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Gossip Column: Maurice Hawkins Called Out by Backer Randy Garcia, Doug Stanhope Banned From Caesars & More

Gossip Column July 23 Cover Image
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  • Attreyee K. Ganguly 12 months ago
  • 5 Minutes Read

After picking up six cashes at the 2019 WSOP, celebrated poker pro Maurice Hawkins, whose resume boasts of a record 13 WSOP Circuit gold rings, an HPT title and total live earnings of $3,789,831, has landed himself in some trouble when a former backer, Randy Garcia, called him out on Twitter for failing to honor his staking deal. Garcia took the issue to court and Hawkins was ordered by a Judicial Circuit court to pay Garcia a sum of $103,000. However, according to the latest update, both parties seem to be heading towards an amicable reconciliation.

While Hawkins may have found the light at the end of the tunnel, comedian Doug Stanhope has entangled himself in some sticky business which led to the funny man being banned by the gaming behemoth, Caesars Entertainment, from all its establishments.

Though Stanhope’s fun time at the Rio may have come to an end, Gus Hansen‘s ‘great summer’ seems to have begun as the poker pro returned to one of his favorite haunts in Las Vegas – Bobby’s Room.


Maurice Hawkins Called Out by Backer Randy Garcia

13-time WSOPC ring winner Maurice Hawkins may be a champion on the poker felts, but at present, he seems to have landed himself on the wrong side of the law. Hawkins and staking deals seem to constantly be in conflict with each other. Recently it came to light that the Florida-based poker pro had failed to honor an agreement he had made with his backer, North Carolina restauranteur Randy Garcia.

Maurice Hawkins
Maurice Hawkins

On July 15, Garcia took to Twitter to call out Hawkins for his failure to live to his end of their agreement.

This was followed by a series of tweets that had Garcia trying to explain his side of the story.

Garcia even reached out to PokerNews, stating, “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.”

He further added, “Instead of blowing up, I responded with kindness and understanding. (Come to find out he was being sued by another lawyer [Hal Lewis] and used the exact same excuse with him about losing the bankroll playing blackjack).”

As it turns out, back in June 2018, Tallahassee attorney Halley B. Lewis had filed a lawsuit against Hawkins for the exact same reason of cheating Lewis out of a sum of $22,788. Lewis had sued the poker player for misappropriation of funds stating that a bunch of text messages that Lewis received from Hawkins verified that he had lost the money while gambling to cope with the ‘feeling of despair’ after busting from a tournament. This happens to be the exact reason that he also gave Garcia.

However, it seems like Hawkins luck off the felts has finally run out as the 15th Judicial Circuit in and for Palm Beach County issued a judgement on May 21, under Case No. 502019CA000052XXXXMB which lists Randy Garcia as the plaintiff and Maurice Hawkins as the defendant.

According to the court document, “a ‘Final Hearing for Damages’ came before the court on May 21, 2019 and an order and adjudge was issued as follows:

– This Court entered a Default Judgment on Liability in favor of Plaintiff and against Defendant on April 9th, 2019.

– In accordance with the Default Judgment on Liability, a Final Hearing on Damages was scheduled for May 21st, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.

– At the final hearing on damages, Plaintiff’s counsel was present in the courtroom and Plaintiff was present by telephone. Defendant did not appear personally or through counsel.”

The court ruled in Garcia’s favor, instructing Hawkins to cough up $103,000. This amount does not include statutory prejudgment interest of $12,377.34 plus court costs of $451.00 for a total of $115,828.34.

“The Court reserves jurisdiction to enter such further orders and to take such further action as it deems appropriate and necessary to enforce this Judgment,” Judge Jeffrey Gillen included in the order.

Hawkins later told PokerNews, “We have handled this amicably and there’s really nothing to write about. While he did back me, we had many conversations and money transactions that had nothing to do with backing. Dude had what he presumed I owed him. I was making payments. He wanted a lump sum. He said if he didn’t get 30K he was going to go on Twitter, contact the world and defame my name. By getting people to post about loans as if it is poker news and it’s really not. Had nothing to do with backing. Basically, say shit that Twitter trolls love [like] scum and I am a scammer. Then people run with it. He made money off me like everyone else had in the past. What I borrow from someone isn’t news but when you are a poker player, I guess people find a way to make it news. I am all these things when I didn’t want to give him the lump sum. But yet I bet the story won’t be spun like that. Like I said earlier, it’s been handled, and he will validate that.”

Incidentally, Garcia did send an email to PokeNews requesting them not to publish an article on this subject. However, PokerNews declined his request and instead offered him a chance to add to the official record to which Garcia stated, “My lawsuit against Maurice Hawkins is currently in the process of being amicably resolved.”

One Star Review Gets Comedian Doug Stanhope Banned From Caesars Properties

Reviewing establishments, whether hotels, diners, restaurants, theatres, and what not, has become part and parcel of our day to day lives. But have you ever thought what the consequences of a scathing review can be? Well, unlike us, comedian Doug Stanhope doesn’t have to wonder, he knows what can happen if you don’t give a favorable review to a renowned establishment – you get BANNED!

Doug Stanhope

In a tweet shared on July 21, Stanhope posted a letter that he received from Caesars Entertainment properties nationwide stating that he had been banned from the properties for ‘recently engaged in conduct that Caesars views as inappropriate. As a result, your presence is no longer desired upon the premises of any Caesars property, and you are no longer welcome at any Caesars property.’

Stanhope believes that the ban was in retaliation for a review that he did of the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino, on a podcast. The funnyman seems to not be much of a fan of Caesars’ most famed property and home of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), as he had negatively reviewed the property on Yelp and TripAdvisor as well.

Stanhope’s Yelp review read, “The Rio is like being in 1986. By that I mean it’s like you were still driving your 1986 Ford Tempo 33 years later, held together with gaffer’s tape and surgical mesh, riding on rusted rims. Vegas isn’t what it used to be, anyone who’s come here over the last two or three decades can attest. The Rio isn’t even what it was when they last updated their Expedia page.”

Caesars has not made any comments to substantiate Stanhope’s claims, nor has the company commented on the authenticity of the letter so far.


Gus Hansen Returns to Bobby’s Room & Wins Millions

Poker pro Gus Hansen had quite a crazy summer last year, and much of that was spent at Bobby’s Room in The Bellagio. It seems like Hansen is all set to recreate the summer madness this year too.

Gus Hansen

Instagram-savvy pro recently shared a slew of posts on the popular social media platform, depicting a day spent in Bobby’s Room, starting with his entrance before landing a seat.

He also faced off against Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates, and according to Hansen, Cates was in the lead, “once again, Jungle is beating me up.”

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The HU battle continues Gus Hansen vs. @junglemandanpoker

A post shared by Gus Hansen (@therealgushansen) on

Nevertheless, Hansen ended his night on a high note.

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