PCA 2015: Up and down with Maurice Hawkins
Honestly, our plan was to write only once about Maurice Hawkins today. There are still 27 people left in this event, and we make an effort to get up in all of their business. But, when it comes to getting up, Hawkins is the king. And when it comes to getting down, he's got that covered, too.
We just poked our head in on him during the last level, and the only thing more remarkable than how often he was in pots was how often he wasn't even at the table.
As we wrote earlier today, Hawkins is a PCA veteran. He was here in 2005 (famously abandoning his stack on the bubble). He's back today and among the people who are fighting to make it to the big money.
That said, in the time we stood nearby, he wasn't at the table for half the time.
We we arrived, he was going nowhere, and it looked dire. He was all in with A♥Q♦ versus Q♠Q♥.
"Let's see how good I'm running," he said.
Everyone could see his run-good the moment the dealer turned the flop up in her hand. The A♠ was right there on top.
"Running pretty good," Hawkins chuckled to no one in particular. "I'm getting pretty good at these three outers.
And then I'd swear he said something about chicken McNuggets, but that is neither here nor there.
We might have left it at that but for the fact that on the very next hand, Mayu Roca came in for a raise to 27,000 from under the gun. Folded to Hawkins in the small blind, he dropped 64,000 in front of him. Roca thought for a couple of minutes before folding.
"I only got aces," Hawkins said.
Sure you do, Maurice.
But then he flipped up A♠A♦. No mystery there.
"I thought you were going to be stubborn there," Hawkins said to Roca.
That seemed like a good time to take leave, but before that was possible, Hawkins was on the button and calling Jim Collopy's raise to 25,000. Roca also called from the blinds, and they all saw a Q♦J♥3♣ flop. Roca and Collopy checked, and Hawkins scattered a bunch of chips in front of him that looked like 48,000. He got two quick folds.
Suddenly, it seemed like Hawkins was going to play every hand, a suspicion he quickly supported. Collopy came in for a raise to 25,000 again, and Hawkins called from the cutoff. They checked through a flop and turn of 3♠5♣7♦4♥. When the J♠ river hit, Collopy started to lift his hand off the felt. He might have barely brushed the edge of his chips. He might have just been reaching to scratch his chin. It's impossible to say, because before Collopy had cut anything out of his stack, Hawkins flicked his cards at the dealer.
"Nice hand," he said.
Someone must have given him the side-eye, because he seemed compelled to explain.
"Why stick around for all that action?" he said. "I was losing even if he checked."
Now convinced it was Hawkins strategy to play every hand of the orbit, I dug my feet into the carpet. I wasn't going anywhere for a while.
That's when Hawkins decided to stop playing. That's when he decided to stop sitting. He quickly folded the next hand and took a short walk. The hand ended so quickly, somebody had to ante for him before he sat down. He'd barely looked at his cards before the action was back to him, he'd folded, and was gone again.
So it went for the next five hands. Leave, return, snap-muck, leave return, snap-muck.
Now, after being moved to one of the feature tables, Hawkins is keeping his seat more and has a better than average stack.
That earlier performance was likely a matter of position, sure, but it was also pure Maurice Hawkins. And what is that exactly?
Well, he does his best to explain in this video below with Sarah Herring.
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Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging