Maurice Hawkins: $4 Million, 13 Rings, WSOP Circuit GOAT
Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Episode 008
Maurice Hawkins on social media:
Maurice Hawkins currently holds the record for both earnings and titles on the World Series Of Poker Circuit.
He has earned more than $1.7 million on the WSOP circuit and is the proud owner of a ridiculous 13 gold rings, including 4 from main events.
He made his first tournament cash back in 2005 and has since managed to reach 86 final tables, raking in lifetime wins worth more than $4,000,000 in the process.
He exudes confidence and has every reason to do so.
As our conversation progresses, Maurice will let you in on what changed his mind and turned a future heart surgeon into one of the best tournament poker players in the world.
He will also, of course, shed some light on what has helped and hindered him on his poker journey.
I absolutely loved his thoughts and views on game theory as well as his disdain of everything “standard”.
Maurice also dives into the importance of family, happiness, and life away from the green felt.
The man shoots from the hip and pulls no punches.
He’s not afraid to say what he thinks about himself or the game. What you see is what you get, and in our conversation he was very, very generous with dispensing his poker wisdom.
And so, without any further ado, I give you the WSOP Circuit GOAT, Maurice Hawkins…
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Brad: Greetings once again my virtual poker companion. This is your host, founder of enhanceyouredge.com, Brad Wilson and you’re listening to Chasing Poker Greatness, the podcast that gets you up close and personal with the biggest names in the game. Each episode is dedicated to dissecting the mind and methods of champions and the most elite players in the game today. You’ll get everything straight from the horse’s mouth as they explain what drives them to do the things that they do, their processes for growing and improving, and how they chose the paths that have paid off so well for them. Today I’m sitting down for a conversation with Maurice Hawkins, one of the most feared and dangerous players on any tournament circuit and one of the most consistent crushers. Maurice currently holds the record for both earnings and titles on the WSOP circuit. He has earned more than 1.7 million on said circuit, and is the proud owner of a ridiculous 13 gold rings, including four from main events. He made his first tournament cash all the way back in 2005, and has since managed to reach 86 final tables, raking in lifetime wins worth more than three and a half million dollars in the process. He exudes confidence and has every reason to do so. As our conversation progresses, Maurice will let you in on what changed his mind and turn a future heart surgeon into one of the best tournament players in the world. He will also of course, shed some light on what has helped and hindered him along his poker journey. Absolutely loved his thoughts and views on game theory, as well as his disdain that I share with him very much of everything quote, unquote, standard. Maurice also dives into the importance of family, happiness, and life away from the green felt. The man shoots from the hip and pulls no punches. He’s not afraid to say what he thinks about himself or the game. What you see is what you get. And in our conversation, he was very, very generous with dispensing his wisdom. And so, without any further ado, I give you the winningest WSOP circuit tournament player of all time, Maurice Hawkins.
Brad: Maurice, how are you doing this afternoon, sir?
Maurice: All right. Living my best life.
Brad: If you’re going to live life, you may as well live your best life. Right?
Maurice: Exactly. I mean, you got two options, success or failure. I tried to choose to sense those values, it doesn’t work well with my appetite, you know.
Brad: I believe that. Seeing how, you know you’ve graduated to wear you can’t wear all of your rings on your fingers anymore. 13 of them? Correct?
Maurice: Yeah, bowties think fourteen, I believe.
Brad: That’s not a bad collection.
Maurice: Yeah, considerably just trying to happen over a period of time without me thinking about it consciously into the last three. Yeah, I’m happy about it.
Brad: Nice. Can you tell me the story about how you got into playing cards in the first place?
Maurice: Well, I was bored in college. So, I pretty much went into a casino, stop that. I went into a casino and just basically wasted some time. And they had this game called Omaha 8 tournament said and goes. So, I was like, oh, let me try that. And at the same time, they ran a couple hold’em sending those next to it. And I noticed that aggression sometimes can lead to success in the game. And I have fell in love with a hair like king, queen. I was like, oh, this is amazing to favors. He says you just served that.
Maurice: That’s going to be really beneficial for you. But as time went by, I noticed that everyone was telling me that that wasn’t the way the game supposed to be played. So, after a couple of losses and several bad nights, sad nights, I realized that you have more thinking and city situations. So, I fell in love with the game because it was a lot like chess. And I love chess as a kid. I was actually a chess champion. None major but a city-wide chess champion, man.
