Online Poker

ZeeJustin Back at PokerStars After 2 Year Ban

by AintLuck.com Poker Team

Back in January of 2006, highly successful online pro, Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo was banned from Poker Stars for multi-accounting.  Yesterday, he was reinstated by the poker site and the news that he is back is currently the most hotly discussed topic on the online poker forum, twoplustwo.com.  Posters to the site are fairly evenly split on the issue as the original poster included a poll about whether or not they agreed on the lifting of the ban.  At present time, about 60% of the 335 responders believe he has been suspended for long enough although those weighing in on either side of the fence are quite passionate about their respective stances.

In his time away from online poker, Bonomo has remained quite active in poker, playing exclusively live and adding to his reputation of being a solid tournament player.  In addition, along with Daniel Negreanu, Bonomo has been a part of Pokerroad.com and has been working on “All Strategy”, a downloadable podcast devoted to tournament play.  In doing so, he has remained highly visible and this fact is likely a contributing factor as to all of the strong opinions of him.

Allegedly, Bonomo was caught entering multiple accounts into large field multi-player tournaments on the world’s largest online poker site, giving him 2nd or even 3rd chances in these tournaments.  He has however, repeatedly expressed his remorse for his actions and has become quite vocal in online poker ethics discussions.

Among those coming to his defense are fellow online pros “Krantz” and “Shaniac” who openly congratulated him on the boards.  However, not all are siding with him.  One particularly passionate poster even went so far as to write an email to Poker Stars demanding an explanation.  In return, he received the following response:

“Hello Jon,

Thank you for your email. Your email was escalated to me as a member of
the PokerStars Game Security Team.

As you note, after serious consideration of the issues involved, the
player ‘ZeeJustin’ has indeed been allowed to play at PokerStars.

You may be aware that the incident that caused ‘ZeeJustin’ to be barred
from PokerStars happened three years ago. He has since recognized that what
he did was wrong, and has accepted the consequences of his actions. We have
no reason to believe he has ever tried to circumvent his suspension.

‘ZeeJustin’ has served a long punishment; he has expressed regret for his
actions to us and to the entire poker community; and he has even become a
crusader for fair play. Consequently, he has earned the respect of many of
his peers.

Though some in the poker world will never forgive him for what he did,
many already have. While we do not condone his actions in the past, we do
accept they are now in the past, so ‘ZeeJustin’ is now welcome to
play on PokerStars again.

PokerStars enforces its game security rules firmly, but fairly. We
consider every case on its merits, and we believe that the continued
suspension of ‘ZeeJustin’ is no longer appropriate.

Please let us know if there is anything else that we can do to assist you.

Regards,

Michael J
PokerStars Game Security Team”

It should be noted that if a player in a brick and mortar cardroom or casino player were ever caught cheating, the said player would never be allowed to return, which many negative posters cited in their angry responses.  Though not all agreed with this particular comparison, most seemed to be in agreement that a second transgression by Bonomo, or any other player caught cheating for that matter, should result in a lifetime ban.

Bonomo was reportedly spotted online entering a couple of the SCOOP events last night.  It will be interesting to see if he can regain his form of old and whether his table-mates will be vocal with their opinions of him.

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