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WSOP Circuit Cherokee
May 10, 2024
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May 16, 2024
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Read a recap of Hawkin's win on the front page of PokerOrg

WSOPC Cherokee: Hawkins wins 16th ring for $259K.

Maurice Hawkins wins the WSOP-C Cherokee Main Event ($259,160)

Maurice Hawkins just won $259,160, his SIXTEENTH (16) WSOPC ring, and the 2024 TOC seat.

Maurice Hawkins Wins Cherokee Main May 2024 Maurice Hawkins Wins Cherokee Main May 2024
Hayley Hochstetler

After 3 days of battling through 980 other players, Hawkins showed that it's not just luck on his end. This final table started off nine handed. It started off looking like one of the quickest final tables as within the first 30 minutes two players were eliminated and then subsequently down to three players within five hours.

Hawkins winning this makes him a 16-time ring winner, a seat holder in the 2024 Tournament of Champions, and $259,160 richer! Hawkins feels like it is his destiny to be the best and expects the most from himself so he feels like he needs to continue to win. He has been a consistent face on WSOPC tables this week alone he took 10th in the turbo and cashed the monster stack. Of the 4 tournaments he played he cashed in 3/4, however winning the Main Event is the cherry on top for this trip!

For Hawkins, this is the second-biggest cash of his career. "It feels great to win," Hawkins said. "I love poker more than people know and I want to say thank you to everyone who notices my passion for the game."

Action of the day

Trace Henderson was the first to go when he ripped his stack into the pot on the very first hand with his and got called by Hawkins' pocket . Hawkins' Kings held. About 4 minutes later, Hawkins took another player out, Mark Merritt (who in the hand prior doubled up through Hawkins) got his chips in with but Hawkins prevailed and sent Merritt to the cash register. Hawkins knocked two players out within the first 10 minutes of the final table.

Michael Lawrence looked down to and shipped it in only for Kris Duren to snap him off with his pocket  . The board came to send Lawrence to the rail. 

About an hour later, Derek Nold jammed his , but Matt Higgins gave the bad news that he was holding . The flop gave Nold a little hope, but the run out of   allowed Higgins to take the pot down.

After just busting Nold, Higgins took Kris Duren out when Duren jammed his pocket  and Higgins had . The turned Ace helped Higgins chip up and send Duren out in 5th.

Chris George, who began the day as chip leader, exited in 4th when his that he limped was raised by Hawkins which then had George jamming his stack in over the top. However, George's king was dominated by Hawkins' when the board ran out bricks and Hawkins' ace high won.

Once it got 3 handed between Maurice Hawkins, Matt Higgins, and James Calderaro the three who had been making the table laugh all day and began cracking each other up even more, a moment that exemplified this was when Calderaro quipped, "I can see the headline now, Calderaro wins and denies Hawkins his 16th ring." Hawkins retorted by turning to Higgins, "I guess you're chopped liver, bro." Higgins responded by saying, "That's okay,"  as Calderaro turned to him and said, "I'm sorry man, I meant no disrespect" Higgins had to have the last laugh by saying, "It's okay, Peter Pan, we all have to live in a fantasy world sometimes."

Next to go was James Calderaro when his was cracked by Higgins while the board provided a sweat Higgins rivered trip Aces.

The final hand that led Hawkins to be victorious was when Higgins got his 25 big blinds in with against Hawkins and the board came leaving Hawkins Q to play! 

Hawkins has made 5 trips to the Cherokee Casino and in those 5 trips, he has: taken second in the High Roller Event, taken first in the High Roller Event, taken 5th in the main event, taken 3rd in the most recent Main Event here in Cherokee, and today he won it!

Final Table Results

  • Maurice Hawkins $259,160
  • Mathew Higgins $160,176
  • James Calderaro $117,850
  • Chris George $87,721
  • Kris Duren $60,066
  • Derek Nold $50,352
  • Michael Lawrence $38,840
  • Mark Merritt $30,327 
  • Trace Henderson $23,973

That concludes our coverage of the WSOP Cherokee Circuit stop. Thanks for following along with the action. We'll catch you at the final two stops this season: Southern Indiana and The Commerce, both currently ongoing. 

"I really wanted both of us to win"

Maurice Hawkins was in a rare, emotional state after beating his friend, Matt Higgins for the World Series of Poker Circuit Cherokee Main Event title. He opened up about why this final table experience was different than any poker experience before.

Maurice Hawkins Wins 16th Ring in WSOPC Cherokee Main Event ($259,160); Matt Higgins Eliminated in 2nd Place ($160,176)

The minute we saw both Matt Higgins and Maurice Hawkins rise to their feet we jumped to ours, to capture what would be the final hand of this $1700 Main Event.

Higgins opted to get it in for 25bb with and didn't love looking over and seeing his hand dominated by Hawkin's .

The flop gave Higgins a glimmer of hope with runner-runner straight possibilities. 

When the turned, Higgins' rail started calling for a "four".

The river sealed the deal, crowning Maurice Hawkins a 16-time World Series of Poker Circuit winner, but sending his friend (Higgins) home just shy of his goal - to win the tournament over Mother's Day weekend in honor of his recently passed mother.

Matt Higgins finishes 2nd of 981 for a payout of $160,176.