Brad: That’s, college is a place where a lot of people fall in cards. I fall in love with cards. I did read that you, you were in school to be a doctor.
Maurice: Yeah. I want to be a heart surgeon.
Brad: How did the, you know what happened as far as that? And what led you to, you know, getting on the grind and playing cards instead of being a heart surgeon?
Maurice: Well, it’d be odd as I was in school to be a heart surgeon is what my desire was. And I took organic tests. And my teacher said, basically, I don’t know how you got this score, because I know you didn’t have your book for last two months. And they’re like, look, man, I take very good notes. And that’s how I wouldn’t B+, it’s like, well, I’m doing an audit of the class, or I need to retake the course. So, I basically did it again. And I got a B+ again. And at that point, I had the stain for him. So, he wanted me to be his organic assistant. But I didn’t feel that we had the same connection as we had before that. So, at the same time, I was playing cards. And
Brad: Yeah. How did it make you feel when he told you that you had to retake the course, after you crushed it without your book?
Maurice: Well retake the test.
Brad: Retake the test. Yeah.
Maurice: I felt like, I felt like he was a piece of shit. I mean, to be honest, I mean, it just didn’t make sense. I mean.
Brad: He’s basically calling you a cheater, right?
Maurice: Yeah, yeah, he basically was singling me out. And I really liked that, because I was one of the smartest kids in class. I participated in all of the functions, you know, the lab for three, four hours on Fridays. Everyone loved me. The thing is, I have a really good memory. So, you know, it is what it is. So, I took the right in this course right in front of him, in the same office with him, and, and pretty much almost aced it. I got the plus organic. So, you know, I prove my point. I move forward. And you know, I just started playing more poker. And you know, the game, the game chose me, because that weekend, I won about, I would say 150,000 in poker. And I was like, wow.
Brad: Wow. What do you mean? How did you win a 150k in the weekend?
Maurice: Oh, I play cash game, 25 busy.
Brad: That is a massive, massive win at 25/50.
Maurice: Yeah, it was 25/50. I bought him for like 8000. I wanted a double. I wanted like 40 that night. I went back and then I bought him for 25. I ran it up to like 60 and then on Sunday, I mean, I think I went like 40 parties, whatever was. But I was so pissed. So pissed at this teacher that the whole time that I was playing, I always read. And, you know, I don’t think I’ve ever talked about his story, but it gave me a sense of satisfaction, you know? Like the world is right?
Maurice: Yeah. Like the world is right, right? You know, like, you know, he, you know, he went at me, and I’ve showed and proved myself that came out worthy. So I said, let me get this poker thing a chance. I went to the Bahamas. This is when it’s probably not printed, but it was an article about it long time ago, that I walked out on the bubble. I was like, you know what, aces lens is going to cause me. I think it was like 20,000. But I was really, really happy at the fact that I was playing this poker thing, I was in the Bahamas, and I really know anything. I just knew that I didn’t want to lose $20000 on that situation. So, I walked out and came back and I was in the money. I was so excited. It was my first poker cash. Well, my big poker cash. I was like, yeah, I would think Galle 36, and then PCA was pretty amazing. For me.
Brad: That’s awesome man.
Brad: How did you go from the dude that walks out on the bubble to just, you know, Stone Cold killer that, I’m sure has exploited many, many, many, many bubbles since then.
Maurice: Yeah, well, I think it was just evolution kind of like a centipede or turning into a butterfly. I think that might be the right analogy. But yeah, it’s kind of over a period of time you just, you metamorphosis, you learn how to evolve. It’s a game you know, it has strategy. It has game theory, so to speak. It has, but what I like to say about the game is it should be personalized game theory. It shouldn’t be cookie cutter. Like this is how people play and this is what you should do in this spot. I feel like there’s a lot of variables that change, and that’s what people love about it that can create positivity and equity in the game itself. And you whether it be personalized psychology, whether it be statistical analysts, like how the percentage is favored you asserting hands, or it just could be your gut feeling. Sometimes you just feel that six come in on the river. You just feel it, it’s coming, I’m going to get this guy’s entire stack, you know, and that it just comes down to that, you know.
