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Qi Hu Wins 2020 Borgata Winter Poker Open $3,125 Heads-Up ($67,512)

Qi Hu

After three heads-up matches, Qi Hu won the 2020 Borgata Winter Poker Open Heads-Up event by defeating Matthew Emmel in the final for $67,512. The tournament attracted 58 entries to create a prize pool of $168,780. Eight players cashed for at least $8,439 for reaching the quarter-finals.

It was Hu’s second-biggest live cash ever after finishing in second place during the World Series of Poker Circuit in Montreal for $143,015 behind Joe Pellegrino almost six months ago. This result will take him closer to the $500,000-mark according to The Hendon Mob. Emmel gets to take home $33,756, which is his third-biggest live cash ever with his biggest ever taking place in this same event back in 2016 for $49,664 when the buy-in was a lower amount of $2,150.

Heads-Up Final Table Results

PlacePlayerCountryPrize
1Qi HuCanada$67,512
2Matthew EmmelUnited States$33,756
3Jeffrey HongUnited States$16,878
3Sandeep PulusaniUnited States$16,878
5Christopher AbelaUnited Kingdom$8,439
5David ForbesUnited States$8,439
5Timothy RutherfordCanada$8,439
5Arian StoltUnited States$8,439

Quarter-Finals All Go Down to the Wire

Matthew Emmel vs Arian Stolt
Matthew Emmel vs Arian Stolt
  • Arian Stolt vs Matthew Emmel

Arian Stolt was the first player to claim a match to his name when all the chips went in on a six-eight-queen-king board. Emmel held queen-ten for a flopped pair of queens, but Stolt had two pair with his queen-eight. The second game went Emmel’s way when he rivered a flush and got all the chips to go to a decider. Shortly after, Stolt bluff-shoved on the jack-ace-king-seven-ace board and got called by Emmel, who had turned trip aces to take him into the semi-finals.

Christopher Abela vs Jeffrey Hong
Christopher Abela vs Jeffrey Hong
  • Christopher Abela vs Jeffrey Hong

On the ace-eight-five all-diamond flop, Christopher Abela check-shoved with jack-five with one diamond and a pair of fives. He was called by Jeffrey Hong, who had the queen of diamonds accompanied with a seven. No help came on the board for Hong as Abela won the first game. Hong then won the second game when he rivered a flush and called the shove of Abela, who had turned two pair. In the end, Abela shoved after Hong had limped in on the button with ace-jack. Abela held king-jack so was alive until the jack-ace-jack flop fell. No running kings on the turn and river meant Abela’s tournament run had come to an end.

David Forbes vs Sandeep Pulusani
David Forbes vs Sandeep Pulusani
  • David Forbes vs Sandeep Pulusani

2013 WSOP bracelet winner Sandeep Pulusani snap-called the three-bet shove of David Forbes with ace-queen and held throughout the board against the ace-three of Forbes in the first game. In game two, the flop had come down jack-queen-four and Forbes shoved on Pulusani’s bet to be called with jack-deuce, but Forbes had flopped top two pair with queen-jack and held through the turn and river to get to game three. In the final game, Forbes shoved with king-ten and was called with ace-nine. He bricked the whole board to be sent to the rail.

Timothy Rutherford vs Qi Hu
Timothy Rutherford vs Qi Hu\"
  • Timothy Rutherford vs Qi Hu

In the first game, Hu shoved after Timothy Rutherford had raised with ace-nine. Hu’s pocket sevens held to take the first game. In the second game, Rutherford shoved with fours and was looked up by Hu, who held sevens again. This time Rutherford was saved by a four on the river to make it one-one. Rutherford was then eliminated when he flopped top pair but Hu turned a higher pair.

Both Semi-Finals Need a Third Game

  • Matthew Emmel vs Jeffrey Hong

Emmel caught Hong’s bluff with nine-five on a trey-seven-ten-jack-four board while holding jack-trey himself. Shortly after, they had to go to a third game when Hong shoved on a ten-eight-five-eight-queen board with a full house as he had ten-eight and his shove got called. Hong limped in during the final game, Emmel raised, Hong shoved, and Emmel called with ace-jack. Hong had ace-ten and the higher kicker played to send Hong out in third place.

  • Sandeep Pulusani vs Qi Hu

In the first game, Pulusani’s aces beat the turned two pair of Hu. During the second game, Pulusani had limped in and Hu shoved for Pulusani to call for 15,000. The ace-ten of Pulusani couldn’t beat the king-jack of Hu who found another king on the flop to pair up to go to a third game too. In the final game, the flop came down trey-four-five when Pulusani check-tank-shoved and was called by Hu, who held pocket kings. Pulusani had a gutshot to a straight and turned a pair but got no help on the river.

The Finals

Qi Hu vs Matthew Emmel Heads-Up
Qi Hu vs Matthew Emmel Heads-Up

A deal was discussed for a while but nothing official came out of it. They started playing and the first game would take almost 90 minutes when the chips went in with Hu at risk holding ace-queen. Emmel held pocket kings, Hu flopped an open-ended straight draw but Emmel held on to take the first game. The second game would take almost two hours. The board read six-trey-trey-nine when Emmel check-raised and got called by Hu, who held ten-trey for trips. Emmel had ten-nine for two pair and the river didn’t change things as another game was needed.

In the final game of the night, it took a mere 45 minutes before it was over. Emmel four-bet shoved for just under 50% of the starting stack with ace-four of diamonds. Hu held pocket jacks, and even though the flop brought a flush draw to Emmel, he bricked the turn and river. The two players shook hands and talked things over for a bit more before making their way to the payout desk to collect their winnings.

PokerNews coverage of the 2020 Borgata Winter Poker Open continues throughout January. Click here to discover which tournaments are playing out right now.

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  • Qi Hu topped a 58-entry field to win 2020 @Borgatapoker Winter Poker Open Heads-Up event for $67,512.

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