Maurice Hawkins Wins 16th WSOP Circuit Ring

Maurice Hawkins clinched his 16th World Series of Poker Circuit gold ring by emerging victorious in the main event held at Harrah’s Cherokee, concluding on May 13th. This win propelled him to second place on the all-time list for gold rings, trailing only Ari Engel with his 17 titles. Hawkins walked away with $259,160 in prize money, pushing his career earnings past $5.65 million.

“It’s an incredible feeling to win. My love for poker runs deep, and I’m grateful to everyone who recognizes my dedication to the game,” expressed Hawkins to reporters following his triumph. This cash prize also marked the second-largest of his career.

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This victory marked Hawkins’ first title and fifth final-table appearance of the year. His triumph earned him 912 Card Player Player of the Year points, propelling him to 33rd place in the 2024 POY standings presented by Global Poker.

The $1,700 buy-in no-limit hold’em event attracted 981 participants, building a prize pool of $1,486,215 through two starting flights. The top 145 players all secured at least $2,854 in prize money. Day 2 saw 101 players return, ultimately narrowing down to the final table of nine for the concluding day of the tournament.

Starting the final day in fourth chip position, Hawkins trailed the chip leaders by less than half their stack. He quickly gained momentum, eliminating Trace Henderson in ninth place with pocket kings, followed by Mark Merritt in eighth place within the first 10 minutes of play.

This bolstered Hawkins’ stack, enabling him to navigate a deep run at the final table. He further solidified his position by dispatching Christopher George in fourth place. Matt Higgins also contributed to the final table action, eliminating poker professional James Calderaro in third place. Heading into heads-up play, Hawkins held 22.25 million chips against Higgins’ 17.35 million.

Although Higgins briefly took the lead, Hawkins swiftly reclaimed it. The final showdown between them only occurred once, with Hawkins’ ADiamond SuitQDiamond Suit dominating Higgins’ ASpade Suit5Spade Suit. With no changes to the board, Higgins exited in second place, just shy of adding to his five gold rings. This substantial six-figure win also brought Higgins’ career earnings close to $2 million.

WSOPC Cherokee Final Table Results:

PlacePlayerPrize (USD)
1Maurice Hawkins$259,160
2Matt Higgins$160,176
3James Caldarero$117,850
4Chris George$87,721
5Kris Duren$66,066

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