The World Poker Tour isn’t an easy place to win. Each event features a field that includes many of the world’s top players, making each title a cherished victory.
That makes it all the more incredible when a player manages to win two WPT events in a row, the feat Anthony Zinno just managed to pull off by taking down the LA Poker Classic this past weekend.
That win followed a similar triumph in the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic at Niagara Falls two weekends earlier.
It wasn’t a record-breaking feat, but it was a record-tying one in a number of different ways, as Zinno entered several exclusive clubs in WPT history with the two wins.
Zinno Ties Career WPT Win Record With Three
Zinno is now a winner on a scale that only a handful of other players have been on the tour. With three WPT victories, he is now tied with Carlos Mortensen and Gus Hansen as the only players to have won that many WPT events in history. He’s also only the third player ever to win back-to-back WPT events.
And while it may not sound as impressive, the fact that this was Zinno’s seventh cash of the current WPT season tied the single-season mark for most cashes on the tour, a mark of consistency that’s even more amazing considering it is paired with his penchant for outright victories.
At the LA Poker Classic, Zinno had to beat back a field of 538 players in order to take down his second consecutive title. But even late in the tournament, it wasn’t clear the Zinno was the man to beat, or even that he was a serious contender to win one of the most prestigious events on the WPT calendar.
Heading into the final table, Zinno had a reasonable stack of just under 1.5 million chips. But that was only enough to put him in fifth place, well behind chip leader Igor Yaroshevskyy (5.315 million) and Mike Leah (4.715 million). He was also slightly behind Peter Neff and Peter Tran, and even the short stack was held by the dangerous Chris Klodnicki, meaning it would take a strong effort to repeat the success Zinno had in Canada just two weeks earlier.
Zinno Fights Back From Brink of Elimination to Secure Title
After the early elimination of Tran, Zinno found himself in last place, down to under a million chips. He managed to double up when his pocket jacks held up against Neff’s pocket eights; on the very next hand, he then eliminated Neff when his KQ outdrew Neff’s AQ.
That wasn’t the last time Zinno fought back from the edge of elimination. After Klodnicki doubled up against him, Zinno did the same through Leah three times in short succession, catapulting him from a short stack all the way to the chip lead. Before too long, the two men were heads-up for the title. On the final hand, Zinno once again found himself in a fortune situation, holding AA against Leah’s A3. The pocket aces held up, earning Zinno his back-to-back titles.
The win brought Zinno a prize of $1,015,860. Combined with the over $300,000 he won at the Fallsville Poker Classic, Zinno’s career winnings now total nearly $2.9 million. He is also now the clear leader in the Season XIII WPT Player of the Year race.