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2015/2016 WSOP Circuit - HARRAH'S CHEROKEE (North Carolina)

Friday, April 22, 2016 to Monday, April 25, 2016

Ring Event #10A/B: $1,675 MAIN EVENT

download official report     download official winner photo
  • Buy-in: $1,675
  • Prizepool: $1,512,000
  • Entries: 1,008
  • Remaining: 0
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4/25/2016 8:31:55 PM PST (about 4 days and 14 hours ago)
Maurice Hawkins Wins the Harrah's Cherokee Main Event for his 7th Gold Ring

Maurice Hawkins

Maurice Hawkins wins his 3rd gold ring and second Main Event of the month.

Cherokee, N.C. (April 25, 2016) – WSOP Circuit history has just been made at Harrah’s Cherokee. Maurice Hawkins became the first player in the 12 year history of the tour to win back-to-back Circuit Main Events and that is only the start of Hawkins’ impressive run. Since April 7, Hawkins has won three gold rings, reached four Circuit final tables and earned $431,561. To put his run into perspective, Hawkins has earned more money on the Circuit this month alone than anyone else has all season long.

Hawkins defeated a 1,008 player field to earn the top prize of $279,722 and his seventh gold ring. This marked Hawkins’ largest ever tournament score. Hawkins moved up to a tie for fifth on the all-time gold rings list. He is tied with Cory Waaland and is now only two gold rings behind all-time leader, Alex Masek. He also became only the third player to win three gold rings this season.

“I am all about trying to put out my best performance and doing the best I can do,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins took a much different path to victory this time than in his Main Event victory just two weeks ago in Council Bluffs, Iowa. In Council Bluffs Hawkins emerged has a huge chip leader midway through Day 2 of the tournament and ended up heading to the final day of play second in chips. On the final day of play he traded the chip lead back and forth with Ryan Phan. Although Hawkins entered heads-up play against Phan with a chip disadvantage, he overcame it to win the tournament and $113k top prize.

This time Hawkins was the short stack through much of the tournament. Day 3 began with 20 players left and Hawkins sat 16th in chips. He remained short for most of the start of the day. When the unofficial final table of 10 was reached, he was eighth in chips and only had 18 big blinds. He ended up chipping down to about 9 big blinds before the “Maurice Hawkins Show” began. With nine players remaining Hawkins found a double up with pocket kings against third place finisher, Chip Ervin’s, pocket queens. It was all Hawkins from that point forward.

The last five eliminations of the tournament came in quick succession with Hawkins eliminating three of the final five players. The last five players were eliminated within an hour of each other and the faster players were eliminated, the more steam Hawkins was picking up. Hawkins found himself with about 75% of the chips in play three-handed. Runner-up finisher Leif Force closed the gap a little when he eliminated Ervin in third place, but didn’t last long against Hawkins’ towering stack in heads up play. Force ended up taking home $172,943 for his runner-up finish.

Earlier this week Hawkins finished runner-up to Christopher Carey in Event #4 - $365 No-Limit Hold’em. It was the first time in Hawkins’ career that he had finished runner-up in a WSOP event and he didn’t like it one bit. Hawkins said that after the event was over he thought about the loss in his room and how much he hated finishing second. He told himself that he would never let it happen again.

Hawkins said that he plans to go and play the entire New Orleans stop, which is the next stop and the final stop on the 2015-2016 Circuit season.

“I love the Circuit, so I am going to be traveling on it a little bit more next year,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins already had a 2016 Global Casino Championship seat from winning the Council Bluffs Main Event. He was not eligible to win a second seat, so that seat gets added to the at-large qualifiers pool. Instead of 50 seats for the top pointer earners on the season, there are now 52 seats. Valentine Vornicu also opened up an extra seat for the at-large qualifiers earlier this season. Joining Hawkins right back here in Cherokee in August for the 2016 Global Casino Championship will be the man who beat him out of ring earlier this week. Carey went on to win the final event of the series to clinch the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Championship and the Global Casino Championship seat that came along with it. Carey cashed five times over the course of the 12-event series and won two gold rings.

A total of 1,008 players turned out to play this Main Event, which was two entries down from the November field, but still the second largest Main Event ever at the property. Flight A drew 405 entries and Flight B drew 603.

