Anthony Zinno Wins 2015 Card Player Player of the Year Award
With Five Titles, Eleven Final Tables and $3.4 Million In Earnings Zinno Dominated The Tournament Circuit
By July 2, 2015 this year’s Card Player Player of the Year race already looked to be all but over. By that point Anthony Zinno had already accumulated 6,488 POY points, a massive amount that easily dwarfed the year-long point totals of the past three Player of the Year award winners, with 5,498 for 2014 champ Dan Colman, 5,140 for two-time award winner Daniel Negreanu (2004,2013) and 5,100 for 2012 POY winner Greg Merson. It wasn’t quite the runaway victory that it looked to be, with several competitors closing the gap in the waning months of the year, but Zinno was able to hold on to become the 2015 Card Player Player of the Year.
Over the past 12 months Zinno won the most POY-qualified titles of any player on the tournament circuit, making 11 final tables and emerging victorious five times. The 34-year-old poker pro, originally from Cranston, Rhode Island, now resides in Boston, Massachusetts. Zinno studied chemical engineering and patent law in the past, but turned his focus towards poker after law school. It appears to have been a good decision, as he cashed for $3,442,769 this year alone, with big scores coming in a variety of games, formats, field sizes and buy-in price points.
He started off his incredible 2015 run by winning back-to-back World Poker Tour main events, in the process becoming only the third player to ever win three events on the WPT, joining the likes of Gus Hansen and Carlos Mortensen. His first win this year came in the 2015 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic $5,000 CAD main event. He outlasted a field of 419 players to win $252,420 and 1,440 POY points.
Just three weeks later Zinno tore through a 538-player field to win the 2015 WPT L.A. Poker Classic $10,000 main event for $1,015,860 and 2,100 points, catapulting him into the top spot in the POY standings for the first time. He never did relinquish that lead through the remainder of the year.
Just a week after that, Zinno won his third title of the year, outlasting a field of 20 players to win the $25,000 high roller event at the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star series. For that win he secured $197,758 more in earnings and another 420 POY points.
If it was the WPT that jump started Zinno’s year, it was the World Series of Poker that solidified his claim to the POY title. Over the six weeks at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Zinno made a total of five final tables. All of his tournament success so far in the year had come in no-limit hold’em, but at the WSOP he demonstrated some of his versatility by making the final tables of the $10,000 Omaha eight-or-better championship and the $10,000 limit hold’em championship.
Zinno finished off the series with two of the four biggest scores of his career. First he finished seventh out of 135 players in the WSOP $111,111 One Drop high roller event for $565,864 and 330 points.
Almost immediately after busting that tournament he hopped into the WSOP $25,000 pot-limit Omaha high roller event. After three days of play, he came out on top of the 175-player field in that event to earn his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet, the $1,122,196 top prize (his largest score ever) and 1,092 POY points.
“This is certainly my best day as a poker pro," said Zinno after the win. "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.”
Just a few days into the seventh month of the year Zinno had already acquired nearly 1,000 more POY points than any of the last three champions using the same scoring criteria. In the months that followed he cashed 12 more times, including a win in the $1,090 heads-up no-limit hold’em event at the Borgata Poker Open for $24,442 and 144 points.
Zinno did win a sixth title of the year at the European Poker Tour Malta festival, but the €5,300 buy-in pot-limit Omaha event failed to qualify for the POY race, not meeting the minimum requirement for entries or generating at least a $250,000 prize pool. He did earn $74,371 for topping the 41-player field, however.
In the end Zinno put together one of the most impressive years on the tournament circuit the game has ever seen, with five huge POY-qualified titles, 11 final-table finishes and $3,442,769 in cashes throughout the year. He demonstrated his skill, consistency and variety over the course of 12 months to dominate in a year that saw several players put together incredible runs. POY runner-up Joe Kuether and third-place finisher Nick Petrangelo earned more points than any of the last three champions as well, putting together years that very well could have earned them the Player of the Year award if it weren’t for the incredible showing by Zinno.
“I’m obviously doing something right,” Zinno told Card Player after winning his bracelet this summer. “I practiced and worked really hard, but my best advice to everyone out there is just to work hard and set goals. Have a dream and chase it. Life is short, so just keep going for it.”
Zinno traveled much of the year, around the country and around the world chasing this dream. Today it has officially come true. Anthony Zinno is the 2015 Card Player Player of the Year.
Here is a look at Zinno’s POY-qualified scores in 2015:
|Date||Tournament||Buy-In (USD)||Place||Payout POY Points|
|Feb 15, ’15||WPT Fallsview Poker Classic $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event||$4,025||1||$252,420 1440|
|Mar 05, ’15||WPT L.A. Poker Classic $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event||$10,000||1||$1,015,860 2100|
|Mar 12, ’15||Bay 101 Shooting Star $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em||$24,500||1||$197,758 420|
|Apr 15, ’15||WPT SHR Poker Showdown $2,200 No-Limit Hold’em Six Max||$2,200||2||$41,284 220|
|May 05, ’15||EPT Grand Final €2,200 No-Limit Hold’em||$2,452||9||$11,822 36|
|Jun 10, ’15||WSOP $10,000 Omaha Eight-or-Better||$10,000||6||$74,262 240|
|Jun 13, ’15||WSOP $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Eight Max||$5,000||7||$64,484 360|
|Jun 26, ’15||WSOP $10,000 Limit Hold’em||$10,000||5||$72,377 250|
|Jun 29, ’15||WSOP $111,111 No-Limit Hold’em for One Drop||$111,111||7||$565,864 330|
|Jul 02, ’15||WSOP $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Eight Max||$25,000||1||$1,122,196 1092|
|Sep 18, ’15||Borgata Poker Open $1,090 No-Limit Hold’em Heads-Up||$1,000||1||$24,442 144|
Here is a look at the final standings in the 2015 POY Race:
|12||Mario Javier Lopez||3,898||$1,204,412|
Card Player Player of the Year Winners:
|1||Jason Mercier Close To Bracelet No. 3|
|2||Jason Mercier Wins His Second Bracelet Of 2016 WSOP|
|3||Holz Wins Aria $25k for Fourth Title of 2016|
|4||Poker Strategy: What To Do When You're Card Dead|
|5||Glaser Wins WSOP $10k Omaha 8/OB Championship|
|6||Lee Wins 2016 WSOP $3k Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em|
|7||Craig Wins 2016 WSOP Seniors Championship|
|8||Ian Johns Wins 2016 WSOP $10k Limit Hold'em|
|9||Michael Gagliano Wins WSOP $2,500 NLHE Event|
|10||2016 POY Update: Fedor Holz Takes The Lead|
|1||Selbst Could Owe Mercier $1.8M In Controversial Bet|
|2||Disgraced Poker Player Returns To The WSOP|
|3||Lederer Follows Ferguson, Makes Return To WSOP|
|4||Rainer Kempe Wins 2016 Super High Roller Bowl|
|5||Jason Mercier Close To Bracelet No. 3|
|6||Dan Bilzerian: Kevin Hart Is Terrible At Poker|
|7||Jason Mercier Wins His Second Bracelet Of 2016 WSOP|
|8||2016 WSOP Colossus II Draws 21,613 Entries|
|9||Super High Roller Bowl: Matt Berkey Leads Final 16|
|10||NFL Player Busts WSOP Main Event Champion|