Maurice Hawkins has been called out by his former backer over a staking deal that turned sour. Randy Garcia says that he has only been paid back around $10,000 over the last four years despite Hawkins racking up a career earnings total of $4.4 million.
“I’ll pay him when I can,” Says Hawkins
Three years ago, Randy Garcia publicly outed Maurice Hawkins for failing to adhere to the terms of a backing arrangement. The pair clashed in Circuit Court of the 15th Judicial Circuit in and for Palm Beach County, Florida, when Garcia was awarded $115,828.
Garcia spoke to PokerNews at the time of the case to elaborate on why he sought legal action and also on how he came to be involved with the all-time leading WSOPC ring winner.
“In March of 2017 I began to stake Maurice Hawkins by providing him a bankroll for 50 percent of his action. He did very well for me, then in May, before the WSOP, he came in third at the WSOP Circuit event after being the chip leader with only a handful of people left. The next day I got a message that he lost our entire bankroll playing blackjack because he was depressed and in a casino alone.” It turns out that Hawkins also used the casino excuse with another backer and was facing legal action in that case too. In the end, Garcia thought that in order to get paid what he was owed, he must give Hawkins more money to play with or else risk the possibility of never getting paid.
For some time, this looked like a plan that worked. Hawkins did well in the 2017 WSOP, final tabling a couple of events with decent prize money. Garcia then flew out to Las Vegas to collect his share and hopefully end this dispute, but when he arrived it all turned sour.
“Every time I asked for my share, he said ‘be patient.’ When it was clear I wasn’t going to get paid and I stopped sending him money the deal was over. He said he couldn’t pay me and that on the next big score he would get me. Since our deal ended he has cashed for almost $1 million and still tells me to ‘be patient.’ He has had a number of six-figure scores and refuses to even pay me $1.”
At the conclusion of the May 2019 court case, Randy Garcia was quoted as saying: “My lawsuit against Maurice Hawkins is currently in the process of being amicably resolved.” Yet, exactly three years later, no progress has been made even though Hawkins has added close to another million dollars onto his record in that time.
Speaking again to PokerNews, Garcia said:
“He has probably paid me back around $10k or over four years all while cashing for well over a million. We come to terms with payment plans agree on it then will pay the first month or two and then comes the excuses and can’t pay anymore. I don’t wish ill will on anyone as I know he has a family and kids, but so do I. Bottom line is we had a deal and he screwed me over. When it came to paying me back he has zero respect for me and my family. He couldn’t even make an effort to pay me back even $100 a month as a sign of good faith and to show some kind of effort yet he still continues to buy into tournament after tournament.” Amazingly, Garcia still had the empathy to consider Hawkins’ family in all of this. He said he doesn’t wish ill on anyone as he knows he has a wife and kids, but the fact remains that the pair had a deal that was reneged upon. “Maurice has screwed over so many people. He tries to act like a tough guy at the table by constantly talking down and degrading people like he is the best poker player there is. Who cares if he has 14 rings if he is broke. I think the poker community should kick Maurice out as he is a jerk to everyone and has lied and screwed so many people over. I have backed other players with zero issues because they have integrity and high character. Maurice has neither.”
The Final Salvo
After much bitterness and negotiation after negotiation to find an agreeable way forward, Randy Garcia sent a furious email to Maurice Hawkins on March 21, 2022. “You don’t even have the respect the contact me and let me know. You don’t even have the respect to send me $100 a month or show some kind of good faith. You have zero respect for me and my family. It’s been almost 4 years and you give two shits about me. I will proceed to have my judgment against you enforced and will be sure to let the poker community know. I’ve had it. you can find the money to continue to play in tournaments and travel but you can’t pay me not even a penny. You’ll hear from my lawyer and mark my words on this, I will take every measure necessary to continue with the judgment. You are not the tough guy that you portray and I will be sure everyone knows this. You have disrespected me for the last time. See you in court!!!” Hawkins responded by saying he will pay him when he can and reiterated that in the past he paid him even when he couldn’t really afford it. He also fired shots at PokerNews for writing articles such as this without caring what it does to his lifestyle. For sure, it will be tough for Hawkins to find backers in the future now that this story is in the public domain.
We should also remind readers that Covid-19 has no doubt played a considerable role in Hawkins’ ability to pay his debts off over the last two years, even if he does appear to have shirked responsibility previously.
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