Notables cashing in this event included gold bracelet winner, Force (2nd), Hamid Izadi (9th), who finished 9th in the Main Event here last November and Jason Sandling (14th), who won this Main Event two years ago. Other notables included Mike Gracz (34th), Orlando Romero (35th) Juan Mendoza (36th), Ryan Tepen (50th), Rex Clinkscales (57th), Carey (61st), Ralph Massey (63rd), Zal Irani (65th), Aditya Prasetyo (66th), Justin Liberto (69th), Richard Seymour (93rd), and Kyle Cartwright (101st).

Final table results:

1st: Maurice Hawkins - $279,722 + WSOP Circuit gold ring
2nd: Leif Force - $172,943
3rd: Chip Ervin - $128,520
4th: Karthik Ramakrishnan - $96,617
5th: Randy Lowery - $73,468
6th: Brannon Cashion - $56,519
7th: Corey Bierria - $43,984
8th: Marty DeBruhl - $34,625
9th: Hamid Izadi - $27,579

Complete results can be found above under the "Results" tab.

4/25/2016 6:31:42 PM PST (about 4 days and 16 hours ago)
Maurice Hawkins Wins Second Consecutive WSOPC Main Event!
Maurice Hawkins

Leif Force opens the action on the button to 400,000 and Maurice Hawkins calls. The flop falls    , Hawkins checks and Force bets 400,000. Hawkins calls, the turn comes   and Hawkins checks again. Force bets 650,000, Hawkins calls and the river is  . Hawkins announces all in, Force tanks for a moment and announces a call. Hawkins shows    for aces up.

Force doesn't show his cards, Hawkins realizes he just won and high-fives his rail in celebration. The dealer has to table Force's hand -    - and it's official that Hawkins has won. Force is eliminated as the runner-up, earning $172,943.

Leif Force

Hawkins becomes the first player in the history of the Circuit to win back-to-back Circuit Main Events. In addition to the gold ring, he earns $279,722, the largest score of his tournament career. A full recap of his victory will be made available shortly.

Ring, Cards, Chips
4/25/2016 6:22:52 PM PST (about 4 days and 16 hours ago)
Chip Ervin Eliminated in 3rd Place ($128,520)
Chip Ervin

Chip Ervin open-shoves the button for about 1,800,000, and Leif Force re-shoves for a bit more in the small blind. Maurice Hawkins folds his big blind, and Ervin is flipping for his tournament life.


The     flop gives Ervin a big lead, and it seems to come as no surprise to Force, who has clearly been running below expectation in showdowns today. That recent history makes the   turn even more shocking to him and Hawkins. Force turns a set of sevens, locking up the pot and the knockout one card early. The river is the meaningless  , and Ervin is eliminated in third place.

"Wow, you finally won a flip," Hawkins comments. He and Force are now heads up for the title.

Maurice Hawkins - 16,200,000 (101 bb)
Leif Force - 4,000,000 (25 bb)
Chip Ervin - Eliminated

4/25/2016 6:05:40 PM PST (about 4 days and 17 hours ago)
Karthik Ramakrishnan Eliminated in 4th Place ($96,617)

Karthak Ramakrishnan

Maurice Hawkins raises to 425,000 from the button and action is folded to Karthik Ramakrishnan in the big blind. Ramakrishnan announces all-in. He has about 5 million chips. Hawkins pauses just for a second, and then calls. The cards are tabled.


The board runs out         and Hawkins wins the pot with a straight.

"Nice hand Maurice," says Ramakrishnan as he stands up from the table.

Hawkins takes the pot and adds to his chip lead.

Maurice Hawkins - 15,800,000 (98 bb)
Karthik Ramakrishnan - Eliminated


4/25/2016 5:57:52 PM PST (about 4 days and 17 hours ago)
Randy Lowery Eliminated in 5th Place ($73,468)
Randy Lowery

Karthik Ramakrishnan opens to 350,000 under the gun, and Randy Lowery three-bet shoves for just over a million from the small blind. Ramakrishnan calls to put him at risk.


The     flop is about as wet as it gets for both players. Lowery takes the lead with two pair, but Ramakrishnan flops the nut flush draw. The turn is the   to fill that flush, and the river   is a blank. Ramakrishnan wins the pot, eliminating Lowery in fifth place.

