American defeats Vanessa Selbst heads-up to claim biggest victory of his career at WPT Borgata…
After five days of exciting, all-out action, Anthony Zinno has emerged as this year’s WPT Borgata Poker Open champion. Far from a walk in the park for the American, tournament specialist Vanessa Selbst pushed Zinno to the wire but in the end the most successful female poker player of all time came up just short.
No stranger to big cashes both online and on the live scene, and already buzzing with confidence coming into the Main Event thanks to a 3rd place finish in the $1,100 warm-up, the $825,099 first prize Zinno claimed for his Main Event win is by far the Bostonian’s career defining score to date.
Taking place at the famous Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City the $3,500 Main Event attracted some 1189 entries creating a total prizepool just shy of $4 million.
Zinno started the final day with the third largest stack at the 6-man table, and appeared to have a gameplan to take things slow early on, as he carefully went about working his way up the leaderboard doing his best to avoid any big and potentially fatal showdowns.
But some of the other players at the table had other ideas and it took only a few hands before the day’s first casualty after Eric Fields found himself all-in with a pair of Jacks verses the Ace-King of Cong Pham. An Ace on the river was a cruel and bitter end to an excellent tournament for Kottler.
Next to hit the rail was David Randall after his blind-on-blind shove with Jacks lost out to Jeremy Kottler’s A-9 thanks to an Ace on the flop.
Then a dwindling chip stack saw Kottler commit his remaining chips to the pot in response to Vanessa Selbst’s continual bullying. Kottler had Fives while Selbst held A-6and an Ace on both the flop and turn ended up making Selbst a comfortable winner and her dream of becoming the first women to win a WPT event was looking ever more likely.
Several orbits later a decisive hand went down between Anthony Zinno and Cong Pham. Zinno started things off with a standard raise of 500,000 only for Pham to re-raise him to 1.3 million. Zinno took little time four-betting, which then in turn led to Pham moving all-in. In the worst situation possible, Pham turned over his A-Q only for Zinno to show A-K leaving him completely dominated. When the first card that fell on the flop was a King, Pham knew his chances were virtually finished, the remaining cards helped neither player and Pham had to settle for $300k and 3rd place.
Going into heads-up Selbst held the lead and she stretched this even further during the first 20 minutes with some bold and aggressive play. But a key pot which saw both players move all-in pre-flop after about half an hour turned the tide back in Zinno’s favour. That particular hand saw Selbst’s A-8 dominated by Zinno’s A-T. An ace on the flop along with two low cards changed nothing, while a Two on the turn and a Ten on the river saw Zinno scoop a huge pot and take a commanding lead 22.7 million to 12.9 million lead.
From there Zinno did a good job utilising his big stack. Gradually stretching his lead, it didn’t take too long for Selbst to lose her patience and make a stand. Moving all-in over the top of Zinno’s opening raise, Zinno ended up making the huge call with only A-6 but to his relief he was about a 60-to-40 favourite against Selbst’s K-T. The flop came Q-9-7 giving Selbst a slim chance with a gutshot straight draw and two live cards but a Five on the turn and Four on the river missed all her possible outs and Zinno was declared the Borgota champion for 2013.
How the final table finished up:
- Anthony Zinno – $825,099
- Vanessa Selbst – $492,569
- Cong Pham – $301,225
- Jeremy Kottler – $251,968
- David Randall – $208,394
- Eric Fields – $168,610