Anthony Zinno’s chase for WPT titles and love for the game

Paul Oresteen
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Posted on: November 26, 2023 3:56 pm EST

Anthony Zinno’s poker resume reads as well as anyone’s but what really stands out is that he’s second only to Darren Elias in World Poker Tour titles and cashes. Zinno has three WPT titles to Elias’ four and Zinno has 41 cashes to Elias’ 48. So is Zinno chasing Elias around the country trying to pass him on the leader board?

No.

In fact, he wasn’t aware he was chasing Elias at all.

“Wow, I didn’t know that,” Zinno said. “I just love this stuff. I’ll be doing this until I can’t anymore. I have a passion for tournament poker, and I’ll always be trying to put results on the board. I’m not chasing Darren or anything like that.”

Both Zinno and Elias are in action for Day 2 of the WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open and seated only two tables away from each other.

The constant grind

Zinno attributes his WPT results to the volume he’s able to play. In the last 26 months Zinno has only had four months where he didn’t log a tournament cash. “I love the game so much that if I go a month without playing something I’m jonesing to go play,” he said.

“That’s the thing about living in Vegas, there’s the opportunity to play online and I play all the online bracelet events,” he added. “I was never really the type of guy that needed long breaks. I can just keep going as long as I’m enjoying it.”

Zinno’s Hendon Mob report gives any homebody anxiety with the amount he travels and plays. Zinno has four WSOP bracelets and figures himself to be a favorite to win another bracelet before another WPT title.

“I have to say statistically speaking, it’s always going to be the bracelet (next) because I can put way higher volume in those events over the course of a year,” said Zinno. “Especially now with all they’ve added between (WSOP) Paradise and online bracelets. There’s just enough WPTs to play. But the WPTs have a much better structure which gives me a better chance on a per event basis.”

Leaning on experience

Zinno is part of a generation of players that used to be the young guns on tour but now grey hairs and back aches are starting to catch up. To stay ahead of the up-and-coming players Zinno leans on years of live experience. “I like to say that I have good poker instincts which will always keep my live game a little bit ahead of the curve,” he said.

“With all my experience of playing live, I can get good reads and assess my opponents pretty quickly,” he said. “But as far as the technical aspects of poker, you always have to keep sharp. You have to be practicing. Just like anything else, if you’re not practicing, you’re going to fall behind no matter how naturally talented you are.”

Zinno has a few more grey hairs and wrinkles than when he started at 21. Photo c/o WPT

Hard work for an easy game

“It’s a game that you always must keep up with. I’m constantly trying to keep up with people getting better,” Zinno said. “A couple years ago I was significantly ahead of the curve in Pot Limit Omaha and some mixed games. But you know, people catch up.”

“Especially the young bucks that have the time to put in,” he added. “They get better, so you have to keep up and put in the work. Gotta keep going.”

The only hole one might find in Zinno’s resume is his lack of a big score in a WPT event in Florida. His largest cash to date is $58,000 from 2016. Zinno grimaced when he said, “Yeah, I remember the last WPT here I got all in preflop with aces and a guy with ace jack made a flush right near the money.”

“It just happens sometimes – it’s not running well over that relatively small sample size. I might play ten tournaments a year here,” he said. “Although, I’ve won a few side events here so the most trophies I have from one venue is from here.”