Lightning Strikes Twice? Justin Bonomo and Multi-Account Cheating

by Lou on March 1, 2006

(The story that follows was contributed and written by poker player Haley Hintze. Thanks to Haley for a terrific job of researching and writing this story.)

Last week it was JJProdigy. This week, ZeeJustin.

Yes, it happened again.In a rapid replay of the event sequence that outed online poker whiz “JJProdigy” as a multi-account cheater, Justin Bonomo (known online as “ZeeJustin”) became the latest big Internet name to fall. In each instance the basics were the same, with questionable “insider knowledge” postings on poker discussion forums tipping off third parties that something was amiss.

Ultimately, both players were found to have used multiple accounts simultaneously on Party Poker and other sites, and both players suffered hefty seizures of funds from their illicitly created accounts. However, it’s important to note that Bonomo had created not two Party Poker accounts (as withJJProdigy), but six.

For those of you who might have been cheated by ZeeJustin, here are his multiple account names:


As with JJProdigy, Bonomo admitted his guilt but offered a curious and logically twisted explanation for his actions. Bonomo pointed out purported software “bugs” that allowed multiple accounts to participate in games simultaneously, thereby offering precedent, if not true justification. But the real motivator, of course, was greed.

The following is quoted directly from Bonomo’s “MyStatement” explanation, which appeared on the 2+2 forums shortly after the story broke: “First of all, the accounts were NOT created solely for MTT use. They were originally created for SNG play. It got to the point where everyone knew that ZeeJustin would steal the blinds often, and everyone called him liberally. I created these accounts to erase this loose image. Everyone would be readless against me, and it was a huge advantage. These accounts all did very well in the big SNGs onPartyPoker.”

Are all online games crooked? Of course not. The vast majority are as honest as anything you’ll find in your local brick-‘n’-mortar casino. Yet angle shooters come in all sizes and types… and in allvenues, too, and this is just an angle that applies particularly to online poker. Rest assured that the quick one-two punch that sent these two big Internet pokernames crashing down has virtually all of the onlinesites reevaluating — and strengthening — their security measures to prevent more multi-account cheating. As long as there are games, there will be cheaters. But eventually, the cheaters and their cheats are found out.

{ 1 comment }

Slim Fyfe September 8, 2008 at 4:25 am

I remember reading this story when it first came around, and was astounded that kind of dishonest activity was happening. A few years later, and I’m convinced it happens all the time still, especially by top tier internet players. In the end, Bonomo didn’t suffer all that much… he’s now with Team Bodog and a regular contributor to Bluff! Hopefully he’s cleaned up his practices these days, but I’ll bet lots of players are doing what he did.

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