“I want every damn dollar”: Franco Bonacci wins two rings at WSOP PA

Frank Bonacci

Pittsburgh Frank “Franco” Bonacci The poker tournament bug was first caught in 2002 when he made a deep run in a $10 tournament. Two decades later, Bonacci continues to strike, recently winning his third and fourth World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) rings WSOP Pennsylvania.

During the Super series In December 2023, Bonacci fell for the first time Event #10 – $215 NLH 6-Max before later winning Event #11 – $1,000 NLH High Roller 8-Max.

PokerNews caught up with Bonacci, who finished 44th in the WSOP Main Event last summer for a career-best $229,000, to talk about his recent breakthrough in the WSOP PA, what motivates him and how he became a professional became a poker player.

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Dropped out and moved to Atlantic City

Bonacci, 37, grew up in Pittsburg and the Richmond, Virginia, area and experienced his first taste of tournament success at age 16 when he drove his drunken uncle to a homecoming tournament.

“His father, my grandfather, wouldn’t let him drive, so he let me drive him and told me he would buy me,” Bonacci said PokerNews. “Came second and was thrilled. I took the idea with me to high school and started playing every week, sometimes even multiple times a week.”

Frank Bonacci
Frank Bonacci at the WSOP 2023

Bonacci eventually discovered online poker and won a few satellites before reaching a live final table that made him think, “I could do this full time.”

With $12,000 in the bank, 21-year-old Bonacci dropped out of Virginia Tech, quit his job as a bartender and moved to Atlantic City.

“I found a GREAT opportunity on Craig’s List to sublet a room from a go-go dancer who was in a protracted custody battle over her child, and off we went,” he said. “Ahh, simpler times.”

“From then on, I was very fortunate to have some great people by my side who gave me their time, knowledge and in some cases money to help me make a living playing . I definitely wouldn’t be able to do this full time today if it wasn’t for her.

Win two rings at the WSOP PA

These days, Bonacci primarily plays medium- and high-stakes Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) cash games in the Pittsburgh area.

“There’s nothing like being at an FT and sending five people to ICM hell at once.”

“$5/$5/$10 once or twice a week and $10/$25/$50 once or twice a week,” Bonacci said. “Online most days when there’s a good game on. We get $2/$5 most days, $5/$10 quite often, then $10/$20 and $25/$50 kind of run randomly when people who like to play are online.”

Still an online grinder at heart, Bonacci played the series at the WSOP PA in December 2023 and was gunning for his third and fourth rings. He then finished sixth in the Super Series Main Event as he was “looking for a hat trick”.

And that in a worthy tribute to his fellow grinder and WSOP star from Pittsburgh Nicholas RigbyBonacci won the High Roller event while holding the “Dirty Diaper.”

“There’s nothing like being at an FT and sending five people to ICM hell at once,” he mused. “It’s hot. I have to push the all-in button hard.”

The father of a family with his wife, children and two dogs told the story PokerNews He’s “not particularly excited about the rings as it’s arguably one of the most watered down trophies in poker,” but added that “the family is excited to see a tangible item that I won and a “To get a place in the Tournament of Champions in the meantime.” The (WSOP 2024) is nice.”

“My goal in poker has always been pretty simple,” he said. “I want every damn dollar. If they come with trophies, rings or bracelets, great. If they come with an elastic band and in a Crown Royal bag, even better. But honestly I just enjoy fighting both live and online, win or lose – there’s nothing like sleeping after being at war for 30+ hours straight every now and then.”

To learn more about Frank “Franco” Bonacci, follow him on X below @FrancoBonacci.

Frank Bonacci
Frank Bonacci at the WSOP 2023


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