Maurice Hawkins Claims Record-Breaking 13th WSOP Circuit Ring
Can we talk about Maurice Hawkins for a minute? The World Series of Poker starts later this month at the Rio in Las Vegas and he will be there, working hard to try to earn a WSOP gold bracelet, perhaps give himself a shot at the Main Event championship. But unless he makes the Main Event final table, most poker fans still never have heard of him. Phil Hellmuth has built a Hall of Fame career on the back of 15 bracelets, and deservedly so. And while I would never tell you that a WSOP Circuit title is more impressive or prestigious than a WSOP bracelet, let’s start holding Maurice Hawkins in the high poker regard he, too, deserves, as he won his record-setting 13th WSOP Circuit gold ring recently.
Hawkins’ Trek to the Top
Hawkins has been kicking all kinds of ass on the Circuit in the last few years. Before the 2015-2016 season, he had captured just four WSOP Circuit rings (which is fantastic, but still a far cry from 13). But since then, he has been on a hell of a run. In that 2015-2016 season, he won three rings, all in the same month of April 2016. Two were at Horseshoe Council Bluffs in Iowa, while the third was won at Harrahj’s Cherokee in North Carolina; two were Main Event victories. The following season, he again won three rings, two at the Palm Beach Kennel Club (in different tour stops) and another at Horseshoe Council Bluffs.
Hawkins won another ring last season and then just last month, he tied Valentin Vornicu by winning his 12th ring at Harrah’s Cherokee. The record-breaker came last week at Horseshoe Tunica.
Hawkins is also far and away the biggest money earner on the WSOP Circuit, now with $1,701,912 in cashes. Chris Ferguson is a distant second with 1,359,143. Two other players, Kyle Cartwright and Daniel Lowery, have earned more than a million bucks.
He is only tied for fourth in total cashes on the Circuit with 90, though having 14 percent of his cashes turn into victories is mighty impressive. Douglas Carli is way ahead in the cashes category with 148.
After winning his 12th bracelet in April, Maurice Hawkins told interviewers, “It’s not really about the top spot. I still got the most money earned, most everything on the WSOP Circuit, so it’s pretty much the standard, but that makes me feel like my game has evolved to where it should be. I look forward to bigger and better things. It’s all about positivity and good flow of things going the right way.”
And things are certainly going the right way.
“I made a conscious effort to play better,” he said after this latest gold ring win. “To be more focused, and to really value the opportunities and blessings that I have. I have the ability to play poker for a living, so I’ve been focusing on being a better person, on and off the felt and it’s translating all over.”
Following his record-setting ring victory, Hawkins said he will be attending the final Circuit stop of the season at Harrah’s New Orleans, which has just begun. After that, it is on to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. If there was any doubt, Hawkins has qualified for August’s season-ending Global Casino Championship by virtue of being the casino champion at Hard Rock Tulsa. He is not currently listed in the top 50 on the 2018-2019 WSOP Circuit leaderboard (another way to qualify), but I am guessing it is because he already qualified in another way. Those who qualify as a casino champion or by winning a Circuit Main Event do not take away top-50 spots from other players.
WSOP Circuit Rings Won by Maurice Hawkins
2008-2009 WSOP Circuit Season
1. December 2008– Harrah’s Atlantic City – Event #4: $560 No-Limit Hold’em
2. April 2009 – Caesars Palace – Event #1: $1,060 No-Limit Hold’em
2009-2010 WSOP Circuit Season
3. October 2009 – Horseshoe Southern Indiana – Event #10: $1,060 No-Limit Hold’em
2013-2014 WSOP Circuit Season
4. February 2014 – Palm Beach Kennel Club – Event #1: No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry Million Dollar Guarantee
2015-2016 WSOP Circuit Season
5. April 2016 – Horseshoe Council Bluffs – Event #9: $365 Monster Stack No-Limit Hold’em
6. April 2016 – Horseshoe Council Bluffs – Event #11: $1,675 MAIN EVENT
7. April 2016 – Harrah’s Cherokee – Event #10A/B: $1,675 MAIN EVENT
2016-2017 WSOP Circuit Season
8. November 2016 – Palm Beach Kennel Club – Event #10: $1,675 MAIN EVENT
9. February 2017 – Palm Beach Kennel Club – Event #12: $365 No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry
10. April 2017 – Horseshoe Council Bluffs – Event #10: $1,675 No-Limit Hold’em MAIN EVENT
2017-2018 WSOP Circuit Season
11. May 2018 – Harrah’s New Orleans – Event #8: $2,200 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller Re-Entry ($100K Guarantee)
2018-2019 WSOP Circuit Season
12. April 2019 – Harrah’s Cherokee – Event #4: $600 No-Limit Hold’em (BB Ante)
13. May 2019 – Horseshoe Tunica — Event #8: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack