Poker scandal time. This is an unexpected one (though are any scandals “expected”?) and nothing has been confirmed 100%, but it has legs, so let’s talk about it. Poker pro Anthony Zinno, one of the most successful tournament players of the last decade, has been accused of stealing a backpack, and most of the $20,000 contained within, from the poker room at Wynn Las Vegas.
The topic first came up on the Only Friends poker podcast, but not discussed much beyond “why would someone be dumb enough to leave a backpack with $20,000 under a poker table?” I don’t know, people sometimes forget things. The story then got attention at 2+2 and Poker Fraud Alert, to the point where some alleged details have emerged.
Two people who know the victim of the theft spoke up on the 2+2 forum saying it was true that Zinno stole the backpack and then the victim himself, Corel Theuma, told his story on X (Twitter).
According to Theuma, he had bagged his chips in a $3,000 buy-in tourney during the WPT World Championship in December 2023 and left the casino, accidentally leaving his backpack – and the $20,000 within – under his chair. When he realized it, he ran back to the poker room, only to find it gone. Nobody he asked had any idea.
The next day, he called the lost and found office and they told him that somebody had returned the bag, but there was only $1,000 in it.
“Those close to me know my financial circumstances and so there is simply no need for me to lie about the amount,” Theuma wrote, adding that he would try to prove that the bag did contain $20,000.
Allegedly saw Zinno with police
He picked up the bag and filed a police report and then that night, casino security called him to tell him that police were there, wanted to speak with him, and had the suspect in custody. Theuma claimed that when he arrived, he saw Anthony Zinno “locked up being questioned.”
Theuma clarified that he has not seen security video footage and that he is only going off what he has seen with his own eyes and what security and police told him. What they relayed to him was that they could see Zinno on video picking up the bag and taking it to a restroom. They also allegedly told him that Zinno has been banned from Wynn properties.
Theuma ended the story there, saying that he would share findings from the police report when and if he gets it and if his lawyer says its ok.
Todd Witteles, owner of the Poker Fraud Alert site, shared a DM from a listener of his podcast who said that what Zinno is telling people is that he thought the bag belonged to his girlfriend or one of her massage clients. He looked through it in the restroom to find anything that could identify the owner, and when he couldn’t, he turned the backpack in to security.
Of course, that wouldn’t explain the missing money, but right now, all we really know is what Theuma has detailed. Zinno has not spoken out. Hopefully it’s all a misunderstanding, but it doesn’t sound good at the moment.
Anthony Zinno has almost $11.5 million in live tournament earnings. He has won four WSOP bracelets, three WPT titles, and was named WPT Season XIII Player of the Year.
Image credit: Flickr.com / World Poker Tour