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Poker Pro Maurice Hawkins, Lawyer Resolve Staking Dispute Amicably

Both Parties Call Lawsuit A Major 'Misunderstanding'

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A veteran poker pro and a poker-playing lawyer have resolved a Florida-based dispute stemming from a 2016 staking arrangement.

According to a mid-June court document provided to Card Player by Maurice Hawkins, winner of 11 WSOP Circuit gold rings, the lawsuit, filed in July 2017, is no more. “Our staking deal was in fact handled correctly and was a gross misunderstanding,” Hawkins told Card Player on Tuesday.

Hal Lewis, a lawyer from Tallahassee, claimed that Hawkins owed him $23,000 from their 50-50 staking deal that included tournaments at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. In the court document, Lewis said the dispute should never have occurred.

“At the end of our [business] relationship, I thought Maurice Hawkins and I were participating in a tournament which he thought I was not staking him,” Lewis said. “There was a misunderstanding due to a number of miscommunications between us. This resulted in mistakes and errors in the accountings between us where I thought he owed me money and he thought he did not. We have resolved this amicably, and I have nothing but good things to say about him, his having made me a considerable amount of profit from the relationship we had together.”

Lewis, who works in personal injury litigation, had previously called Hawkins “an awful, awful human being” on the internet poker message board TwoPlusTwo.

The lawsuit was first reported on by FloridaPolitics.com back in July 2017.

The 38-year-old Hawkins said in a Miami Herald report that their backing deal, which only covered some of his buy-ins in 2016, resulted in more than $120,000 worth of winnings for Lewis. Hawkins cashed for more than $580,000 in 2016. Hawkins has about 20 cashes so far in 2018, including winning his 11th ring back in May. He’s second all-time.