Brad: You’re speaking my language, sir. I hate the non-personalized, like GTO theory that’s like in this spot do XYZ. Like, there’s always more data, there’s always more information that you can collect to improve your decisions. And it’s kind of a cop out to me to say, well, you know, I just made the standard move. Like, really? That’s what your goal is, to just play average, to do the standard thing? Like, let’s aim higher, you know. Play book, play above the rim. That progression that we were just talking about to. Could you tell me, the metamorphosis from the caterpillar to the butterfly? What was the highest impact action you took, that sort of expedited, your growth?
Maurice: Being broke. That will be the highest impact.
Brad: Why is that?
Maurice: Because I have a family. And success is something that provides milk for my table, provides food for my kids. Knowing that each play is the decision factor, and if we’re going to eat a rental ever with a prince got to be paid, makes me want to do it at the highest level. And that will be what transformed it. And then also, I found that when I started teaching people, the game, it made me come up with more fundamental and exact reasons that I do things. And it allowed me to pinpoint certain strategies that I use it originally, I’m doing it so, it made me a better player as well.
Brad: You created the methodology behind every decision that I make.
Brad: And I love the mentioning your family. And I’ll get back to that in a second. But emotional goals drive human beings. And the quest for money is not an emotional goal. The quest to provide for your family to take care of them, that’s emotional, right? So, for the folks out there who are like, I’m going to a big tournament and I’m going to get rich and buy a Lambo and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Like, that’s not going to drive you. That’s not going to take you to the place you need to be. You need an emotional goal that resonates with you. That in a sense, you know, like you said, your family eating. That’s a pretty damn good emotional goal, right? That’s a pretty damn good driver of action. And going back to your family, you all listening right now in the Chasing Poker Greatest podcast. If you check out Maurice’s Instagram, you’ll see there’s no poker. His picture is Poker, but then in his description, it’s family, right? Husband to beautiful wife, and the kids. Tell me how important is it to have a supportive encouraging family behind you, in the poker business?
Maurice: Well, I feel like it’s important because it gives you your why. If a person has a burning house, right, and the house is burning, and they run outside, what would you run back into that burning house floor? You will run back into that burning house for your kids. You run back into the burning house for your wife. That’s your why. If you run out the house, and there’s nothing you run back in for, then you don’t really have a purpose. So, I feel like family me gives me that why. It gives me that burning desire to be the best. So that will be how important it is. And on those lonely nights, those bad nights, when you think those bad wills, it’s important to have somebody telling you, you’re still the best. He’s going to get back to the top. So, it gives you your why and it gives you confidence support. So that’s, the I would say that’s the importance of it.
Brad: Very well said, sir. Very well said. So, we mentioned 13 rings. Which one of those would you say is your most memorable? And why?
Maurice: All the thirteen. Okay. I can almost think of all of them. Let me know what you think. The first one, I would say is memorable because all I saw is, I saw a billboard that says, the billboard said, first the rain then the bracelet. And I said oh, that’s what I’m here for. I’m going to get this ring. And Dan is going to build up to this drastic bracelet. Oh, this is what I’m dreaming about. The second one was kind of, I was in on a boat, and I remember was a one-day term. And I was kind of like, this is amazing. I’m actually becoming good at this. And then the most memorable, I would say, would be the time when it was my wife’s birthday. And I said, I’m going win this Cherokee one for you, because I’ve already won Iowa. And that was for like 100 grand. We’re going to win this, it was going to change our life. And we went horseback rides within the mountains of North Carolina. We had a great day on the day off from day one be. I play, and I looked up and I was like, I’m in position. And then I did and I was like this at eight digs for like, I would say, 15 hours, and then I just battle, battle, battle. All of a sudden, things start clicking, and it was over. And that was being my most memorable. I mean, that’s when your way back to back I will beings.
Brad: Oh, I believe that. I mean, wife’s birthday, like, get out of here. That’s insane. What would your wife say? What was your reaction?
Maurice: I know you go into it. Pretty much.
Brad: Wow. That’s a true believer. Right? Which is so important for your poker career.
Maurice: Yeah, she’s just looking at me. It’d be like a 6000 person too. Give it a final table this for sure. And then I like setting up. I met the millionaire maker was like, I did it. I’m here on a marathon. As I lost the marathon and I do hit a one-hour on me. The next week, I was at the final table, the monsters taxes like I told you, I’m going to get back there. Yeah. So. So you know.
