Hawkins’ WSOPC domination extends to Oklahoma


Ante Up Magazine Southwest Poker

Maurice Hawkins of Florida continued his record-setting ways on the World Series of Poker Circuit by capturing his unprecedented 14th win, this time in the $400 Event 5 at Choctaw Casino in Durant, Okla. 

Hawkins had a tough path to the record, facing seven-time ring-winner Andrew Robinson heads-up for the title. Hawkins earned $16,898 and Robinson of Texas pocketed $10,442. 

The $1,700 main event, which had a $1M guarantee but reached $1.6M-plus, went to Dustin Schoonover of Frisco, Texas, besting the 1,065-entry field for a career-best cash of $272K. He was followed by John Skrovan ($168K), Brant Jolly ($128K), Matt Newcombe of Ada, Okla. ($96K) and Christopher Staats of Oklahoma City ($73K).

HARD ROCK TULSA: Cory Smith of Oklahoma City was chipleader of the Winter Classi when the event ended in a five-way chop. His share was $11K. 

In other tourney news, results of the March WSOPC were not complete at press time so look for a report in the April issue. 

Also, Elite Poker Rewards continue through September in the 14-table room, which the usual games, a $5-$5 pot-limit Omaha on Wednesdays at 4 and a monthly $10K tournament the first Sunday for $160 at noon.

AMERISTAR: Players earn $1 an hour in comps and a $15 food voucher for four consecutive hours of play in the 13-table room. Promotions include a variety of mini-bad-beats, earning the loser a minimum of $250.

HOLLYWOOD CASINO KANSAS SPEEDWAY: There’s a high-hand rollover every days in this 12-table room, which is open 24 hours and features a variety of games, including a $25-$50 mixed game on Tuesdays at 1 p.m.

CHEROKEE CASINO WEST SILOAM SPRINGS: This eight-table poker room is open 24 hours, has daily tournaments and has a quads-or-better progressive jackpot. 

DOWNSTREAM CASINO: The 14-table room features limit and NLHE, stud, Omaha and mixed games. Weekly tournaments and sit-n-go events run often in this 24-hour room. 

RIVER SPIRIT: Look for daily 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. tournaments with a seniors event on Wednesdays at 5. Promotions include high- hands and freerolls. 

RIVERWIND: With 17 tables, this enclosed room offers $50 high hands Mondays, $100 splash pots Tuesdays (1-5 p.m.) on $2-$5 games and $100 high hands on Wednesday and Thursday during select times. 

There are several weekly tournaments, culminating with a Last Saturday of the Month $330 NLHE re-entry.

WINSTAR WORLD: The Presidents Day River Series was running at press time in this 24-hour room 55-table room. In the meantime, check out the daily tourney schedule in our Where to Play section in the back of the magazine. 


One of the state’s biggest events, the Ante Up Spring Poker Classic, returns March 14-29 to Gila River Hotels and Casinos Vee Quiva with $200K-plus in guarantees near Phoenix.

Satellites and single-table shootouts run leading up to an expanded two weeks of tournaments, which include NLHE, Omaha/8, bounty, PLO, HORSE, deuce-to-seven triple-draw, triple mix, super mix and a women’s championship.

The $1,100 main event will see Day 1A and 1B on March 21, Day 2A and 2B on March 28 and the final day March 29. 

TALKING STICK RESORT: January’s big event at the Arena Poker Room in Scottsdale was the Staycation Weekend Classic.

Players who registered for all three tournaments received a free stay for the weekend. 

The Friday $200 event had 256 entries and a $40,960 prize pool as Francis Linden won the title for $4,500. Saturday’s $300 event drew 362 entries, had a $94,120 prize pool and went to Cesar Soqui. Sunday’s $300 bounty tourney went to Ian Clark for $8,368. It had 248 entries and a $39,680 prize pool. Satellites start this month for the similar formatted Getaway Classic Weekend, which runs April 17-19.

Vincent Kent took first place in the $345 Big Stack tournament, winning $6,076 in a chop with James Propes in a field of 297 and a prize pool of $87,615.

Upcoming tournaments include a $345 Big Stack on March 7, a $345 bounty event ($100 bounties) March 14, a $500 event March 22 and the usual high-paying End of the Month for $160 on March 28.

YAVAPAI CASINO: The Northern Arizona Texas Hold’em Tournament will run Sundays in March at 2 p.m. Preliminary rounds will be March 1, 8, 15 and 22 with the final March 29. The expected prize pool will be $20K, based on 200 players.

