Anthony Zinno put an exclamation point on a fantastic summer and incredible year winning his first World Series of Poker bracelet in the Event #60: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller on Wednesday.
Zinno was crowned World Poker Tour Season XIII Player of the Year earlier in 2015 after taking down back-to-back events in February, including the 2015 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic and 2015 WPT L.A Poker Classic. Fast forward to the 2015 WSOP where Zinno had already made four final tables before Wednesday's win, vaulting him into contention for GPI WSOP Player of the Year honors as well.
"This has been something that I've dreamed of for eight years now, because I've been coming to the Series for eight years, playing some tournaments but mostly cash games, and always having that dream of 'OK, I think I'm good enough, I can win a bracelet some day,'" Zinno said. "It's been something I've wanted longer than anything else in my life. It's more important than when I passed the bar exam. It ranks among the best few days of my life. The best day of my life is when my godson was born, my nephew, but this is the best day besides that. I can't think of anything better. I've got a bracelet, in one of my best and most favorite games, the final table was tremendously skilled and that's a huge factor.
"I'll never forget any element of today, and that's what makes it so special."
Zinno, whose final table appearances at the 2015 WSOP also include a seventh-place finish in the $111,111 High Roller for ONE DROP, fifth in the $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship, seventh in the $5,000 Eight-Handed No-Limit Hold'em, and sixth in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low Championship, collected a $1,122,196 first-place prize with his first bracelet win.
"The first couple of weeks I didn't have much going and then it was like boom, boom, boom, sonic boom," he said. "I have been playing a lot of poker the last few years and I got my game to a level above what it used to be, but there lots of really good players. So mathematically speaking, you can never expect five final tables in one summer. I beat the odds, plain and simple. When you beat the odds, it means you got lucky. If you play blackjack and have a winning session, you got lucky. Here, when you make five final tables and play the amount of events that I have played, you beat the odds. No matter how good you are, whether you're Phil Ivey or anyone putting his A-game in, five final tables in say 20 or 25 events is a statistical anamoly."
Adding his second and third WPT titles and a WSOP bracelet, his WPT Player of the Year title, and a run at the same here at the 2015 WSOP, the kind of year Zinno has put together in 2015 has to be considered more than just a run of good luck. But Zinno himself says people shouldn't be too quick to put him on poker's Mount Rushmore just yet.
"I had to realize a few years ago this is my job, this is my passion, and I want to be one of the best," he said. "I want to do my best, not necessarily for fame or popularity, I just wanted to feel good about all the work I've put in and sacrificed a potential law career. But I've only been playing professionally eight years, my wins could just be me running above expected value. I hope maybe in five or 10 years to be among the ranks of a Daniel Negreanu and those people who put their heart, blood, sweat, tears, and everything into this game. But not yet. I haven't done my part yet, but I intend to."
Final Table Results
|1||Anthony Zinno||Boston, MA||$1,122,196|
|3||Stian Usterud||Porsgrunn, Norway||$456,522|
|4||Christian Harder||Annapolis, MD||$332,998|
|5||Juha Helppi||Helsinki, Finland||$247,754|
|6||Ismael Bojang||Vienna, Austria||$187,571|
|7||Alexander Kostritsyn||Volzhsky, Russia||$144,305|
|8||Shaun Deeb||Troy, NY||$112,675|