Brad: That’s awesome.
Maurice: That was what I got two final tables. That one. When we get the series like two years ago, I was like, yeah, this is going down. On the go. Let’s go.
Brad: That’s, that’s awesome, man. So, change gears just a little. I know that, you know, you’re obviously a hard worker, and one of the best tournament players in the world. What is your process for regularly improving your game look like and as detailed as you can?
Maurice: Okay, so basically, I’m super critical of myself. I’m hypercritical. I’m really at a point where I will win a tournament and I’ll sit up and think about this. So, I didn’t play it well. So that will be my underlying process. I don’t really have many people I can talk to about poker, if I mean, if I have one person, that’s probably more than I that I can count. So, so I don’t want to be, I think it’s by design. Although I did learn from a lot of people without them knowing. I just watched and listened and, and when they don’t know I’m listening. There was a group of guys who I can tell you were really good at poker. And each one of myself had a certain different facet to the game. So, I would just sit outside of the group, they wouldn’t let me in. And I just listened, listen, listen. And over a four- or five-month period, I picked up all things over a couple years, I picked up the things and then finally, I started winning more than everyone in the group. And they were like, so Maurice, what do you think about this pot? And I think that my advantage was that I did discuss with them, I just took the best part of all their games, and applied it to my game and created this game that I, so I think a lot of poker players merge each other’s games and what they would do at the same spot that they become predictable.
Brad: We have two ears in one mouth for a reason. Right?
Brad: And what kind of group was that?
Maurice: It was a group that was a group of friends.
Brad: Sky group? Online group or?
Maurice: No, no, no. Just guys I used to follow around when I was above the trips.
Brad: Gotcha. Gotcha.
Maurice: I got bored. Yeah.
Brad: It’s, what is the inner dialogue look like when you’re hypercritical of yourself? How’s that sound like?
Maurice: Oh man. Sounds like you get to play their hand better. You should have known better. What can you do different? I had to do that different. Oh, man. I’ve always did that definitely would have been a better spot. Man, I see yourself as, man. I shouldn’t call. I should have, man. I should have took that turn. He couldn’t recall. He wanted to call maybe, you were called. Oh yeah. He would have called but definitely I would have felt better about it.
Brad: I love that word. So many, myself included. People have, one of the strategies is having a friend, having people to discuss stuff with and growing together. So, it’s very refreshing to hear, you know that you listened, right? You listened and you grew and you did it. For the most part kind of your on your own, right? I think that’s, that’s special. That’s awesome.
Maurice: Yeah, well, it is what it is. Got to build. Got to make things happen. Nobody else got you got to know is your greatest worry of the world know you’re great. So. you got to do it all, you know. That’s the best way to do things.
Brad: Nobody cares about how good you are at poker more than you at the end of the day. Like we are.
Maurice: Some solitary sport.
Brad: It is. And we’re, we’re the ones who have the opportunity to invest in ourselves and grow. And there’s empowerment in that, knowing that it’s on us, right? If you want to work hard, going to work hard. What would you say is the biggest regret of your career?
Maurice: I don’t know. If you if you know me, you might not know I don’t have regrets. Because I think there’s a bad way of looking. I think every moment I’ve had made me much, much better in the future. I can tell you that Ace Queen and Olivier Naces in 2012, or 13 in the WBT and me for about two, three years, but that’s what prepared me to be better, you know. I got second in North Carolina, the same week that I got first in the main. So maybe better, you know. I was simply there in Montreal WPT at one point this year, and I ended up getting, I think I got like 14th and a 10k in Montreal, and, but guess what made me better. This year the World Series, I blanked out for as long as return. Next thing you know, in a global, I got third. And then I got second has other Foxwoods. So, I think its all just memory of building points in my life. As far as good without regrets, I just think it makes you better if you harness it the right way. That’s how I look at that. I don’t really have regrets.
Brad: Awesome. I mean, they’re all learning experiences, right? Even when you’re in your head saying, ah, I should have shoved. I should have called here.
Maurice: Right. The position comes up later, you know.
Maurice: You get that ace jack suited to open in a flat, and then three back, and you might shove it. My call. You might do a lot of different things. But one thing about it is you got to remember what you did to put time before
Brad: And you’ll be prepared.
