When you’ve won over $1.5m, and still have the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in your eye line, you can call that an excellent start to the year.
That’s the world of Anthony Zinno.
It all started in January. Whilst most of the world is a shivering mess, with heads still banging due to the cost of Christmas, poker players slip on those flip-flops and head to the Bahamas. Zinno was in the crowd. He came home in a hole with only a poxy 25th place cash, in a $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) side-event, to show for his efforts.
A month later, and all that changed.
Zinno Finds His Comfort Zone
Certain players like playing at certain venues, and certain players like playing on certain tours. There is a feeling of familiarity that puts them at ease. It allows their best game to flow. They don’t have to find the zone. The zone finds them.
Zinno is one of these players, and the zone seems to find him when he sits down to play at the World Poker Tour (WPT). He feels like one of the family, and they treat him in the same way. In February, he was already a member of the coveted Champions Club after defeating Vanessa Selbst, in heads-up action, to win the Borgata Poker Open in 2013. By the time March came around he had won two more.
After cashing in 23rd place in the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship, Zinno headed to Niagara Falls for the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic. 419 entrants and Zinno defeated the lot, even managing to find a way past the guns of Erik Cajelais on the final table.
Less than a fortnight later and Zinno was at it again. The unthinkable happened when he defeated 538 entrants in arguably the much tougher WPT LA Poker Classic, overcoming the likes of Mike Leah, Chris Klodnicki and Igor Yaroshevsky on the final table. He also pocketed the first seven figure score of his career.
Zinno was fast becoming a WPT legend.
February became March and Zinno headed to the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars event. Could he do the impossible and make it three back-to-back wins? Even that was a stretch too far for Zinno, but he brushed aside his Main Event disappointment by winning the $25,000 WPT High Roller for a smidgen under $200,000, beating none other than Paul Volpe in heads-up action.
That victory gave him a stranglehold on the WPT Season XIII Player of the Year standings, and with one event remaining, he is the sure fire favorite to end the season as the most prolific player on the tour.
Zinno even managed to hit the headlines during the WPT’s penultimate stop at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, when he finished runner-up to the 2013 WSOP Main Event Champion Ryan Riess, in a $200,000 Guaranteed $2,200 NLHE Six-Max side event containing 125 entrants.
Moving Up the Player of the Year Rankings
That runner-up position was enough to catapult Zinno into the top spot in the 2015 BLUFF Player of the Year standings. He overtakes the Polish sensation Dzmitry Urbanovich at the top by 31 points. If Zinno loves the WPT then the same can be said of Urbanovich and the EPT, after the young star made history by becoming the first player to win four side events at a single EPT, when he ripped the inaugural Maltese stop apart at the seams.
Urbanovich still remains at the top of the 2015 Global Poker Index (GPI) Player of the Year standings, with Zinno way off the pace in ninth position.
2015 BLUFF Player of the Year Standings
1st Anthony Zinno – 636.90 pts.
2nd Dzmitry Urbanovich – 605.13 pts.
3rd Nick Petrangelo – 601.74 pts.
4th Steve O’Dwyer – 561.56 pts.
5th Taylor Paur – 524.14 pts.