Anthony Zinno has won the $10,000 single entry World Poker Tour LA Poker Classic after beating Mike Leah in heads-up action to win back-to-back WPT Main Event titles.
The excitement of the inaugural American Poker Awards(APA) still clings to the air. The stars of 2014 have been honored; fresh in our memories. The poker journey keeps on rolling. Anthony Zinno has just shoehorned his way onto the 2015 Performance of the Year short list with 12-months still remaining.
The 33-year old, who claims that his hobby is ‘making WPT final tables,’ has walked away with the WPT LA Poker Classic Main Event title less than a month after doing likewise at the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic in Niagara.
In victory, he becomes the third player to win back-to-back WPT Main Event titles, he cashed for a record-tying seventh WPT cash in a single season, joined legends Carlos Mortensen and Gus Hansen as a three-time WPT Main Event champion, and is strangling the living hell out of the Season XIII WPT Player of the Year race.
The $10,000 single-entry main event is one of the toughest, pro heavy, events of the year. 538 players took their shot and the final table was laced with stardust. With over $10m in live tournament cashes between them, Mike Leah and Chris Klodnicki were the pick of the bunch.
Zinno would enter the fray with the second lowest chip stack. However, the confidence of being a two time WPT champion meant 37bb would go a long way – well that and a ton of double ups.
The first player to hit the rail was Peter Tran. The experienced Mike Leah was his vanquisher after Tran got all his money in on a board of [8c] [7c] [6c] [Th], holding [Kd] [7d], and Leah was sat holding [9h] [2h] for the straight.
That exit gave Leah a spurt of energy and he soon held over half the chips in play. The Canadian was coming off the back of his best year ever, winning a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet, and taking down his first-ever seven figure score at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. His confidence must have been sky high.
Then a critical point in the tournament.
Zinno doubled through Peter Neff, and then as so often happens in these situations, the pair clashed for a second time to deadly effect. When all the money went in, Neff was in a great position to double up. He was holding [Ad] [Qd], Zinno was holding [Ks] [QS], and the board ran out to hand Zinno a role on Broadway – one he gratefully accepted. He was back in the game.
According to the WPT Live Blog, the four-handed play was a slobber knocker. The final table chip leader, Igor Yaroshevskyy doubled up through Klodnicki, who then recovered to double up twice himself, and Zinno was digging deep into his nine lives with another three double-ups before we lost player number four: Yaroshevskyy’s [Kc] [Qs] could not beat the [Kd] [8d] of Leah after an eight hit the board on the turn. Cheese is hard.
Zinno’s double up dance continued. He took two chunks from Leah, to take the chip lead, and then took Klodnicki on a ride from which he would never return. Zinno’s pocket sixes standing the test of time against the [Kh] [Jh] of Klodnicki and we were heads-up.
The two-time champion had a 11.5m v 4.6m chip lead, all the confidence, all the WPT final table experience, and more importantly all the momentum. He had been here before – twice – and he had won both times. It was unlucky number 13 for Leah. He moved in, holding [Ac] [3h], and Zinno looked down to see a pair of aces. It was all over bar the shouting.
WPT LA Poker Final Table Results
1st. Anthony Zinno – $1,015,860
2nd. Mike Leah – $701,350
3rd. Chris Klodnicki – $451,090
4th. Igor Yaroshevskyy – $333,680
5th. Peter Neff – $250,260
6th. Peter Tran – $200,830