Maurice: Be prepared.
Brad: It’s always better to be prepared for a situation instead of getting yourself in it, and then trying to figure it out in the moment. That’s a lot.
Maurice: You see that’s what makes people, see that’s what makes Tom waiting to go, because he’s been in that situation before. And if you take a guy who’s not been in that situation before, they’re not going to be ready for the moment. Or if you take Jordan in his prime, he took that shot before. He’s missed it. He’s won it. But he said the shot. My point is saying is this, you can’t teach a person experience. Experience is a bad mom. Either have it or you don’t. And that’s why you always want to battle champions. And that’s the difference of a closer and now its closer. And that’s what breeds success, because when people been in this situation before they know what they need to apply. So, when you know.
Brad: Yep, it’s immersion. The first time you do something, you know, the first time you play poker, you’re 7, king, queen, and you progress, right? You learn and then over time, you, first time you get to a final table, first time you take one down, it’s all part of the progression and the immersion. And like you said, that experience, it is so pivotal in those moments that are such high pressure and high stakes.
Maurice: The ability to stay at ease is huge.
Brad: Yeah, I found it well
Maurice: And people read that.
Brad: I found it in cash games, right. So, I don’t play many tournaments. I play mostly cash games. It’s funny because like, if I’m playing with a friend, and they’re involved in like, you know, massive pot, like 10 and 20k whatever, I get nervous for them. Like it. But like, if I’m in the pot, it’s like
Maurice: You’re not nervous at all.
Brad: Not at all. It’s like right there’s a calm that comes over me. And it’s like yeah, I’m just I’m not nervous one bit at all.
Maurice: Yeah. Because see in your mind, you’re not playing for the money, you’re playing for the spot.
Maurice: The money just comes with the spot. You’re not thinking about the money. The chips are just monetary after the game. During the game, they’re just units.
Brad: Exactly. And people when they’re beginning and they’re playing a cash game, they’re nervous because of the pressure but like it’s just you know, it’s repetitions, right? It’s reps and reps and reps and reps and eventually you play for the spot, you let the chips fall where they may, you win some, you lose some. The only thing you can do is make good great decisions and improve your thought processes moving forward from that point on.
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Brad: What’s some common poker advise you hear that you completely disagree with?
Maurice: As far as standard
Brad: Yeah, just hate this, hate this kind of idea.
Maurice: You know, I got an idea. I got an ace king. He’s got 20 bags. I got 20 bags a guy today’s game, the guy opens it up three but got three bats. I got a flat. It’s just standard. So, ask yourself when you base, right? Well, you said most tight most likely most of the time, but you probably sitting if the guy who flat is known to be slightly stronger hands. The nice game pros plus, you know, so that’s why it’s a standard. A lot of people do that a lot. It is a, the despite standard and they just basically leak enough chips because, you know, you’re not really thinking that through.
Brad: And also, sometimes your table makeup can be that can be pretty, fairly easy, right? And so.
Maurice: You have to put yourself in a position, why don’t you use your hips in a better spot?
Brad: Exactly. Why take a spot that’s like, okay, it’s breakeven or maybe plus TV or, you know, you’ve got two ultra-high players on your left that you can just raise in the dark. Exploit them.
Maurice: Yeah, so yeah, so that would be the biggest fallacy of poker right there.
Brad: Ah man.
Maurice: Standard response. People always want to say something standard.
Brad: Love that. So that guy that, you know, dropped out, stopped, stopped pursuing his career to become a heart surgeon. If you could give him some poker wisdom.
Maurice: With drop up. Have you been going to med school?
Brad: Yeah, you switched careers. You chose a different path. Chose a different period. That was bad phrasing on my part. Apologies. If you could give him some poker wisdom. What wisdom would that be?
Maurice: Poker wisdom?
Brad: Yeah, go back. Have a conversation with them be like, look, man, here’s what you need to know. This is what’s going to take you further than what you think right now.
Maurice: I will say remember the value of money. Because I had a whole lot of money and I blew a whole lot of money. I didn’t really respect money. I respect money back there. Own my property, more property.
Brad: More property. What’s the silliest thing meanwhile with your money?
Brad: Yeah. Looking back, like why did I do that?
