Maurice Hawkins broke the WSOP Circuit gold ring record April 10 after he won the 2017 Horseshoe Council Bluffs Main Event for $97,561.
Hawkins was formerly tied with Alex Masek with nine rings after a WSOPC event win at Palm Beach Kennel Club in February.
According to the WSOP, this isn’t the only record Hawkins holds now. He also is the first player to win four Circuit Main Events, besting prior record holders Blair Hinkle and Chris Ferguson who each have won three.
Hawkins now also shares another WSOPC distinction with Hinkle, having won the same Circuit stop two years in a row, also in Council Bluffs (in 2013 and 2014).
Hawkins has some license now to be confident having accumulated the most rings, the most Circuit wins and over $1.1 million in Circuit tournament earnings.
“Women and men lie, numbers don’t,” said Hawkins when asked by the WSOP if he is the greatest WSOP Circuit player of all time.
Even so, Hawkins plays more for his family than for the accolades, though they are a plus. Hawkins didn’t realize how close he was to ring No. 10 until he finished runner-up in a Hard Rock Tulsa $580 no-limit hold’em event. He came to Horseshoe to try for No. 10.
The $1,675 no-limit hold’em Main Event at Council Bluffs brought 271 players to the tables with a $406,500 prize pool. Here's how they finished:
||Sam De Silva
According to the live updates, commanding the lead after Day 1a was David ‘Ross’ Clare. Clare got involved in a massive pot with Jovan Sudar, taking a leap away from the rest of the field. Finishing the night on a heater, Clare bagged twice the amount of his closest competitor.
When Day 1b finished, only 30 players remained, with Sampath De Silva leading that flight though not scooping the overall lead from Clare. Then after 10 levels of play on Day 2, just five players remained with Hawkins was the chip leader.
On the third and final day, De Silva was the first of the five to go after throwing his last three big blinds on the table with . Following a flop of , Hawkins bet into a side pot with and Charles Moore called. The turn brought the . After another bet from Hawkins, Moore mucked and after the river brought another jack De Silva was out in fifth.
The former chip leader was eliminated next when Clare shoved all in with a flush draw and a pair of jacks on a flop, was called by William Perpich who'd made top pair of queens, and the turn and river blanked to send Clare out in fourth.
Hawkins took on Moore next, knocking him out in third after they got all of Moore’s chips in on the turn with the board showing . Moore had , but Hawkins , and after another nine fell on the river they were down to two.
Hawkins had about a 2-to-1 chip lead over Perpich to start heads-up. Soon came a hand in which Hawkins called a Perpich three-bet, then called another bet from Perpich after a flop. The turn produced another Perpich bet and Hawkins call, then after the river Perpich shoved all in and Hawkins called one last time.
Perpich revealed for aces and fives, but Hawkins showed for a full house to win the pot and title.
Hawkins has also now won a seat to the 2017 Global Casino Championship.