Maurice Hawkins Being Sued Over Backing Deal

Maurice Hawkins Being Sued Over Backing DealMaurice Hawkins, a Florida pro with 10 WSOP Circuit rings and $2,881,691 in tournament earnings to his name, is currently being sued by Tallahassee attorney Hal Lewis for $22,788, which he claims is owed to him because of a staking deal agreed by the two men in 2016.
According to the story first picked-up by the Miami Herald on July 16, Lewis received over $120,000 from their staking deal, and collected $10,000 of that amount by way of a cashier’s check, with the remainder used for entry fees, as per their agreement. The arrangement came to an end following a particularly slim 2016 WSOP in which Hawkins cashed in at just the $565 No Limit Hold’em Colossus II for $896, but according to Lewis, there was still $22,788 in unused funds left over which Hawkins never returned.
While Hawkins denies the allegation, and said he is willing to go to court to defend himself, Lewis, on the other hand, says he has evidence to the contrary in the form of a number of phone text messages. Apparently one reads: “I just busted. I owe you 22,788,” while another states “I lost the 22,788.. I will make it right,” allegedly in reference to Lewis’ claim that Hawkins told him he lost the money playing blackjack.
While Hal Lewis’ litigation continues over the pro’s 2016 season, Maurice Hawkins has been on fire in 2017, and has already earned $514,763, a figure just short of his total earnings for the whole of the previous year. Amongst his recent successes are winning two WSOP Circuit rings, as well as a 6th place finish at the WSOP $1,500 No Limit Hold’em – Monster Stack event for $213,591.
Commenting on the challenges faced by professional poker players who subsequently experience a downturn in their career, the 37-year pro stated:
“The worst thing ever must be to reach the top, to experience that lifestyle, and then lose it all. Some of these guys can’t handle that, so they sell a huge percentage of themselves so they can stay in the big cash games and tournaments. If you see me win a million dollars, I want you to know that I actually won a million dollars and didn’t have to sell all of myself to get in.”

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