As Donny said in The Big Lebowski... "Mark it 10, dude!" Maurice Hawkins, a modern-day rounder from West Palm Beach, Florida, won the $1,675 buy-in Main Event at the 2017 WSOP Circuit in Council Bluffs, Iowa... which he did two years in a row. It's rare to defend a tournament title in poker... but Hawkins pulled off the difficult feat. Back-to-back at Council Bluffs.
Hawkins is the closest thing to a real-life Joey Knish. Even during his winner's interview, he mentioned that accolades do not mean as much to him as the main reason he plays... to eat and put food on the table. He's an old-school rounder in the traditional form.
Over the last two seasons on the Circuit, Hawkins won six gold rings. He's notched a total of ten... which is the most that any player has ever won. Hawkins won Circuit events in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Indiana. Hawkins also has the most Main Event titles in WSOP Circuit history with four in total. Hawkins was previously tied with Jesus Ferguson and Blair Hinkle for three wins.
In forms of sheer cold-hard cash, Hawkins won nearly $2.5 million playing tournaments over his decade-long career. Hawkins has booked six-digit in cashes in 9 out of the last 10 years.
"I don't play for accolades. I play for money, to eat," Hawkins said in a post-victory interview. "I really play to eat."
Gotta love Hawkins! The titles are great, but like a genuine grinder, he treats the circuit like a job.
The Main Event at Council Bluffs attracted 271 runners. The prize pool was over $406K. The top 30 places paid out with over $97K set aside for the champion. Hawkins defeated William Perpich heads-up for his tenth title.