Nobody would even argue that the World Series of Poker Circuit carries with it the same cachet as the traditional World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, but it is still a well-respected poker tour and if you are able to have repeated success on it, you are doing something right. But there is success and then there is Maurice Hawkins, who last week earned his record-setting thirteenth gold ring on the WSOP Circuit, winning the $400 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack event at Circuit Horseshoe Tunica.
Going into the “unofficial” ten-handed final table, Hawkins was the chip leader with 2.170 million, but went into heads-up play against Hamid Izadi trailing. He stuck with it, chipping away at Izadi’s stack and finally took the lead. On the final hand, Hawkins started the hand with a 325,000 chip bet, only to see Izadi shove for 5 million. It was a bold move by Izadi, who only had A-4, which is actually really good heads-up, but he was still banking on Hawkins not being too strong. He guessed wrong, as Hawkins was hiding pocket Jacks.
The board ended up helping neither player, which by default did the trick for Hawkins, allowing him to pick up a baker’s dozen WSOP Circuit rings and a $31,372 payday.
Hawkins, known for being talkative at the table (sometimes raising the ire of his opponents), was impressed with Izadi, telling WSOP media afterward, “That was fun. He kept switching up his styles. I had to adjust for that.”
“I made a conscious effort to play better,” he said, which makes me grin considering he won his twelfth bracelet last month. “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.”
Hawkins Makes His Cashes Count
Maurice Hawkins began his record-setting ring run in the 2008-2009 season of the WSOP Circuit, winning a ring at the Circuit Harrah’s Atlantic City stop and following that up the same season with a win at Caesars Palace. He won his third ring the following season, but then had a drought until 2013-2014.
The 2015-2016 season was huge for Hawkins. He won three rings in that season, capturing two titles at Horseshoe Council Bluffs and another at Harrah’s Cherokee. He matched that the following season, nabbing another ring at Horseshoe Council Bluffs and two at the Palm Beach Kennel Club. He had one win last season and now two this season.
In winning his thirteenth WSOP Circuit ring, he broke a tie with Valentin Vornicu, who still has twelve. Joshua Reichard has eleven rings. Hawkins is also first in all-time Circuit earnings with $1,701,912 and is now tied for fifth in cashes with 90. Douglas Carli ranks first in that category, having cashed 148 times on the WSOP Circuit.
There is one more Circuit stop for this season after Tunica, Harrah’s New Orleans, which Hawkins said he will play before heading to Vegas for the WSOP.