Valentin Vornicu Wins Record 10th WSOP Circuit Gold Ring to Tie With Maurice Hawkins


It took almost seven months before Maurice Hawkins’ record breaking accomplishment of winning ten WSOP Circuit gold rings was repeated by another player. That fortunate one was Valentin Vornicu. On Sunday night, the player topped the field of a $365 Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em Turbo tournament at Harveys Lake Tahoe to tie with Hawkins.

Aside from the gold ring, Vornicu also won $14,429 for his first-place finish at Harveys Lake Tahoe, the casino that currently hosts a stop on the 2017/18 schedule of the WSOP Circuit. Including his latest in-the-money finish, Vornicu now has $474,649 in Circuit winnings. He has cashed in 55 tournaments to have taken place within the popular live poker series.

Here it is also interesting to note that Vornicu’s first cash in the series actually came with a gold ring. The player took down a $1,100 tournament at Horseshoe Hammond back in 2011 for his first piece of WSOP Circuit jewelry.

As already mentioned, Vornicu is now tied with Hawkins. And we believe that a comparison between these to and how they have performed over the years is worth being made.

Vornicu and Hawkins through the Years

Vornicu first cashed back in 2011 and has made 55 in-the-money finishes in WSOP Circuit tournaments. And the player first won a gold ring with his first cash from the series.

As for Hawkins, he first appeared on the WSOP Circuit stage back in 2006. He has, too, cashed in 55 tournaments on the schedule of the popular series throughout the years. He won his first gold ring in the spring of 2009 when he topped a $1,060 No-Limit Hold’em tournament at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Vornicu has won nearly $500,000 from the Circuit, while Hawkins’ Circuit bankroll exceeds $1.2 million. The former collected his record breaking tenth gold piece this spring, which means that it took him eight years to accomplish the deed. In comparison, Vornicu needed six years to capture ten gold rings.

Here it is interesting to note that Hawkins broke another WSOP Circuit record this spring. The player took down his fourth WSOP Circuit Main Event at Horseshoe Council Bluffs. He thus bested Chris Ferguson and Blair Hinkle who had each won three such tournaments in previous years. Hawkins is also the performer of another interesting accomplishment – he scored back-to-back Main Event victories at the same casino. Hinkle is the only other player to have achieved this before.

On the other hand, Vornicu has won a single WSOP Circuit Main Event over the course of his poker career. In 2015, the player bested the field of The Bicycle Casino Main Event, good for a first-place prize of $197,110.

Given that both Vornicu and Hawkins are very competitive, it will be interesting to see who will break another record by winning an eleventh piece or whether they will be outpaced by another player. At present, Alexandru Masek is trailing behind them with nine gold rings. Chris Reslock, Robert Hankins, and Ari Engel hold eight pieces each.