HON-DAH RESORT CASINO: Did you know John Fitzgerald won the Ante Up Restock the Shelves event for $660? The tournament also had mystery bounties, high hands and drawing gifts. 

Want to learn how much this poker room raised for local charities? See our full report on Pages 8-9 of the March 2020 issue. In other news, Shane Smith won the latest Tournament of Champions.


GRINDERS: The Cypress club pays for high hands and spreads all kinds of cash games, including $1-$2, $5-$5, $1-$2-$5 PLO and a $1-$2-$5 ROE game. Be sure to call ahead for the $5-$5 game, which has a $1K minimum buy-in.

THE LODGE: In Austin, every Tuesday at 7:15 is a $7.5K guarantee freeroll. For $25, you get all-inclusive club access and a seat in the tourney and a 10K stack. You can rebuy five times for $20 each and add-ons are $10. There’s complimentary food, too (7:30-8:30).

THE VAULT: At this Galveston club, there’s a jackpot bonus that starts at $300 and $30 is added every day until it’s hit. Call for details. Also, tournament buy-ins start at $10.

FREEROLLS POKER CLUB: In Katy, the West Houston-area club spreads $1-$3 NLHE with a $100-$500 min-max buy-in and $2-$5 and $5-$5 games. For PLO aficionados, there’s $1-$2-$5 with max buy-in of  $1K or half of the largest stack at the table.


GOLDEN GATES POKER ROOM: Erasmus Morfe won $53K and first place out of 1,087 entries in the Regional Mid-States Poker Tour, which ran Jan. 15-19 in Black Hawk. Wayne Lee was second ($43K) and Stuart Brown finished third ($27K). Results from the Heartland Poker Tour, which took place Feb. 5-17, were unavailable at press time.

AMERISTAR: Play four hours in one day and get a special poker rate in this Black Hawk hotel.

MIDNIGHT ROSE: Weekends in Cripple Creek offer deepstack tournaments. League Poker Tournaments are $125 Friday nights. 

On Saturdays, the $50 Rapid Fire Rebuy is a 20K deepstack with $20 rebuys until the first break. 

Sunday’s Meganormous gives players 50K chips for $120 (late and re-entry allowed). 

Play 5.5 hours of live play on Wednesday or Thursday and stay that night free (based on availability). Frozen bad-beat runoffs are scheduled monthly so call the poker room for details.

New Mexico

BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT: The $330 deepstack is March 14 at 1 p.m. Players get 20K chips with 20-minute levels and 30-minute levels with two tables remaining. The event is limited to 60 entrants.

The $150 Last Saturday of the Month deepstack is March 28 at 1. Players get 15K chips and 20-minute levels. The room also offers daily tournaments and players can earn 1K in bonus chips by playing live before the tournament. See the Where to Play listings for the schedule.

ISLETA CASINO: The poker room has daily tournaments for $10-$50 at 2 or 7 p.m. The room’s $1K tournament is March 28 at 5. The buy-in is $100 (15K chips, 20-minute levels) and the room adds $1K to the prize pool. Players can earn a seat by winning a $50 satellite March 7, 14 or 21 at 7 p.m.

SANDIA CASINO: There’s a $335 Big Dog deepstack March 15 at noon. An optional $20 add-on for 5K chips is offered and the poker room is adding $3K to the prize pool.

Tournaments throughout the week all start at 7 p.m. See our Where to Play listings for the schedule.

ROUTE 66 CASINO: Daily $28 tournaments with a $5 add-on run at noon, 3 and 7. The events on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays pay bounties. 

There’s also a tournament bad-beat jackpot for all events. Ask about the player-of-the-year promotion and the $5K freeroll for the top 50 players. 

Don’t forget about Aces Cracked, which pays $50 for same-color pocket aces losing and $25 for mixed aces.

Meet George Temer

George Temer is an amateur poker player from New Mexico.

How did you get into poker? Friends and I used to stay after school and play poker till 5 or 6 p.m. We would stay so late that the janitors would come in and we would stop the game so they could sweep around us. 

That would never happen now, but it was a different time back then. They would let us play and tell us to lock the door when we were done.

What do you enjoy the most about playing poker? I enjoy the friendships I’ve made and the camaraderie among poker players.

What’s your favorite poker moment? My favorite poker moment would easily be when I hit the bad beat for $24K at Sandia Casino. I had quad fives and I lost to quad jacks and got the big end of the bad beat. — Joey Ramirez

Chris Cosenza

Chris Cosenza