I have a great life, no doubt about it, but damn if I’m not looking at Maurice Hawkins right now and feeling a bit envious. Hawkins may not be a household name in the poker world, but few players can match what he has been doing over the last few years. On Monday, Hawkins tied the all-time record by winning his ninth World Series of Poker Circuit ring, taking the title in a $365 buy-in event at the Palm Beach Kennel Club.
Hawkins is now tied with Alexandru Masek for the all-time WSOP Circuit ring lead, but Hawkins dominates in prize money, $1,366,228 to $711,761.
Hawkins is also the kind of poker player that people either love or hate. He is a talker at the tables, to put it lightly. He’s the kind of guy that would be perfectly cast as a character in a poker movie. But he doesn’t care what people think; he is who he is and he loves playing poker.
“I’m a good dude,” he told WSOP.com in an interview after his latest win. “Most people are pompous assholes. And I really don’t give a damn if they like me or not. We’re from two different places. I’m not taking anything from them, but I’ve earned everything I’ve gotten in my life. If they don’t like me, they can really kiss my ass. I would rather be under-respected and overpaid than over-respected and underpaid.”
Damn, man. I need to live my life by that last sentence. That’s some insightful shit right there.
He continued, “People didn’t like (Charles) Barkley on the court. People didn’t like Dennis Rodman on the court. I’m not here to be your friend on the felt. Now if I catch you at a bar, it’ll be a different scenario, you know?”
This isn’t the first record Maurice Hawkins has set, either. He has been on a sick roll lately. In 2016, he became the first person to win three WSOP Circuit Main Events in a single year.
In April of last year, he won a $365 Monster Stack No-Limit Hold’em tournament at the WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Council Bluffs (Iowa) stop, earning his fifth ring. He entered the Main Event the next day and won. That same month, he won the Main Event at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina. Then, in November, Hawkins won the Palm Beach Kennel Club Main Event for his third Main Event victory of the year and eighth overall WSOP Circuit ring.
Only two other players have ever won three WSOP Circuit Main Events, but they didn’t do it all in the same calendar year: Blair Hinkle and Chris Ferguson.
Hinkle won his in 2010, 2013, and 2014, all, interestingly, at Council Bluffs. Ferguson won two Main Events in 2005 and one in 2007 and against much smaller fields than Hawkins did.
Hawkins and Ferguson are also the only two players to have earned more than $1 million on the WSOP Circuit.
In Maurice Hawkins style, Hawkins explained that no write-up of his third Main Event win was necessary, saying afterward, “We don’t need to explain who won. We all know when he got to the final table he was going to take it down.”