Qing Liu Takes Down WPT Venetian Main Event

Qing Liu won the WPT Venetian Main Event and walked away with more than $750,000

Qing Liu is a World Poker Tour champion after he took down the WPT Venetian Main Event on March 10. Liu came out on top of a 937-strong field in the $5,000 buy-in tournament to bank a career-best $752,880.

Liu has cashes dating back to 2011 but it is the past couple of years when he has shone. The Californian won a $600 buy-in event at the Venetian, Las Vegas in October 2020 for $83,674. His first six-figure haul also came at the Venetian after Liu won another $600 buy-in event for $110,890.

The path to Liu’s best-ever score was not smooth because the tournament attracted some of the game’s best players. Plenty of them reached the top 118 places and secured a slice of the $4,333,625 prize pool.

Lily Kiletto, Jake Schwartz, Aaron Van Blarcum, and Ali Imsirovic were among those who cashed. As were Kevin Eyster, Ryan Laplante, Nick Schulman, Jared Jaffee, and Sergio Aido.

Jaffee finished in eighth place for $93,630 after taking to Twitter to voice his disgust at the event’s format. Jaffee was unhappy that the final eight players fought it out on two four-handed tables despite playing eight-handed throughout the tournament.

Final Table Set; Liu Third in Chips

The six-handed final table kicked off at 15:00 local time and it took 80-minutes to lose a player. Liu min-raised on the button to 300,000 with Qh-Ts and called when Trace Henderson three-bet all-in for 1,525,000 from the small blind with 9s-9h. The board ran 8d-3d-3c-Th-6d to send Henderson home with the $155,865 sixth-place prize.

Another 43 hands concluded before Kou Vang busted in fifth for $204,430. Former WSOP Main Event champion Joe McKeehen dealt the final blow to Vang. McKeehen min-raised to 400,000 before calling Vang’s 4,250,000 shove. Vang turned over Ac-Ks and McKeehen the 8h-8c. The former WSOP Main Event champ improved to a set on the Td-8d-2s-3s-Ah board to beat Vang’s ace-king.

Fourth place and $271,050 went to British youngster Jack Hardcastle. The Brit was nursing a short-stack throughout the final table and was unable to get out of first gear. McKeehen set Hardcastle all-in for his last seven big blinds in a blind-versus-blind clash. Hardcastle called with Qh-8s, McKeehen showed Ks-Td, and the five community cards fell Ah-Ad-4s-9d-4c.

You may recall Hardcastle won the WPT Montreal Online Main Event in January and scooped almost $500,000.

Fifty-eight hands of three-handed play were needed to send the event heads-up. McKeehen raised all-in from the small blind and Roland Rokita called from the big blind for 3,725,000 (12 big blinds). Rokita revealed the 5d-5c and McKeehen Jc-8d. McKeehen turned a straight on the As-Ts-7s-9c-8c and Rokita collected $363,235 third-place money.

Heads-Up Set: McKeehen Leads Two-to-One

McKeehen enjoyed a two-to-one chip lead over Liu going into heads-up but Liu would not give up. Liu clawed his way back before taking the lead, then opening up a significant gap.

The final hand took place during the 150,000/300,000/300,000a level. McKeehen jammed for 3,300,000 with what turned out to be Kh-7d. Liu called with Kc-4s and won the tournament courtesy of the 6s-4d-2h-9d-6c board. McKeehen banked $491,960 while Liu netted $752,880.

WPT at Venetian Main Event Final Table Results

Place Player Prize
1 Qing Liu $752,880
2 Joe McKeehen $491,960
3 Roland Rokita $363,235
4 Jack Hardcastle $271,050
5 Kou Vang $204,430
6 Trace Henderson $155,865

Liu had the chance to win two WPT titles in the space of two days because he was at the final table of the delayed WPT Gardens Poker Championship where $554,495 awaited the winner. It was not meant to be, however, because Liu finished sixth there for $111,795.

Matthew Pitt

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.

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