Atlantic City Archives: Anthony Zinno Uses Borgata Success As Springboard To Poker Greatness

Posted By Steve Ruddock on July 29, 2015 - Last Updated on July 28, 2015

Atlantic City has produced a long list of legendary poker players.

Some guy named Phil Ivey immediately comes to mind, as do names like Cyndi Violette, Mike Sica, and John D’Agostino. Those are just a few of the many poker pros from across the Northeast that cut their teeth in Atlantic City’s poker rooms.

And now another poker player is trying to add his name to that distinguished list, Anthony Zinno. But Zinno is doing things a bit differently than his predecessors, using AC as a launching pad rather than a place to hone his skills.

Zinno, a Rhode Islander by birth now living in Boston, Massachusetts, has been on an absolute tear over the past two years, and is on the verge of poker greatness.

He calls the Borgata, the site of his first poker success, his favorite casino, and it’s been a casino he’s travelled to early and often in his poker career – making it his home away from home, and the place where Zinno went from poker grinder to tournament balla.

How close is Zinno to poker immortality? A lot closer than you’d think, even though we’re judging him on just a couple years of results.

With another win, Zinno would top the all-time World Poker Tour title count. Zinno already has three of those, tied with Gus Hansen and Carlos Mortensen.

With a European Poker Tour victory, Zinno could also add his name to the extremely short list of Triple Crown winners.

Currently only Gavin Griffin, Roland De Wolfe, Jake Cody, Bertrand Grospellier, and David Kitai have accomplished that feat – A WSOP bracelet, a WPT Championship title, and an EPT Championship title.

2013 put Zinno on the map

Zinno is no stranger to the poker scene, having first left his mark on the poker world with a 205th place finish in the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event. This was his largest cash for half a decade, until an 11th place finish at the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event in January of 2013.

You can check out all of Zinno’s tournament results at his Hendon Mob page.

Despite being a prolific tournament player in the interim, it wasn’t until 2013 that Zinno first started booking impressive results, but once they started coming the proverbial flood gates were open.

Following his 11th place showing at the Borgata Winter Poker Open that eclipsed his 2008 WSOP ME finish, Zinno went on to book two other progressively larger scores, culminating with his first big win, when he defeated Vanessa Selbst heads-up for the Borgata Poker Open title:

  • January 2013: 11th place in the Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event for $39k.
  • July 2013: 4th place in the Venetian DeepStacks for $86k.
  • September 2013: 1st place in the WPT Borgata Poker Open for $825k.

Following his WPT win, Zinno was officially on the poker map, and more importantly it was a win that started one of my favorite poker trends/superstitions, as Zinno brings a suit with him to televised tournaments in case he makes the final table.

This is a clear sign that the 33 year-old Zinno “gets it” on a number of levels.

A solid but unspectacular 2014

After winning over $1 million in 2013, Zinno had a pedestrian $183k in cashes in 2014 – pedestrian by his standards.

But 2014 was merely the calm before the storm.

2015, Ant Zinno’s breakout year

As well as he performed in 2013, it was 2015 that elevated Zinno to the top of the poker rankings.

A little more than halfway through the 2015 tournament season Zinno is now a three-time World Poker Tour Champion as well as a WSOP bracelet winner.

As July comes to a close, Zinno has booked over $3.5 million in tournament winnings in 2015, including two WPT titles (within two weeks of one another) and a WSOP bracelet in one of the more prestigious events.

Zinno’s “hot” streak began in February of this year, when he went on an absolute tear, winning three major tournaments in less than a month:

  • Feb 13, 2015: 1st place in the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic Main Event for $302k.
  • Feb 28, 2015: 1st place in the WPT LA Poker Classic Main Event for $1 million.
  • March 11, 2015: 1st place in the $25k High-Roller at the WPT Shooting Star for $197k.

Zinno also dominated at the 2015 WSOP, making five final tables and winning his first bracelet in the $25k Pot Limit Omaha tournament, adding $1.1 million to his career tournament earnings which now exceed $5 million.

Player of the Year races

Perhaps Zinno’s most impressive accomplishment is his current rankings on the Player of the Year leader-boards in 2015, where Zinno has a chance to top every major leaderboard:

  • Bluff Player of the Year: #1
  • Card Player Magazine Player of the Year: #1
  • GPI Player of the Year: #1
  • WPT Player of the Year: #1 (won)
  • WSOP Player of the Year: #3 (was #2 before the Main Event)
  • GPI 300: #2 (was #1 before the Main Event)

However it turns out, Zinno, and his always-ready suit, seem destined to excel at the felt, whether it’s at Borgata or elsewhere.

Image gary718 / Shutterstock.com

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Steve Ruddock

Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.

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