Anthony Zinno, a professional poker player, won the WPT Borgata Poker Open in Atlantic City, N.J. on Friday, taking home the first prize of $825,099 and earning his seat (valued at $25,500) in the WPT World Championship. He faced tough competition from the runner-up, Team PokerStars pro Vanessa Selbst.The WPT Borgata Poker Open was held at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, widely considered by poker players to have the best-run poker room in Atlantic City. The Open consisted of 55 poker tournaments running from September 3 through September 20. The Championship tournament was the most prestigious event of the series, featuring a buyin of $3,500 and running for six days from September 15 to September 20. It attracted 1,189 entrants, generating a prize pool of $3,805,989.Those 1,189 players were reduced to a final table of just six by the end of play Thursday. Anthony Zinno, a 32-year-old from Cranston, R.I., began play on Friday with the third highest stack of chips. He’s a graduate of law school and has passed the bar examination in the state of Massachusetts, but “opted to play poker” rather than practice law. His most well-known opponent at the final table was Vanessa Selbst, second in chips. With over $7 million in career live poker tournament
winnings, she is the all-time leader in tourney winnings by a female player.
The chip leader at the beginning of play Friday was Cong Pham, a 29-year old resident of Naples, Florida. He was, however, unable to keep his momentum going and lost chips to both Selbst and Zinno. After three others were eliminated, Pham was the next to hit the rail, finishing in third place. That left Vanessa Selbst and Anthony Zinno to compete for the top prize.
Vanessa Selbst held slightly more chips than Zinno did, and she proceeded to extend her lead. But then, she ran her A♣8♣ into his A♠T♣, and he took the lead. The final hand saw Zinno raise and Selbst re-raise all her remaining chips. Zinno called showing the A♣ 6♦ while Selbst held the K♠T♣. The board came Q♣9♣7♠5♥4♣, and Zinno’s ace-high held up to win the pot and the tournament.
With this result, Anthony Zinno’s career winnings now exceed $1 million. He will have a chance to increase his winnings even further as his prize includes a free entry into the $25,500 WPT World Championship event, which will also be held at the Borgata.