Three-event series at Fallsview Casino Resort attracted 2,245 entries, generating a total prize pool of more than $4.4 million
Anthony Zinno captured his second World Poker Tour title in as many seasons Monday, topping a field of 419 players to win the $5,000 (Canadian) buy-in, televised WPT Fallsview Poker Classic. Zinno earned $380,021 (Canadian), which included a $15,400 seat into the season-ending WPT World Championship April 24 at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, a Hublot Oceanographic 4000 watch, and a pair of 24K Monster headphones for his victory.
Zinno joins 20 other players with multiple WPT titles, including three-time champions Gus Hansen and Carlos Mortsensen, two-time season XIII champion Darren Elias, and legends such as Antonio Esfandiari, Barry Greenstein, Daniel Negreanu, JC Tran and Michael Mizrachi. Zinno also passed Elias in the season XIII Hublot WPT Player of the Year race, assuming pole position heading into the California swing.
"Everything's been going so well," Zinno said after the win. "I think it's a combination of a blessing, luck and hard work. The win is huge. Having two trophies and being the current Player of the Year leader is just as huge."
Zinno entered heads-up play against Mark Bailey with a two-to-one chip advantage, and never relinquished his lead. On the final hand, Bailey moved all in with an ace-high flush draw and Zinno had him at risk with pocket kings. Neither the turn nor the river produced a club or an ace, and Zinno was crowned the champion. Bailey earned $266,394 for his efforts.
The final table of the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic started off with a bang, and both Erik Cajelais and Jeremy Halaska were eliminated in the first two hands. Cajelais was eliminated in sixth place when he moved all in preflop from the blinds with ace-deuce, and Corey Hochman, the original raiser, called with a dominating ace. Hochman's hand held up and Cajelais hit the rail. The very next hand, Halaska moved all in after making a pair of kings on the turn. Zinno called his all-in bet with trip 10s, and Halaska was unable to hit a two-outer to stay alive, exiting in fifth place.
David Cloutier bowed out in fourth place 27 hands later, re-raising all in preflop with queen-five suited. Hochman, the original raiser, called with a pair of eights, and Cloutier did not improve his hand. Despite recording two of the first three knockouts, Hochman was unable to reach heads-up play, exiting on hand 70. Facing a preflop raise from Zinno, Hochman moved all in with king-10, and Zinno called with ace-queen. Zinno's hand held on the flop, turn and river, and Hochman was eliminated in third place.
WPT Fallsview Poker Classic Final Table (Canadian)
The season XIII WPT Fallsview Poker Classic attracted 419 players, generating a total prize pool of $1,910,221. The top 54 players earned a minimum of $8,697, including Jonathan Duhamel, Shannon Shorr, Jason Duval, BLUFF.com Ones to Watch Garrett Greer, WPT Champions Club member and WPT Alpha8 cohost Olivier Busquet, and WPT Champions Club member Mike Watson. Among the notables who participated but fell short of the money were WPT Champions Club members Dylan Wilkerson, Marvin Rettenmaier, Ben Hamnett, Victor Ramdin, Jared Jaffee, and David Williams, along with season IX WPT Player of the Year Andy Frankenberger.
The $5,000 buy-in main event capped off a massive three-event series at Fallsview Casino Resort, which attracted a total of 2,245 entries and generated a combined prize pool of $4,483,437. The $1,100 buy-in kickoff event featured 1,190 entries - an 83 percent increase on the 2014 total of 649 entries - and a prize pool of $1,154,300. Canada's Jason Sagle was the last player standing, capturing the $193,906 first-place prize. He now has more than $1.1 million in career live tournament earnings.
Like the kickoff event, the $2,500 buy-in tournament featured a larger field than in 2014. The 636 entries - a 16 percent increase year over year (548 entries) - generated a total prize pool of $1,418,916, and Marc-Etienne McLaughlin was victorious, taking home $268,166. McLaughlin, who cashed in the $1,100 buy-in event as well, now boasts nearly $2.5 million in career live tournament earnings.
"What a fantastic week! We surpassed last year's numbers in attendance, prize pools and individual winnings" said Greg Medulun, director of communications at Fallsview Casino Resort. "We're always excited to partner with WPT for our Fallsview Poker Classic, and we're looking forward to making it even bigger and better next year."
The World Poker Tour now heads west for the season XIII California swing. The action kicks off at Commerce Casino Feb. 28 with the WPT L.A. Poker Classic, followed by the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star at Bay 101 Casino (March 9-13) and WPT Rolling Thunder at Thunder Valley Casino Resort (March 14-18).
For more details on World Poker Tour events, sponsors and promotions, visit www.WPT.com.
For more information on the casino, visit fallsviewcasinoresort.comor call 1-888-325-5788.
Know your limit. Play within it. www.knowyourlimit.ca.