Maurice: Oh, no, I enjoyed. I’ll tell I did not regret much. The silliest thing about
Brad: Nothing’s an okay answer too, you know. Just say no.
Maurice: I’m just trying to say something as silly. I did, I really like I really break up my brain like oh, like what did I do that’s silly?
Brad: Well, you gave the advice when
Maurice: I once went out with four cars.
Brad: Oh, wow.
Maurice: And the car fees, it’s out there.
Brad: I guess did they match all the outfits? The outfits for the cars?
Maurice: Yeah, the CLS 550.
Maurice: And though, that would be for my, you know, what I want to be looking a little elegant. At a GT 500 Mustang. That was when I wanted to wear a tank top. At a maximum when I wanted to be low key. At a motorcycle when I wanted to be a little bit above the brim and had an SUV. Avoid SUV whenever I wanted to, like, look like a big boy boss.
Brad: I love whenever you wanted to wear tank tops, you had to go get a car to go with the tank tops. That’s all.
Maurice: Yeah, yeah. If you could.
Brad: If you could wave a wand and change one thing about poker tournaments, what would that be?
Maurice: I would say that I would like them to state the standard. They seem to change every damn year. From this, the big blind annie, to the structure, to how many chips thing they give you. So, I mean, if they don’t give me, I just want to be standard.
Maurice: So, I’ll have to recalibrate every damn year.
Brad: Maybe that gives an edge though, right? Because you’re recalibrating. A lot of other people don’t recalibrate.
Maurice: Right? Because people get stuck in the same philosophy but you know, I got to get used to it and then I got to change.
Brad: Yeah, I feel you there. Cash games don’t really change that much over time. They’re pretty historically, fairly uniform. What’s some wisdom for the listeners of the show that are hell bent on realizing their poker dreams? What’s the wisdom you could give them?
Maurice: Don’t play above your means. Unless you’re willing to lose it all. And you lose it all, you better have a good friend who’s going to help you get back up to the top.
Brad: Yeah. Bankroll management. Having friends, having community, having you know, a poker is this interesting thing right? Where even like you prove yourself right? You know, if you went broke tomorrow, I’m sure you have 100 people in your phone you could call, right?
Maurice: This is because I proved who I am. I proved my game.
Maurice: The same thing is when people go broke, who don’t have who don’t prove who they are. Then they just broken any good job. No.
Brad: Yeah. No, no option after that, right?
Brad: Basically, if you’re taking the game serious, like you know if you’re playing as a hobby and you have a job, I
Maurice: Keep it.
Brad: Keep it? Yeah. And also like, yeah, you can take some shots, right? You can play it at 1500 as a recreational player that has good names. You don’t have to exercise bankroll management as much as somebody that like, you just have to continue living.
Brad: Yeah, exactly. So, you know, if you could suggest a piece of media, a book, content video, anything like that, for the for the Chasing Poker Greatness audience, what would it be?
Maurice: I was saying, find a poker player who you think is great. And when I say you think as great, look at the results and see alternatives, consistently win, and then have them teach you how to play poker. Because all that other stuff is bullshit.
Brad: How do you find them? Somebody without connections? How would you go about finding contacting this person, get in touch with them?
Maurice: Well, poker is the only thing where, only sport where you can walk up on a successful professional and say hi, yeah contract will. Walk up, stay to go and listen to how much it’s going to cost you
Brad: Pay the money. That’s, that’s, that’s what I tell folks to you know, it’s like, how do I get in touch with like, say Fader or Holtz, right? He’s got a lot of things going on. Well, Fader or Holtz has a course coming out. So, step number one is buy the damn course. Pay the 1500. Buy the course, right? Because then you have it lined to Fader or Holds, and plus you invested in him, and he’s invested in your success. So, like, money is a great driver. It’s a great connector. When you pay these guys that make stuff. They’ll get in touch with you, like you’ll be able to contact them. Trust me.
Maurice: If you’ve got money and you willing to spend it. I’m sure somebody helped me out figure out how to make more.
Brad: Yes, 100%. 100%. What’s your current big goal as related to poker career? What’s next?
Maurice: Stay consistent for the rest of my life. A lot of these guys went one time. If you look at my stats, I went around the same amount every year. So, I want to win more of I want to increase that overall goal every year, and I want to stay consistent.
