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.
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
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
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