Anthony Zinno capped an incredible campaign during Season XIII of the World Poker Tour by being named the WPT Player of the Year.
The announcement was made official after the elimination of Darren Elias from the WPT World Championship at the Borgata, as Elias was the only other player with a chance to surpass Zinno for the title.
Zinno won the award after a year that saw him become just the third player ever to win three WPT titles in his career.
Two of those titles came just this season, and even more impressively, they came back-to-back: Zinno won both the 2015 Fallsview Poker Classic and the 2015 LA Poker Classic to provide a stunning start to his year and put him in the lead for the award given to the top player of the WPT season.
However, that wasn’t enough to ensure that Zinno would walk away with the title. In what was a memorable season on the WPT, Zinno wasn’t even the only player to win back-to-back titles, as Elias had done the exact same thing earlier in the season.
He took down the Borgata Poker Open and the WPT Caribbean, giving him the early leg up in the Player of the Year race. Elias also set a record by cashing in eight tournaments this WPT season, cashing for a total of more than $1 million on tour this season.
But Zinno had plenty of results to back up his two wins as well, cashing in a total of seven events. His cashes were, on average, just a bit deeper than Elias’, and he ended up winning close to $1.4 million on tour over the course of the season.
That was also enough to give Zinno a lead of nearly 300 points in the WPT’s ranking system, which used the Global Poker Index’s formula to determine a winner. Heading into the final event of the season, they were the only two players still in contention: even if third-placed Jared Jaffee had won the World Championship, he could not have caught Zinno.
The Player of the Year award comes with a few benefits for Zinno. He’ll receive a special customized watch from Hublot, the company that sponsored the WPT Player of the Year race.
He’ll also have hotel accommodations and ground transportation provided for him throughout the next WPT season.
Zinno, based out of Boston, is a long-time tournament pro who has cashed for more than $3.1 million in his live tournament career.
The vast majority of that success has come on the World Poker Tour; he earned his first WPT title at the 2013 Borgata Poker Open, where he defeated Vanessa Selbst in heads-up play to win $825,099.
Zinno’s recent successes have also seen him climb near the top of many of poker’s other leaderboards. The Global Poker Index currently has Zinno ranked 13th in the world, and 9th in their 2015 Player of the Year race.
Heading into this week, he has also taken over the lead in the 2015 BLUFF Player of the Year Standings, and has opened up a healthy lead in the Card Player P.O.Y. leaderboard as well.