Karthik Ramakrishnan - 5,100,000 (32 bb)
Randy Lowery - Eliminated

4/25/2016 5:55:27 PM PST (about 4 days and 17 hours ago)
Brannon Cashion Eliminated in 6th Place ($56,519)
Brannon Cashion

Maurice Hawkins opens the action to 425,000, Chip Ervin calls and Brannon Cashion moves all in. Hawkins announces all in over the top, Ervin mucks and the cards are tabled.


The board runs      , Cashion's flush draw whiffs and he's eliminated.

Maurice Hawkins - 10,000,000 (62 bb)

4/25/2016 5:48:17 PM PST (about 4 days and 17 hours ago)
Level 33 Started
Level:33  Blinds:80,000/160,000  Ante:20,000
4/25/2016 5:47:17 PM PST (about 4 days and 17 hours ago)
Brannon Cashion Doubles Through Randy Lowery

Brannon Cashion moves all in for 1,585,000 in the cutoff, and Randy Lowery calls in the big blind, committing about half his remaining stack to put his opponent at risk.


The     flop is a miss for Cashion, but the   on the turn gives him a big lead with one card to come. The river is the  , and Cashion doubles up with kings up.

Brannon Cashion - 3,350,000 (28 bb)
Randy Lowery - 1,405,000 (12 bb)

4/25/2016 5:41:45 PM PST (about 4 days and 17 hours ago)
Karthik Ramakrishnan Doubles Through Leif Force

Karthik Ramakrishnan open-shoves with a short stack and Leif Force calls. Ramakrishnan tables    and Force has the best hand with pocket queens. This is the fourth time Ramakirshnan is all in against Force with lesser holdings and the board runs      .

Ramakrishnan spikes his ace on the river and Force loses his composure for a few moments -- four few-outers can do that anyone.

Karthik Ramakrishnan - 3,100,000 (25 bb)
Leif Force - 3,800,000 (31 bb)

4/25/2016 5:36:23 PM PST (about 4 days and 17 hours ago)
Leif Force Picks Up Large Pot Against Brannon Cashion

Leif Force opens under the gun to 300,000 and Brannon Cashion calls in the big blind. The flop falls    , both players check and the turn is  . Cashion bets 400,000, Force calls and the river comes  . Cashion bets 725,000, Force calls and Cashion had air with   . Force shows    for ace-high.

Brannon Cashion - 1,300,000 (10 bb)
Leif Force - 4,390,000 (36 bb)

4/25/2016 5:29:21 PM PST (about 4 days and 17 hours ago)
More For Maurice Hawkins

Randy Lowery completes from the small blind, and Maurice Hawkins raises to 380,000 in the big. Lowery calls the remainder to see the flop.

It comes    , and both players check. The turn is the  . Lowery leads out for 300,000, Hawkins calls, and the river is the  . When Lowery checks again, Hawkins says, "I don't know how I can win. I have a king." He checks and shows   , which is good enough to take the pot from Lowery and his   .

Hawkins is on some kind of charge in this after-dinner session; his stack now contains one third of the total chips in play.

Maurice Hawkins - 6,750,000 (56 bb)
Randy Lowery - 3,100,000 (26 bb)

4/25/2016 5:16:29 PM PST (about 4 days and 18 hours ago)
The Maurice Hawkins Show
Since returning from dinner break Maurice Hawkins has won maybe 85% of the hands. The players are much quieter and the mood is much more intense.
4/25/2016 4:58:55 PM PST (about 4 days and 18 hours ago)
Maurice Hawkins Doubles Up

Maurice Hawkins open-shoves all in and Brannon Cashion calls from the small blind. Hawkins turns up    and Cashion had kicker problem holding   .

The board runs      , Hawkins earns a full double and he claps his hands in celebration.

