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Hawkins First To Go Back-to-Back on WSOP Circuit After Winning Cherokee Main ($279,722)

  • Mo NuwwarahMo Nuwwarah
Maurice Hawkins
  • Maurice Hawkins became the first player to win back-to-back WSOP Circuit main events.

The World Series of Poker Circuit has a long and storied history dating back to its inception in 2005. It's been a place where some great players cut their teeth and built résumés, a place where true superstars like Daniel Negreanu have shined, and a place where hardened grinders like Alex Masek with his record nine gold rings have set lofty standards of excellence.

But through all of that, nobody had ever won two straight WSOP Circuit main events, until Maurice Hawkins accomplished the feat by winning the WSOP Circuit Cherokee $1,675 Main Event just weeks after taking down the one at Horseshoe Council Bluffs. Hawkins' latest win, worth $279,722, added a seventh ring to his trophy case after he beat a field of 1,008 runners.

Final Table Results

1Maurice HawkinsWest Palm Beach, FL$279,722
2Leif ForceTallahassee, FL$172,943
3Chip ErvinTuscaloosa, AL$128,520
4Karthik RamakrishnanJohnson City, TN$96,617
5Phillip LoweryAtlanta, GA$73,468
6Brannon CashionCharlotte, NC$56,519
7Corey BierriaAtlanta, GA$43,984
8Martin DebruhlWinston Salem, NC$34,625
9Hamid IzadiRoswell, GA$27,579

The tournament paid out to 108th place, and Kyle Cartwright (101st), Justin Liberto (69th), Aditya Prasetyo (66th), Rex Clinkscales (57th), Ryan Tepen (50th), and Mike Gracz (21st) were among the players making it into the money.

Hawkins' feat looked anything but likely heading to Day 3, as according to the live updates, he was sitting 16th of 19 remaining players with a stack of just 450,000 at 15,000/30,000/5,000. However, he found an early double and was in business with 40 big blinds after his {a-Spades}{j-Diamonds} held against the {k-Hearts}{10-Spades} of an opponent in a blind-versus-blind all in.

He had slipped back to one of the shorter stacks when the official final table was reached but another early double kept him afloat. This time, he picked up the {k-Diamonds}{k-Spades} and raised, then called a three-bet from Chip Ervin, who held the {q-Diamonds}{q-Clubs}. The two got it in on a seven-high flop and Hawkins held up to double through.

A few eliminations into the final table, things were tight at the top with a stack of just 42 big blinds being good for the lead for Brannon Cashion as the final six went to dinner. It was Cashion shipping Hawkins his next double when they resumed play, calling a shove with the {a-Clubs}{q-Clubs} and failing to catch Hawkins' {a-Diamonds}{k-Clubs} as the board rolled out {8-Hearts}{5-Spades}{3-Hearts}{6-Diamonds}{5-Clubs}. Cashion then tried jamming the {k-Spades}{q-Spades} over a Hawkins open and an Ervin call, only to have Hawkins turn up the {k-Hearts}{k-Diamonds} and hold after two spades flopped.

After Randy Lowery went bust, Hawkins won a huge flip with jacks against the {a-Hearts}{k-Spades} of Karthik Ramakrishnan and he had nearly 100 big blinds. Bracelet winner Leif Force then eliminated Ervin in another race, and he was the last obstacle preventing Hawkins from making history but would have to overcome a 4-1 deficit to do so.

Hawkins eliminated Force when he defended the {a-Spades}{2-Spades} and check-called on a {j-Spades}{4-Clubs}{3-Hearts} flop. The turn brought the {a-Diamonds} and Hawkins check-called once more. On the {2-Diamonds} river, he pushed all in and Force called it off with the {q-Diamonds}{q-Hearts}.

The win gave Hawkins his biggest single cash and pushed him past $2 million in tournament cashes.

*Image courtesy of WSOP.

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