Qing Liu has been the hottest player on the live tournament circuit so far in 2021. He has already made nine final tables in events that qualify for the 2021 Card Player Player of the Year race, cashing for $1,089,449 across those events and winning three titles in the process.
The Venetian Poker Room has become Liu’s unofficial home field, as 10 of his 12 live tournament cashes made so far in 2021 have taken place at the venue. Over $986,000 of his more than $1.1 million in earnings this year have come from events held at Venetian.
Liu’s most recent victory came in the $400 buy-in ‘MonsterStack’ no-limit hold’em event at the Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza II series. Liu outlasted a field of 827 total entries in the tournament to secure the trophy and the top payout of $51,442. He also earned 365 POY points as the champion, further extending his lead in the 2021 POY race sponsored by Global Poker. With 3,636 total points, he now sits 1,464 ahead of the nearest competitor Sung Joo Hyun (2,172 points).
Liu made four POY-qualified final tables from Jan. 20 through Feb. 28, ending his spree by defeating a 1,187-entry in the Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza I $600 ’UltimateStack’ event to add $110,890 and 480 POY points to his swelling yearly totals. Less than a week later he notched yet another deep run, placing fifth in the Venetian DeepStack Showdown $1,100 buy-in ‘MonsterStack’ event for another $14,069 and 170 points.
March was when Liu really began to pick up steam, starting with the biggest win of his career. He overcame a record-setting field of 937 entries in the World Poker Tour Venetian $5,000 buy-in main event, earning $752,880 and 1,824 POY points for ultimately defeating the largest field in WPT history for at that buy-in level. The very next day Liu had yet another major final table to play, with the 2020 WPT Gardens Poker Championship having been rescheduled after being delayed for more than a year due to COVID-19 safety concerns. He ultimately finished sixth for $111,795 and 340 points.
The WPT Gardens event played down to a winner at PokerGO studios at ARIA, and was Liu’s first score in 2021 outside of the Venetian. His second and final one so far took place five days later when he finished 11th in the Wynn Spring Classic $3,500 buy-in main event for $32,815. Liu returned to Venetian late in March to secure two more cashes before earning his previously-mentioned third title in the early morning hours of Friday, Apr. 9.
While there is plenty of time remaining in the 2021 POY race, Liu has firmly established himself as the pace setter through the first quarter of the year.
Winner photo credit: Venetian Poker Room Twitter account.