Qing Liu won the WPT Venetian after an incredible three-handed play against Joe Mckeehen and Rokita. In addition to the title, he also took home $752,880.
Before the final table began, drama had already ensued. As it is customary with most poker events, the final table is comprised of 8 players. However, WPT Executive Tour Director, Matt Savage, redrew the seats with players playing over two tables, with 4 players on each. But Jared Jaffee could hear none of it and decided to lash out.
The protests, however, fell on deaf ears and the tournament continued with the split-final table.
However, it was not the first time that the final table was split in two, WPT had a similar arrangement at the WPT Lucky HeartsPoker Open in Hollywood.
According to Savage, the decision helps speed things up. Since the ante and the big blinds are much quicker in four-handed play, it prevents players from unnecessary folding to wait it out, he opined.
“I am fine with changing it in the future, but I wasn’t going to change it because one player was short-stacked and demanding a change,” – Savage
To add to the drama, the final table was delayed since one of the participants was taken ill and needed medical attention. Apparently, Roland Rokita required a non-life-threatening operation and the players agreed to delay the final table for an hour.
Qing Liu wins the final table
When the final table finally started, a flurry of eliminations ensued. Trace Henderson was eliminated in sixth place and took home $363,235. Shortly after, Kou Vand was sent to the rails in fifth place and was rewarded with $204,430.
In four-handed play, Jack Hardcastle was the first to buckle under pressure. He was eliminated in fourth place and received a $271,050 cash prize.
A few minutes later, Rokita’s luck ran out and he busted in third place for a tidy sum of $363,235.
At the start of heads-up play, Mckeehen held a significant 2-1 chip lead and was poised to become the World Poker Tour Champion (2021).
However, Liu had other plans. Mckeehen saw his lead evaporate after losing the first few pots and later lost the chip-lead after folding a massive lead.
Having the chip advantage, Liu continued his dominance and it didn’t take long before he cruised to a 4-1 chip lead. At this point, it was pretty obvious Liu was going to win the tournament.
On the final hand, Mckeehen was dealt K-7 and Liu had K-4. Mckeehen shoved all his chips to the middle of the table and Liu called.
The board ran out 6-4-2-9-6 and Liu won the pot. Liu earned $752, 880 for his first-place finish whereas Mckeehen went home with $491,960 for his second-place finish.
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