The DeepStacks Poker Tour World Championship at Mohegan Sun wrapped up on Monday with Jia Liu emerging victorious to claim the $129,663 first-place prize. Liu bested a field of 247 entries in the $2,500 Main Event that eclipsed the $500,000 guarantee by generating a prize pool of $551,057.
DeepStacks World Championship Final Table Results
The top 27 spots made the money in the event, and it was Michael Murphy who was sent home on the bubble in 28th place. Murphy fell to World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner Cliff Goldkind after his couldn't hold up against the .
From there, players began to head off to the payout desk after being eliminated. Some of the notables to cash in the event were Jason Strasser (26th - $4,574), Jamie Kerstetter (25th - $4,574), Daryl Jace (21st - $5,180), Tim Reilly (19th - $5,786), Chino Rheem (13th - $7,770), and Goldkind (11th - $9,478).
Heading into the third and final day of play, eight players were left and Liu had a massive chip lead. He held 3.034 million in chips while no other player was over 1 million. Charlie Hawkins was the closest with 977,000, and then things trickled down to short stack Matt Waxman with 370,000.
According to the DeepStacks Mohegan live updates, Waxman was first to go on Day 3, falling at the hands of Mike Nye when his failed to catch up to Nye's . Steve Karp was next to go in seventh place and was eliminated by former WSOP Octo-Niner Michael Esposito.
The "official" final table got underway when six players remained, and once again it was Liu with the big lead of nearly 2 million.
Justin Adams was eliminated in sixth place, falling to Liu on Hand #5 when his couldn't come from behind against the . The money went in preflop, and the board ran out .
On Hand #8, Esposito took his leave. On the board, Nye fired a bet of 130,000, and Liu raised to 350,000. Esposito then reraised all in for 575,000, and Nye folded. Liu took a little bit of time, then called with the for bottom pair and a combo draw. Esposito had turned the wheel with the . Needing to hit, Liu did just that when the landed on the river to give him a spade flush and send Esposito to the rail.
By eliminating Esposito, Liu grabbed hold of 5.1 million of the 7.4 million chips in play.
Despite Liu's immense lead, it took over 50 hands before the next player hit the rail. That player was Jon Reinhardt, and he was eliminated in fourth place by Liu on Hand #60. Hawkins was then eliminated in third place on Hand #67, also by Liu.
When heads-up play began, Liu held 5.8 million in chips to Nye's 1.6 million.
Nearly 110 hands took place in the duel between Liu and Nye, but eventually Liu came out on top on Hand #175. He moved all in from the button with the , and Nye called off holding the . Despite having a dominating hand, Nye's luck would run out as the board came to give Liu the win. For his runner-up finish, Nye earned $90,980.
"I want to thank my family," Liu told DeepStacks after the win. "And my mom. This is the first time she’s come and watched me play a poker tournament. So I’d like to thank her [for being here]."
For the win, Liu earned the third-largest score of his poker career. Previously, Liu won the 2012 Borgata Spring Poker Open for $312,483 and took sixth place in the 2007 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker for $137,175.
*Photo courtesy of DeepStacksPokerTour.com.