It took Maurice Hawkins just one month to re-take the lead on the all-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit ring list after being tied by Josh Reichard in April. The Florida grinder won a historic 15th Circuit ring earlier this week at WSOP Harrah’s Cherokee with a victory in a $2,200 buy-in High Roller event for $54,599.
Hawkins held the top spot on the ring list for several years before Reichard won his 13th and 14th rings earlier this year to tie Hawkins.
Just four weeks later, Hawkins has bumped Reichard from the top spot to maintain his status as the most decorated WSOP Circuit player in poker history.
WSOPC Event #16: $2,200 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller
|1||Maurice Hawkins||West Palm Beach, FL||$54,599|
|2||Toby Boas||Daytona Beach, FL||$33,744|
|3||William Stanford||Tupelo, MS||$23,137|
|4||Irene Carey||Banner Elk, NC||$16,327|
|5||Angela Gambino||Berwyn, IL||$11,867|
|6||Dylan Wilkerson||San Francisco, CA||$8,893|
|7||Will Givens||Aurora, CO||$6,877|
|8||Jonah Labranche||Chandler, AZ||$5,493|
|9||Ryan Brown||Ellicott City, MD||$4,538|
For several years, no one could touch Hawkins as he sat comfortably above the rest on the all-time ring list with 14 rings, in front of Valentin Vornicu with 12 rings.
Multiple players went on surges this year to close the gap. Ari Engel won a 12th ring in March to tie Vornicu, while Daniel Lowery picked up a staggering three rings and Reichard won two rings to reach respective totals of 13 and 14.
Hawkins now re-takes the lead after a heads-up victory against fellow Floridian Toby Boas ($33,744), while other players who made deep runs include Cherokee regular Irene Carey (4th – $16,327) and bracelet winner Will Givens (7th – $6,877).
Hawkins, a controversial figure in poker, won his 14th ring at WSOPC Choctaw in 2020 and has had several close calls since then, including a fourth-place finish in Event #11: 400 No-Limit Hold’em at this very stop. It may only be a matter of time before Hawkins adds a 16th ring to further close the gap, or before Reichard wins a 15th to do the opposite.
Jones Wins Cherokee Main Event a Second Time
Hawkins wasn’t the only big winner at WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee, which ran May 4-15. Earlier in the series, Spencer Smith won his third and fourth rings, denying Lowery a 14th ring in the process.
The $1,700 Main Event drew a huge field of 1,205 runners for a prize pool of $1,663,301. North Carolina’s Ryan Jones took it down for a career-best $302,131 and his third Circuit ring after defeating heads-up opponent Jonathan Lewis, who is turn took home $186,733.
Incredibly, it was not Jones’ first Main Event victory in the Smokey Mountains. In 2015, he took down the $1,675 buy-in WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event for $235,804, while his second ring came from a victory in the 2017 WSOPC Rio Las Vegas Main Event for $269,327.
The victory made Jones the first player to ever win the Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event twice, according to WSOP.
WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event Final Table Results
|1||Ryan Jones||Burlington, NC||$302,131|
|2||Jonathan Lewis||Hopkinton, MA||$186,733|
|3||William Kopp||Bloomington, IL||$138,637|
|4||Michael Monaghan||Yazoo City, MS||$104,019|
|5||Timothy Brown||Houston, TX||$78,882|
|6||Kenneth Brossoit||Ladson, SC||$60,466|
|7||Alcides Gomez||Miami, FL||$46,858|
|8||Robert George||Decatur, GA||$36,714|
Other players who picked up rings at the WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee stop include Georgia’s Matthew Higgins (WSOPC Event #8: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack – $99,121), North Carolina’s Matthew Torma (WSOPC Event #13: $400 No-Limit Hold’em – $27,732) and Ohio’s Shane Melert (WSOPC Event #18: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Last Chance Big 30K – $20,081).
A full list of ring winners at WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee is available in the table below.
WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee Ring Winners
|EVENT||ENTRANTS||PRIZE POOL||WINNER||HOMETOWN||PRIZE (IN USD)|
|WSOPC Event #1: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Big 30K Stack||398||$131,340||Daniel Kusnerak||Newton, NC||$26,954|
|WSOPC Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold’em||2,232||$736,560||Spencer Smith||Atlanta, GA||$104,177|
|WSOPC Event #3: $400 No-Limit Hold’em||602||$198,660||Christopher Storie||Asheboro, NC||$37,630|
|WSOPC Event #4: $400 Seniors Event||837||$276,210||Simon Philip||Pensacola, FL||$48,050|
|WSOPC Event #5: $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em||255||$248,625||John Petro||Fredericksburg, VA||$57,137|
|WSOPC Event #6: $400 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed||668||$220,440||Spencer Smith||Atlanta, GA||$41,949|
|WSOPC Event #7: $600 No-Limit Hold’em||264||$135,960||John Evans||Vinncennes, IN||$30,266|
|WSOPC Event #8: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack||TBD||TBD||Matthew Higgins||Rossville, GA||$99,121|
|WSOPC Event #9: $600 Pot-Limit Omaha||245||$126,175||Seth Weinberg||Key West, FL||$28,694|
|WSOPC Event #10: $1,700 MAIN EVENT||1,205||$1,663,301||Ryan Jones||Burlington, NC||$302,131|
|WSOPC Event #11: 400 No-Limit Hold’em||448||TBD||Jason May||Panama City Beach, FL||$29,340|
|WSOPC Event #12: $250 Ladies Event||198||TBD||Michelle Miller||Jacksboro, TN||$9,590|
|WSOPC Event #13: $400 No-Limit Hold’em||413||$131,340||Matthew Torma||Charlotte, NC||$27,732|
|WSOPC Event #14: $400 No-Limit Hold’em||410||$131,340||Joseph Stacey||Mcminnville, TN||$26,954|
|WSOPC Event #15: $250 Seniors Event||586||$117,800||Brian Heaton||Greer, SC||$21,700|
|WSOPC Event #16: $2,200 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller||92||$194,000||Maurice Hawkins||West Palm Beach, FL||$54,599|
|WSOPC Event #17: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo||178||$58,740||Justin Donato||Mount Juliet, TN||$14,596|
|WSOPC Event #18: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Last Chance Big 30K||277||$91,410||Shane Melert||Mogadore, OH||$20,081|
Photos courtesy WSOP