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Anthony Zinno Wins WPT Player of the Year

The final table of the World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship may have come to a conclusion tonight, but one player’s name was already etched into the history books this week. On Monday, Anthony Zinno clinched the Season XIII WPT Player of the Year title, beating out Darren Elias in what had become a two player race.

Earlier this year, Zinno became the third player in World Poker Tour history to win consecutive WPT titles. He first won the 2015 Fallsview Poker Classic Main Event in February, banking C$380,021, and followed that up in March by winning the 2015 L.A. Poker Classic Main Event, banking $1,015,860.

Normally, one might think an accomplishment like that might be enough, perhaps with a couple other cashes, to win Player of the Year, but Elias pulled off the same feat earlier in the season. In September, Elias won $843,744 for his first place finish in the WPT Borgata Open and then won the WPT Caribbean Main Event in November, good for $127,680. *

All told, Elias cashed eight times in World Poker Tour Main Events this season, a new Tour record. His cashes, in order:

September 2014 – WPT Borgata Open – 1st Place, $843,744
November 2014 – WPT Caribbean – 1st Place, $127,680
November 2014 – WPT Montreal – 69th Place, C$7,160
December 2014 – WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic – 47th Place, $22,737
February 2015 – WPT Fallsview Poker Classic – 11th Place – C$27,793
March 2015 – WPT L.A. Poker Classic – 46th Place – $22,660
March 2015 – WPT Rolling Thunder – 15th Place – $14,968
April 2015 – WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown – 117th Place – $7,500

Anthony Zinno Image credit: @AntZinno

Anthony Zinno
Image credit: @AntZinno

Thus, even with his matching back-to-back World Poker Tour titles, Zinno had some work to do to beat Elias for Player of the Year. Zinno cashed seven times in Season XIII, as presented below:

September 2014 – WPT Borgata Open – 65th Place, $8,438
November 2014 – WPT Caribbean – 12th Place, $5,790
November 2014 – WPT Bestbet Jacksonville – 27th Place, $14,330
December 2014 – WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic – 23rd Place, $36,947
February 2015 – WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open – 23rd Place, $14,789
February 2015 – WPT Fallsview Poker Classic – 1st Place – C$380,021
March 2015 – WPT L.A. Poker Classic – 1st Place – $1,015,860

Despite fewer cashes, Anthony Zinno entered this week’s Season XIII WPT World Championship with the lead in the Player of the Year race, 2,056.15 versus Darren Elias’ 1,777.85.** Jared Jaffee was in third place with 1,346.34, but it was not possible for him to catch Zinno, even if he had won the tournament. Neither he nor Elias cashed, which meant that Zinno won the Player of the Year title, since Elias obviously was unable to place high enough to overtake Zinno.

Anthony Zinno is also making waves in other Player of the Year rankings. He is currently 11th in the Global Poker Index 2015 POY standings and 1st in both CardPlayer’s and BLUFF’s POY rankings.

Zinno hasn’t been good in just this season. In 2013, he also won the WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event, making him just one of three players to win three World Poker Tour titles. Carlos Mortensen, who made the final table of the WPT World Championship this week, and Gus Hansen are the other two.

*The first player to win consecutive World Poker Tour titles was Marvin Rettenmaier, who won the WPT World Championship to end Season XI and then the WPT Merit Cyprus Classic to start Season XII. It is pretty incredible that all three instances of back-to-back WPT championships have come in the last three years.

**Maybe I’m missing something, but I find it odd that I have been unable to find the actual World Poker Tour Season XIII Player of the Year standings anywhere. They are not on the WPT’s website; that site only goes through Season XII. The Global Poker Index does the WPT POY rankings now, but the standings are nowhere to be found on its site, either. When I added up the Zinno’s and Elias’ scores based on the points the GPI gives them for their WPT cashes, I ended up with 2,161.02 for Anthony Zinno and 1,986.51 for Darren Elias. The difference from the WPT-published figures must have something to do with a variation in the way the GPI calculates points for the WPT POY race. In the end it doesn’t matter since Elias didn’t earn any points in the WPT World Championship, anyway, but it would have been fun to have 100 percent accurate numbers with which I could have run scenarios that would have allowed Elias to win the POY title.


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