK$1-Million No-Limit Hold’em Short Deck Ante Only for his career’s largest cash of $3,579,836. He locked a second seven-figure cash just days later when he took down the ARIA $100,000 High Roller that took place within the WPT Tournament of Champions festival. He collected $1,039,940 for his win. Koon completed May with a third-place finish in the Super High Roller Bowl at ARIA Casino, good for a $2.1-million payday.

A fifth-place finish in the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Jeju HK$2-Million Main Event secured him with a payout of $1,079,443 to add to his poker bankroll.

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