John Bonetti

John Joseph Bonetti was a professional poker player from Houston, Texas who was best known for being a dominant player in the 1980's and 1990's.

Born in 1928, in Brooklyn, New York, Bonetti spent his early life as a businessman. It's hard to believe, but he didn't start playing poker until he was in his mid-fifties when a friend convinced him to try it.

He played his first tournament in 1985 and won $28,000. He then started playing poker professionally because of job troubles.

Although Bonetti didn't make many headlines during the time of the poker boom, he was a major force in the poker world in the 1900's. Daniel Negraneu said that he was the deadliest tournament player alive when he is healthy. Like other great players, he had a very aggressive style and was known for his colorful language at the table.

Like another poker great, Stu Ungar, Bonetti excelled in the WSOP main event. He made the money in two-thirds of the main events he's entered since 1985, finishing in 3rd twice (1994 and 1996) and 8th in 1990.

He has 3 bracelets and 32 WSOP cashes for a total of $1,743,993, which is impressive since many of his payouts came in the lower-payout WSOP tourneys of the 1990s. His biggest WSOP cashes were a 3rd place finish in the 1996 main event for $341,250 and a 3rd place finish in the 1993 main event for $210,000.

WSOP Bracelets

Year Event Prize
1990 $5,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball $83,250
1993 $1,500 Pot Limit Hold'em $122,400
1995 $5,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball w/ rebuys $101,250

Bonetti also finished on the TV bubble of the WPT Jack Binion World Poker Open during season 2, winning $86,377.

Bonetti was diagnosed with cancer in 1992 and battled it off and on for years, while still managing to play poker. On June 27, 2008, Bonetti died at the age of 80. As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceeded $4,100,000.


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i'm new to the site. live in houston. surprised that some people didn't know who john bonetti is. grumpy, but still a good poker player. hates dealers is right! i've dealt to him and he is rather unfriendly to say the least.

johnboy on April 21, 2008

Hey Bono,
Hope you are well.
It was very nice meeting and playing with you
at a 1K satalite a couple of days before the 2005 WSOP at Rio. The big boys Roasted you well that year didn't they? :) It was a well deserved honor. I was the old guy from WF, TX. You were good enough to chop. Unfortunately I wasn't able to turn it into a ticket to the main event. I've gotten better since then, and am ready to take you on at the seniors WSOP event June 25. Hope to see you soon.

ulyss on May 25, 2007

Yo Johnny, I took care of dat thang for ya down in Miami.

bad_dog76 on September 7, 2006

I played with him a few weeks ago in N.O.

Unregistered on May 31, 2006

owns TJ

????? on May 31, 2006

John is an old school poker player. I think he has a couple of WSOP braclets.

Unregistered on March 30, 2006

I met John the other day. Nice guy. You go John!

Unregistered on March 29, 2006

i know jon bonetti very well he has so good to me i play with him every day he teach me how to play live games he teach me how to play trny very well i won a lot of trny becuzz of him if it wasit for jon i dont think that wood win at all. god bless jon bonetti he is the best man i know and he is the best poker player alive ther is know one like him

nick frank on March 27, 2006

hell John my name is joey my dad's name is joe meyer you used to come to he's club in houston. the redman's club. this was 20 years. anyway if you do remember please [email][/email] my e-mail. thanks and it good to see you doing better.

JoeMeyerIII. on September 13, 2005

the club was off norfolk and kirby like i said this was 20 years ago im 30 now and live in dallas oh well hope to hear from you soon good luck .

JoeMeyerIII. on September 13, 2005

He's the greatest poker player I've ever watched...He is also one of the greatest people I know

Unregistered on August 30, 2005

This guy is not a legend, He knows nothing about poker. He has made a living by getting lucky and sucking out many cards on the river.

Unregistered on August 24, 2005

He finished third this year in this event: Event #13: No-Limit Hold'em Championship Location: Rio, Las Vegas Buy-in: $5,000 Number of Entries: 466 Total Prize Money: $2,190,200

ealvar on July 18, 2005

you guys ought to show some respect, this guy is a legend, and one of the best poker players ever to play the game

legend on July 9, 2005

This guy was the runner- up in the 1999 U.S. Poker Championships at the Taj. You morons.

Dirk Diggler on May 19, 2005

He is a younger cat, just started playing. Look out for him in the future though. A future star.

loser on May 2, 2005

I beat this guy in a tournment in lake charles yesterday

jennings on April 15, 2005

pathetic has been. why is his profile even on this site?

iveyfan05 on March 7, 2005

If you guys don't know who John Bonetti is or havent seen him play I feel sorry for you. Watching this guy play is something else...absolute MONSTER player.

Suited Ace on February 21, 2005

in the TOC, hellmuth was saying that he played agaisnt him in the world series he won...i'm not sure which year this was, maybe '89, and he told phil 'never to send a boy to do a man's job'...this was brought up because texas dolly told doyle the same thing...

jordan/hurt/nyjets690 on January 30, 2005

don't be surprised if you see him back on top at the world series this year, i hear he's back and playing as strong as ever

mjay12 on January 21, 2005

jon bonetti is one of the most intimidating poker players around. I dont know if hes still playing, he must be around 80 by now, but that guy could get into the head of even top pros. Just watch the 1999 USPC. this guy is amazing when hes playing at his best.

insomniak on January 10, 2005

I don't believe that's true. I don't know him personally, but he's a relative of mine, and I figure I'd have heard that, since we're a family of poker players.

Unregistered on December 29, 2004

i heard this guy got killed by a drunk maniac

Shkerdhati on October 27, 2004

oh yeah! i saw him in the 1993 wsop

pocket7s on September 29, 2004

or was it 94 oh well i dont know

pocket7s on September 29, 2004

yeah i do,he's called john bonetti.

Unregistered on September 19, 2004

does anybody even no whos this weird lookin dude is

pocket7s on September 18, 2004

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