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Maurice Hawkins Wins 16th World Series Of Poker Circuit Ring

Hawkins Topped The Field At The WSOP Circuit Stop At Harrah's Cherokee

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Maurice Hawkins – Photo Credit: World Series of Poker

Maurice Hawkins captured his 16th World Series of Poker Circuit gold ring by winning the main event hosted at Harrah’s Cherokee that wrapped up on May 13. The victory puts him second on the all-time list for gold rings directly behind Ari Engel and his 17 titles. Hawkins took home $259,160 in prize money to take his career earnings above $5.65 million.

“It feels great to win. I love poker more than people know and I want to say thank you to everyone who notices my passion for the game,” said Hawkins to reporters on the scene after the win. The cash was also the second largest of his career.

This was the first title and fifth final-table finish of the year for Hawkins. The 912 Card Player Player of the Year points he secured as the champion were enough to move him into 33rd place in the 2024 POY standings presented by Global Poker.

The $1,700 buy-in no-limit hold’em event saw a field of 981 runners build up the prize pool to $1,486,215 thanks to a strong turnout during two starting flights. The top 145 players all took home at least $2,854 in prize money. Day 2 had 101 players return, and they were able to make it down to the final table of nine that advanced to the last day of the tournament.

Hawkins was in fourth chip position when cards got into the air on the final day of play, but he had less than half the stack of the chip leaders at the top. He woke up with pocket kings early to send Trace Henderson out in ninth place to start his journey up the leader board. Hawkins then kept the strong start going by also eliminating Mark Merritt in eighth place in just the first 10 minutes of play.

That gave Hawkins the stack he needed to make a deep run at the final table. He struck again by taking out Christopher George in fourth place. Matt Higgins also scored his third knockout at the final table when he took out poker professional James Calderaro in third place. That set the chip counts at 22.25 million for Hawkins and 17.35 million for Higgins when heads-up play began.

Higgins got the lead for a while before Hawkins took it back. The final two players only got it all in between them once. Hawkins held ADiamond SuitQDiamond Suit, and that had the ASpade Suit5Spade Suit of Higgins covered and dominated. The board changed nothing, so that sent Higgins to the rail in second place just shy of adding to his gold ring total of five. The nice six-figure also took Higgins’ career earnings to just shy of $2 million.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Maurice Hawkins $259,160 912
2 Matthew Higgins $160,176 760
3 James Calderaro $117,580 608
4 Christopher George $87,721 456
5 Kristopher Duren $66,066 380
6 Derek Nold $50,352 304
7 Michael Lawrence $38,840 228
8 Mark Merritt $30,327 152
9 Trace Henderson $23,973 76

The next tournament series of the WSOP Circuit series schedule are already underway with stops taking place at Caesars Southern Indiana, and Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, California.