EVENT #60: $25,000 buy-in High-Roller Pot-Limit Omaha
PRIZE POOL: $4,156,250
FIRST PLACE PRIZE: $1,122,196
PLACES PAID: 24
DATES: June 29-July 1, 2015
Anthony Zinno Wins Richest Pot-Limit Omaha Event in History
Reigning WPT Player of the Year Now Has Chance for Same 2015 WSOP Title
On Zinno’s Fifth Final Table Appearance of the Summer, Poker Pro Wins Gold Bracelet and $1,122,196
MEET THE LATEST WSOP GOLD BRACELET CHAMPION
Name: Anthony Zinno
Birthplace: Boston, MA
Current Residence: Boston, MA
Education: Suffolk University (Law Degree)
Profession: Professional Poker Player
Number of WSOP Cashes: 12
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 5
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories: 1
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 5th (2015)
Total WSOP Earnings: $1,985,763
Personal Facts: Zinno has a law degree and passed the bar exam, but took up poker 8 years ago and has been playing full time ever since
[Note: All statistics above include the results of this tournament]
Up until this night, Anthony Zinno’s record at the 2015 World Series of Poker was truly astounding. He’d cashed four times this summer – and each and every in-the-money finish was a final table appearance.
Zinno previously finished 7th (twice), 6th (once), and 5th (once). Remarkably, these deep runs were all in premier events – including the $10K buy-in Omaha High-Low Split Championship, the $5,000 buy-in Eight-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event, the $10,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em tournament, and the $111,111 buy-in High-Roller for One Drop.
So, it was no surprise that Zinno, the reigning World Poker Tour “Player of the Year” from last season made yet another final table here at the 2015 World Series of Poker. However, this time the lawyer-turned-poker pro from Boston did far better than just go deep in one of the year’s most highly-competitive tournaments. He actually won the $25,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha event, which included the highest entry fee ever for this single variant of poker in the 46-year history of the WSOP.
Zinno topped a highly-competitive field of 175 players and ended up winning his first gold bracelet after exploding upon the tournament poker scene in recent years with a stellar resume and widespread peer respect among his competitors. Zinno dominated much of the three-day tournament and was an unstoppable force at the final table, which played out on the ESPN Stage at the Rio in Las Vegas. Despite formidable opponents, Zinno was never seriously threatened during the final several hours of the tourney and managed to win one of poker’s most sought after titles by making things look far too easy.
Zinno collected one of the summer’s largest cash prizes for the win, which amounted to $1,122,196. He also earned a long overdue amulet of accomplishment, the famed WSOP gold bracelet, which was his first. Zinno, now with 12 cashes and nearly $2 million in career winnings at the WSOP alone in addition to millions won elsewhere in other tournaments around the world, was cheered to victory by several friends and fellow poker players who knew he was destined to win a gold bracelet.
When asked how this poker feat compares with his other achievements, Zinno had a great sense of perspective.
“I have to say – winning the LAPC (Los Angeles Poker Classic) back to back was such a shock. That gave me three WPT titles,” Zinno said. “But this is my first gold bracelet which is something you never forget. So, they are equal in different ways.”
Zinno first played in the WSOP back in 2008, when he cashed in the Main Event Championship that year. Since then, he’s has 12 total cashes as well as 6 in-the-money finishes on the WSOP Circuit. However, 2014 and 2015 have been breakout years with victories on the WPT and now a win at the WSOP.
“I’ve been coming to the WSOP for 8 years, so this is something I really wanted longer,” Zinno said. “This is certainly my best day as a poker pro, and it was made even better by winning it in a game I love which is PLO and also against a very skilled final table, which is something where I can take extra pride in that.”
Indeed, Zinno’s final table lineup was brutally tough, with arguably the standout adversaries being Shaun Deeb (8th), Juha Helppi (5th), and Christina Harder (4th).
Zinno has certainly enjoyed an amazing summer, with a WSOP win and five total deep runs. He’s now in serious contention for the 2015 WSOP Player of the Year title, ranking second at this time.
“Mathematically speaking, you can’t explain this run I’ve had,” Zinno said. “Making five final tables is just incredible. Obviously, there is some luck involved. But I beat the odds. It’s a statistical anomaly,”
Zinno went on to explain why this year might have been a bit different than other years here at the series.
“For me this summer was something I took very seriously. No drinking. No partying. Sleep well,” Zinno said. “I looked at it this way – that this is my job.”
Zinno sees bigger things ahead for both the game and himself. He hopes to use his success playing on the WPT and now a WSOP victory as a chance to rise to a bigger platform to promote poker and encourage the game’s growth.
“I hope in 5 to 10 years to be someone on the level of a Daniel Negreanu,” Zinno said. “I’d like to promote it that way. There’s more to poker and being a professional than just skill. You have to be a part of the game and promote it, too. You also should be respectful to others, and act in a sportsmanlike manner. It’s a cumulative thing.”
Zinno grew up and still lives in the Boston area. He graduated from Suffolk University Law School and went on to pass the bar exam several years ago. In 2008, he decided to try and play poker for a time before an expected return to a regular job working in law. However, his success created a detour and he’s been on a different path ever since.
“I hope people see that you can do something different,” Zinno said. “I want to encourage people to get good at something and pursue it, not just in poker but music or art or whatever. You have to give it a shot if that’s what you really want and you have to work at it, too.”
At the final table, Zinno dressed in a suit and tie, highly unusual in the sometimes rebellious and often casual atmosphere of poker. When asked to explain his fashion choice, Zinno was even more reflective about what the look meant.
“My father passed away when I was 15 years old. My mother is still alive,” Zinno said. “I think of them and I think this is the way they would like to see me. I want to honor that. I want to make them proud. I also want to do something different, and have fun. That’s what it’s about.”
Following Zinno finish in the top spot, the descending order of results was as follows:
Second Place: Pakinai Lisawad, from Bangkok, Thailand finished in 2nd place, which paid $693,553. Lisawad became the highest finishing player from that Asian country in WSOP history and biggest cash winner.
Third Place: Christian Usterud, from Porsgrunn, Norway finished in 3rd place, which paid $456,522. This marked his first time to cash in a WOP event.
Fourth Place: Christian Harder, from Annapolis, MD finished in 4th place, which paid $332,998. This is now 31 career cashes at the series for Harder.
Fifth Place: Juha Helppi, from Helsinki, Finalnd finished in 5th place, which paid $247,754. Helppi’s WSOP resume now includes two 2nds, a 3rd, a 4th, and a 5th – but no victories yet.
Sixth Place: Ismael Bojang, from Vienna, Austria finished in 6th place which paid $187,571. Now with 29 cashes since the start of the 2012 series, that’s the most in-the-money finishes by any player within that time span. This marked his fifth cash of the 2015 series.
Seventh Place: Alexander Kostritsyn, from Volzhsky, Russia finished in 7th place, which paid $144,305
Eighth Place: Shaun Deeb, from Troy NY finished in 8th place, which paid $112,675. Deeb won a gold bracelet earlier at this year’s series.
Ninth Place: Christopher Santora, from East Amherst, NY finished in 9th place, which paid $89,234.
OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS:
Aside from the final table finishers, other gold bracelet winning players who cashed included – David Chiu (13th), Mike Gorodinsky (17th), and Kory Kilpatrick 22nd).
EVENT DIRECT LINKS:
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