Brad: What goes into that consistency? How do you how do you go about ensuring you stay consistent and grow?
Maurice: Staying in my lane, I would say. I mean, I’ll take shots at bigger bio, three bouquets and sometimes city guys. But I was on Poker after dark, you know? But knowing who I am and knowing that I win every damn thing, just staying happy. That was the, staying happy as the keeps whatever.
Maurice: You should be happy. When I’m happy and I’m playing poker, I do a really well.
Brad: What makes you happiest?
Maurice: My family makes me happy. Watching movies.
Brad: What’s a good movie? What’s a good movie you’ve seen recently? Come on.
Maurice: I watch shows bro. I watch, like, Criminal Minds and things like that. TV shows a lot of times.
Brad: Yeah. My wife and I do too. We say that we have Netflix and we don’t watch TV. But then we’ve got about 25 shows that we binge watch whenever they get released.
Maurice: Yeah, I watch The Good Doctor. I like the, all kind of growth. I’m really into everything. I watch chick flicks. I watch it all.
Brad: Just simple. Watching, watching TV staying happy. Sustained success.
Maurice: Barbie doing, hanging out with my family. Like this morning, I went to Daddy and Me. Daddy, I mean, being at school with my daughters. And that was at 7:30 granite. I stayed up like four o’clock watching some baseball. But when the daddy and me, with my daughter, I woke up three hours later. I came back and I slept in an interview. You know why? Because I can do that. That’s happiness.
Brad: Yeah. Freedom. Freedom. Freedom is happy. And
Maurice: And no one else being happy makes me happy. You know what I might do this weekend?
Brad: What might you do?
Maurice: I might go to the football game. Play the WPC in Baltimore on Saturday. Those are the Ravens game on Sunday, and they two on, day two on on Monday. You know, that’s called happiness.
Brad: Yep, living, living a good life.
Maurice: I’m living my dream, though. That’s what, that’s what it means.
Brad: Right? And we all have a different definition of happiness.
Maurice: Yeah, exactly. I’m living my dream, though. A lot of you try to live somebody else’s dream. I’m living my dream. This is what I, this is what I set out to be. It’s why when people come up to me and say, you could be making this carbon excuse, you can be making this kind of money doing this. Or you can be making this kind of money doing that, guess what bro? I don’t even make this kind of money doing anything, because I’m doing what I wanted to do.
Maurice: Thank you for your opinion, but I am good.
Brad: We can go back to you know, tie back in to the standard thing in poker, right? There’s no standard of happiness. Like, be yourself, find your own happiness and live your own dream. And when other people tell you, like you said, they say oh, you could do this, you could be making blah blah blah blah blah, like, if that’s not your idea of happiness, and don’t do that
Maurice: It’s really nice. It was we’re a family member that said, are you sure about this poker thing? And I said, I am a poker player. There is no plan B.
Brad: Yeah. Burn the boats.
Maurice: And then years later, they’re like, okay, a wholesome.
Brad: Hey, can you, can you teach me how you do that? Can you show me how you do that? Yeah, it’s
Maurice: Yeah, well, they don’t really say anything. Because they know. They know that they already then, you know, currently on it. So yeah. Well, maybe I mean,
Brad: It’s, you’ve made it happen, you know. And through hard work, determination, consistency, living your dream, and that’s very admirable thing. And got a, just a couple more questions then we will get you out of here.
Maurice: All right, what’s that?
Brad: What’s a project right now that you’re working on, and it doesn’t have to be poker related, that’s near and dear to your heart?
Maurice: I’m working on building better connections with people, because I’ve become kind of isolated. In my, when I’m, when I might, I might be friendly, outgoing. But when it comes to people, I shut them out because I’m just so focused. I set a poster by those about a couple of months ago, it was like to be successful, you have to be isolated within yourself, basically, and, you know, an emotional toll that takes on you. So I’m working on, you know, having that extra conversation, listening to a person’s day and going places where people are hanging out at the casino and going, you know, just listening. And being a part of the lives of people in you know, I don’t know, just working on more social aspects.
Brad: You think you think it’s going to make you happy?
Maurice: Yeah, it does make me, it does, it does make me happy. Because it opens up friendships, as close when I normally go to my room and just watch me a movie, you know, I’ve now I was kind of hanging out laughing. You know, if I get too annoyed, I leave but you know, I’m just working on that.
