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WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Tunica Wraps Up; Maurice Hawkins Denied Record 15th Ring

Maurice Hawkins

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit Horseshoe Tunica $1,700 Main Event in Mississippi wrapped up this week with Randy Paguio of San Diego winning his second gold ring and cashing for $193,766. Paguio defeated Tennessee’s Kenneth Mason during heads-up play, who in turn earned $119,755 for his runner-up finish.

The Main Event attracted 674 entrants to generate a massive prize pool of just over $1 million. The seven-figure prize pool was by far the largest of the 13 tournaments on the WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Tunica stop, which awarded over $2.5 million in prize money.

WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Tunica Main Event Final Table Results

 1Randy PaguioSan Diego, CA$193,764
 2Kenneth MasonLa Vergne, TN$119,755
 3Brandon ButlerSt. Louis, MO$88,163
 4Sean MaurerGrayville, IL$65,658
 5Adam RossRoswell, GA$49,472
 6Donovan DeanRainsville, AL$37,719
 7Michael EsquivelClarendon Hills, IL$29,104
 8John GallaherLebanon, TN$22,730
 9BJ McBrayerTuscaloosa, AL$17,970

Paguio, who now has $230,617 in tournament earnings according to The Hendon Mob, entered the final day as chip leader and continued to run up his stack from there. The Californian eliminated five other players at the final table before eliminating Mason.

Randy Paguio
Randy Paguio won his second ring by winning the WSOP Circuit Tunica Main Event

Paguio earned his first ring in 2012 by taking down Event #1: $355 No-Limit Hold'em at WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Rincon in San Diego for $21,844. He finished second in the same event less than a year later for $9,878.

“After my mother Rubenita 'Ruby' Paguio passed, I won my first ring and that was for her. I want to dedicate this one to my grandmother Nenita Cuevas who just recently passed,” Pagula said after his recent victory.

Other notable players who made deep runs in the Circuit Horseshoe Tunica Main Event include four-time ring winner John Gallaher (8th - $22,730), BJ McBrayer (9th - $17,970), Eric Salazar (12th - $14385), Carl Masters (17th - $9,572) and Stephen Song (21st - $7,960).

Maurice Hawkins Denied 15th Ring

Maurice Hawkins
Maurice Hawkins

Maurice Hawkins, who sits comfortably on top of the all-time Circuit ring list with 14 rings to his name, was on the hunt for a 15th at the WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Tunica stop.

Hawkins, of Florida, came within inches of that record-extending ring in Event #8: $600 No-Limit Hold'em Black Chip Bounty but finished in second place for $15,971.

It was a David-versus-Goliath of a match that saw Hawkins fall to John Marlow, a fellow Floridian who only had one WSOP cash to his name heading into the heads-up match (compared to the 149 WSOP cashes of Hawkins).

For his first-place finish, Marlow earned his first ring and a career-high cash of $25,841. The very next day, Marlow finished in 24th place in Event #10: $400 NLH for $714, bringing his lifetime tournament earnings to $52,825.

Overall, it was a very strong Circuit stop for Hawkins. He had a deep run in the Main Event, ultimately finishing in 27th place for $5,725, and also finished in 29th place in Event #7: No-Limit Hold'em Knockout Bounty for $996.

While he might not have earned a 15th ring, Hawkins now has 151 WSOP cashes to his name to make up a hefty portion of his $4.3 million in live tournament earnings.

Preston McEwen Gets His First

Preston McEwen
Preston McEwen won his first ring at WSOP Circuit Tunica

Another highlight of the WSOP Circuit Tunica stop was Tennessee’s Preston McEwen winning his first ring. McEwen, who has seen success in tournaments and Circuit stops throughout the south, took down Event #11: $400 NLH Turbo for $18,157 after defeating David 'Ruetama' Moses, another notable southern grinder. McEwen also found a 19th place finish in the Horseshoe Tunica for $7,960.

McEwen, who has $485,890 in tournament earnings according to The Hendon Mob, came close to winning a ring back at 2019 WSOP Circuit Cherokee, where he finished third in Event #1: $400 Double Stack No-Limit Hold'em for $22,325. A few years earlier, he found a sixth-place finish at the WSOP Circuit Tunica stop in Event #11: $365 No-Limit Hold'em (Single Re-entry).

McEwen’s biggest live score came just months ago when he made a deep run in the 2021 WSOP Main Event that extended into Day 6. McEwen fell in 57th place for $113,800 when he got it in with ace-king against pocket jacks and couldn’t win the flip.

Later in the series, John Holley of Destin, Florida won his seventh ring by taking down Event #12: $400 No-Limit Hold'em for $14,588.

A full list of players who won rings during the 2021 World Series of Poker Circuit Horseshoe Tunica can be found below.

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WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Tunica Ring Winners

 Event #1: $400 NLH Double Stack342$112,860John DukeBenton, AR$24,062
 Event #2: $400 NLH Multi-Flight1,585$523,050Michael ZuroSalem, OR$77,895
 Event #3: $400 NLH181$59,730Dale JamesTracie City, TN$14,676
 Event #4: $400 NLH 6-Max253$83,490Calvin KincadeParagould, AR$19,328
 Event #5: $400 Pot-Limit Omaha154$50,820Sokchheka PhoMemphis, TN$13,044
 Event #6: $400 NLH Turbo288$95,040Lovell "Da Wiz" WilkersonSmyrna, GA$20,620
 Event #7: $400 NLH Monster Stack555$183,150Donnie PhanNashville, TN$34,331
 Event #8: $600 NLH Black Chip Bounty287$119,105John MarlowApopka, FL$25,841
 Event #9: $1,700 Main Event674$1,021,110Randy PaguioSan Diego, CA$193,764
 Event #10: $400 NLH229$75,570Jonah LabranchePhoenix, AZ$17,461
 Event #11: $400 NLH Turbo240$79,200Preston McEwenMurfreesboro, TN$18,157
 Event #12: $400 No-Limit Hold'em178$58,700John HolleyDestin, FL$14,588
 Event #13: No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack163$53,790Donnie PhanNashville, TN$13,641

*Images courtesy of WSOP.

  • Maurice Hawkins was denied his record-extending 15th ring at the WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Tunica.

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