Maurice Hawkins - 4,700,000 (39 bb)
Brannon Cashion - 3,385,000 (28 bb)

4/25/2016 4:52:40 PM PST (about 4 days and 18 hours ago)
Back in Action
The players returned from break and are seated for the home stretch.
4/25/2016 4:48:40 PM PST (about 4 days and 18 hours ago)
Level 32 Started
Level:32  Blinds:60,000/120,000  Ante:20,000
4/25/2016 3:54:13 PM PST (about 4 days and 19 hours ago)
Dinner Break

The six remaining players are on a one-hour dinner break. Here's how the finalists will stack up when play resumes just before 7:50 p.m.:

Seat 1: Leif Force - 3,800,000 (32 bb)
Seat 2: Randy Lowery - 4,075,000 (34 bb)
Seat 3: Maurice Hawkins - 2,425,000 (20 bb)
Seat 4: Chip Ervin - 2,390,000 (20 bb)
Seat 5: --empty--
Seat 6: --empty--
Seat 7: Brannon Cashion - 5,080,000 (42 bb)
Seat 8: --empty--
Seat 9: --empty--
Seat 10: Karthik Ramakrishnan - 2,390,000 (20 bb)

4/25/2016 3:41:13 PM PST (about 4 days and 19 hours ago)
Karthik Ramakrishnan Doubles Through Leif Force

Karthik Ramakrishnan open-shoves in the small blind with action in front of him for 1.125 million. Leif Force snap-calls in the big blind with    and Ramakrishnan holds   .

The board runs      , Ramakrishnan pairs his king to stay alive.

Karthik Ramakirshnan - 3,000,000 (30 bb)
Leif Force - 3,275,000 (32 bb)

4/25/2016 3:34:44 PM PST (about 4 days and 19 hours ago)
Corey Bierria Eliminated in 7th Place ($43,984)
Corey Bierria

Chip Ervin moves all in for about 1,550,000 under the gun, and Corey Bierria calls all in for 1,115,000 next to act. The rest of the table folds, leaving Bierria heads up for his tournament life.


Bierra pleads with the powers that be to fade the ace, but he can not. The board runs out      , and Ervin wins the pot with a pair of aces.

Bierria is eliminated in seventh place, but he manages to find the silver lining. "Well, I can still be home by 10 o'clock," he says as he heads to the payout desk.

Chip Ervin - 2,700,000 (27 bb)
Corey Bierria - Eliminated

4/25/2016 3:27:34 PM PST (about 4 days and 19 hours ago)
Brannon Cashion Chips Up through Maurice Hawkins

Maurice Hawkins opens to 250,000, Brannon Cashion and Karthik Ramakrishnan call from the blinds. The flop comes    , action checks to Hawkins and he bets 275,000. Cashion calls, Ramakirshnan mucks and the turn is  . Cashion checks, Hawkins bets 500,000 and the river comes  . Both players check, Cashion announces one pair -    - and Hawkins mucks.

Maurice Hawkins - 3,730,000 (37 bb)
Brannon Cashion - 4,700,000 (47 bb)

4/25/2016 3:09:17 PM PST (about 4 days and 20 hours ago)
Karthik Ramakrishnan Doubles Through Brannon Cashion

Brannon Cashion opens to 265,000 in middle position, and Karthik Ramakrishnan three-bet shoves for 955,000 in the cutoff. Cashion spends some time in the tank before calling to put his opponent at risk.


The flop comes    , giving Ramakrishnan top set. "Same number of outs," Maurice Hawkins chimes in. Cashion actually picks up one extra out, drawing to four jacks instead of three kings. The turn is the  , though, and Ramakrishnan improves to an unbeatable full house. "No more outs," Hawkins says. The river is the meaningless  , and Ramakrishnan doubles up.

Karthik Ramakrishnan - 2,130,000 (21 bb)
Brannon Cashion - 2,725,000 (27 bb)

4/25/2016 2:56:00 PM PST (about 4 days and 20 hours ago)
Leif Force Takes the Chip Lead

In the first hand of the new level, Leif Force opens the button to 275,000, and Maurice Hawkins three-bets to 750,000 from the big blind. Force moves all in for 3,305,000 total on a four-bet shove. Hawkins, who has been acting quickly on nearly every decision, takes a brief pause to consider. After maybe 90 seconds, he folds.

With that chunk of chips changing hands, it looks like Force has just inched into the chip lead.

Leif Force - 4,125,000 (41 bb)
Maurice Hawkins - 4,100,000 (41 bb)

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