Brad: I can. So right after Black Friday, I moved to commerce, and was playing 10/20, 20/40 games, living in the hotel, playing cards 60 hours a week and just hell bent, right? Just man on a mission. I’m going to succeed. I’m going to crush every day. I’m going to work harder. I’m going to play 10 days, 10 hours a day, six days a week. People would invite me out. Guys that I played with and I’d be like, no, like, I’m not going to drink because if I drink, I’m not going to be able to wake up and put in the 10 hours. And I’m so grateful and thankful that they were insistent on me going out with them. Because that aspect of the life, it was probably my favorite thing, like making those relationships and those friendships was, it just, I want a bunch of big pots and I have a great, a bunch of great stories. But those friendships and those relationships are what really matters.
Maurice: Those are the biggest, those are the biggest assets. The life itself is actually the biggest asset of ago, going to Barcelona with my wife, biggest asset of it all.
Maurice: Hanging out with a friend, going to, going to the Drake concert in between a poker tournament because I said if at all, you know, going to a football game right before the WPC Maryland because after all, you know, the life itself in Berlin at the age of 26. Because after all. It goes to Rico at the age of 22. Biggest overhaul. So, within poker, besides providing for your family, I believe the biggest asset is the relationships, the friendships, and the fun behind it all.
Brad: Yeah, 100% man. And even the time, you know that you’re on the felt, it’s your focus, you’re determined, you’re cutthroat. But even, you know, you’re living life in those moments too. And it’s easy to be just so ultra-serious. And it’s okay to laugh. You know, it’s okay to make a joke, to be friendly with people, because that to me, we are living life while we do these things like you’re living life when you go to Barcelona. You can say I’m going on a poker trip, but really, you’re in Barcelona with your wife, like hello.
Brad: That’s pretty badass just in and of itself, right?
Maurice: Right. For a week.
Brad: For a week?
Brad: I mean, that’s awesome. So, at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, what would you like your poker legacy to be? How would you like to be remembered?
Maurice: I really don’t care what don’t remember like, bro, for now? I just did not. I could care less, I mean
Brad: What about your family, your friends? You’re here.
Maurice: Yeah. I mean, they know I’m going to go bro.
Brad: You’re so serious, the legacies already there.
Maurice: Yeah, yeah, it’s like everything. Come on, man. Like I said before, before, many times, at the end of the day, people can say whatever they want. They could bring, they can know who their favorite poker player is. But I promise you their favorite poker player don’t want to play against me. So, that’s it. They might act like they do. But deep down inside, they don’t want to. And the reason is, they know, they know the downside. That when I’m at the table that’s hell to be playing.
Maurice: It is what it is.
Brad: So where can the Chasing Poker Greatness audience, where can they find you on the inter webs?
Maurice: You can always DM me on Instagram. I see all that. You could tweet me, I see all that. Or you can go, I’m about to get a website. And you can go on that website. But I’m pretty easy. I mean, everyone knows where I am. If you see me, just walk up to me. It’s Twitter and the Instagram network. I mean, you, it’s an easy life.
Brad: Do you have the URL?
Maurice: No, I have it but it’s there, is nothing there yet. So just to put an ambitious one as Instagram. Easy and fun. Alright, @mauricehawkins on Twitter. That’s it. Easy game. Reach out.
Brad: I’ll put that up. Put that up there on the show page in the show notes.
Maurice: Alright bro. I appreciate you man.
Brad: Yeah, I appreciate you. Appreciate your time and your energy. I really enjoyed this conversation.
Maurice: Keep it going, man. Remember, we only as good as the river. Got to get there.
Brad: Thanks, man.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of chasing poker greatness. If you haven’t yet subscribed to the show, please take a moment to do so on Apple podcasts or wherever your favorite place listen to podcasts might be. And once again,I also wanted to let you know about PKC poker. If you’re on the lookout for a new platform where the games are safe and secure and the action is amazing, head to enhanceyouredge.com/PKC to get your code and jump into the games. You must have a code to play as well as be 21 years of age or older. One final time that’s enhanceyouredge.com/PKC. Thank you so much and I’ll see you next time on Chasing Poker Greatness.
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