Just days ago, Maurice Hawkins showed up in the middle of the World Series of Poker Circuit stop at Horseshoe Council Bluffs. He hopped into the $365 Monster Stack event and promptly took down the event for his fifth ring and $19,477 in prize money.
That was a mere appetizer to the $1,675 Main Event course, though. Hawkins made it two wins in two events, shipping his sixth ring and $113,152 for taking that tournament down as well, against a field of 321 players. Hawkins' ring count leaves him three behind Alex Masek's record of nine.
Final Table Results
|1||Maurice Hawkins||West Palm Beach, FL||$113,152|
|2||Ryan Phan||Omaha, NE||$69,962|
|3||Mike Lang||Waukee, IA||$50,813|
|4||Maxx Coleman||Wichita, KS||$37,533|
|5||Bob Slezak||Omaha, NE||$28,177|
|6||JT Turner||St. Louis, MO||$21,489|
|7||Daniel Shea||Westminster, CO||$16,645|
|8||Mike Vanier||Lincoln, NE||$13,087|
|9||Jose Mendoza||Omaha, NE||$10,444|
The tournament paid out to 33 places, and a number of notable players cashed. They included Allen Kessler (33rd), Ray Henson (20th), Neil Scott (19th), 2012 WSOP Circuit Council Bluffs Main Event winner Scott Stanko (13th), and Ryan Tepen (12th).
According to the live updates, the official final table was reached late on Day 2, with Hawkins leading the way.
However, after the elimination of local cash grinder Mike Vanier in eighth, a massive pot went to Ryan Phan that powered him to an end-of-day lead with six left. Phan called a raise out of the blinds with the and managed to flop bottom set on when Daniel Shea held the . Phan doubled through when his hand held after they got it in on the turn, and Shea ended up busting seventh.
Day 3 was a short affair as action got off to a hot start when Phan and Josh "JT" Turner got stacks in preflop with Phan holding the and Turner the . The board ran out dead for both players, so the queens held up and Turner was gone in sixth while Phan had north of 80 big blinds.
Phan then eliminated Bob Slezak in fifth when the latter shipped over Phan's open with fours only to have Phan call with eights and hold on the board.
Hawkins had to keep pace, and he scored the next elimination, opening on the button to 85,000 at 20,000/40,000/5,000 and calling the ship of Maxx Coleman, who had about 500,000 in the big blind. It was Coleman's jacks against Hawkins' and an ace on the flop spelled the end for the Kansas native.
That left Mike Lang, who finished second in this event last year, with a lot of work to do to catch the monster stacks of Phan and Hawkins. He managed to double up once, but a reship blew up on him when Phan had the good with the and crushed Lang's when the board paired neither player.
Hawkins was way down in chips, about 3-1, but doubled up after the two saw an flop for the minimum at 25,000/50,000/5,000 blinds. Phan checked, Hawkins bet 75,000, and Phan called. On the turn, Phan checked again. Hawkins bet 325,000 and Phan jammed. Hawkins called for nearly 1.2 million with the , and Phan had merely the and needed a chop. It didn't come, and Hawkins was back in business.
He doubled up again on a board with the as Phan saw a brutal turn with the , betting on the turn and river and calling Hawkins' shove. One cooler led to another — shortly after that, the two got it in on an board. Hawkins had trips with the but so did Phan with the . A chop looked imminent, but Hawkins nailed a on the river to make a winning boat.
That left Phan bridesmaid again after coming second at Mid-States Poker Tour Meskwaki last month, but he did score his biggest career live cash at $69,962.
*Photo courtesy of WSOP.