It was a successful week for Maurice Hawkins, who dominated two major World Series of Poker (WSOP) circuit events for big-time scores. First, he took down the $365 Monster Stack for $19,477 and his fifth WSOP ring, but that was just the an appetizer. A few days later, the $1,675 Main Event paid out $113,152 and a sixth ring, putting him just three behind all-time leader Alex Masek’s nine.
The final table was late on the second day, and three of nine were sent home before the lights went out. Jose Mendoza and Mike Vainer went home in ninth and eighth, respectively. Then the day ended with Daniel Shea getting bounced in seventh. Holding an A♧, 10♤, Shea raised pre-flop and was called by Ryan Phan (5♤, 5♧). The flop (A♡, 10♧, 5♢) couldn’t have been worse for Shea, giving him the top two pair and luring him to go all in against Phan’s set. Blanks on the turn and river sent Shea home in seventh.
Thanks to the big elimination, Phan came into the third day with the chip lead, and saw it grow right off the bat. The first contest came between Phan (Q♧, Q♤) and JT Turner (A♢, K♡). Turner never got the help he needed from the board and was the first elimination of the day.
Phan continued to dominate by eliminating Bob Slezak in fifth. His pocket eights stayed out in front of Slezak’s fours on a K♡, J♤, 9♡, A♢, 9♢ board.
The champ was the next to get in on the knockout fun as he took out Maxx Coleman in fourth. The latter was holding pocket jacks, but Hawkins (A♧, 8♤) managed to pair his ace on the flop.
Mike Lang, who was extremely short stacked against the two frontrunners, was the last to go before heads-up play. He decided to take on Phan while holding a 10♡, 9♢. Phan’s A♢, K♡ came out on top when neither player managed to make a pair.
The elimination of Lang gave Phan a 3:1 chip lead over Hawkins at the start of heads-up play. But the eventual winner soon doubled up; Phan called pre-flop with Q♤, J♧ and checked after an A♢, 10♢, 8♡, J♡ came out on the flop and turn. Hawkins (K♤, Q♧) bet out 325,000 after the turn and Phan went all-in over the top. Hawkins quickly called with his straight.
Hawkins doubled up again when he had pocket nines on a 9♤, 8♤, 5♤, 5♢, 4♢ board.
The next major hand marked the end. Both players scored trip fours on an 8♤, 4♤, 4♢, Q♧ board. A chop was avoided when the river (3♡) paired gave Hawkins a full house.
While he must be left wondering what might have been, Phan’s $69,962 cash for second-place was still the biggest of his career.
Final table results:
(Photo credit: Electronic Arts)
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