The details of the story
Randy Garcia announced last week in a tweet that poker pro Maurice Hawkins has owed him $103K from a staking agreement for two years. He revealed he had sued Hawkins and won, with the 15th Judicial Circuit Court awarding him a total of $115,828.34 in May 2019.
The North Carolina restaurant owner said he began staking Maurice Hawkins in March 2017 after Hawkins sought backers on Twitter. Hawkins had already won nine of his now-record thirteen World Series of Poker Circuit rings to that point. The two agreed on a 50/50 split of winnings after makeup.
Recalling the events on Twitter, Garcia said that after falling short of winning a New Orleans Circuit event, Hawkins went on tilt and lost the whole bankroll playing blackjack.
Garcia said he believed Maurice had just made a bad decision, so he continued to stake him. If he stopped, he would have no way to get his money back. He said he flew to Las Vegas to receive payment after Hawkins made two final tables at the 2017 WSOP. The poker pro only made a partial payment, and they came up with a monthly payment plan.
Garcia claimed that Hawkins only paid him a total of $5,500 and stopped paying altogether in September 2018, leaving a balance owed of $103,000.
Garcia took to Twitter to warn public
Garcia reached breaking point last week, telling the poker community via Twitter not to stake Hawkins.
He said he did not want to go public with the situation “out of respect for him,” but he now believed Hawkins “clearly has no respect for me so I feel obligated to let others know so they don’t make the same mistake I did but [sic.] trusting him.”
Continuing the tale via tweets, Garcia stated that his lawyer said Hawkins had recently made contact, agreeing to pay $1,500 per month. After finding out that Garcia had made the situation public, Hawkins allegedly took back the offer.
In his Twitter narrative, Garcia disclosed that he had filed a lawsuit against Hawkins. The initial case was filed in January 2018 and then re-opened a year later.
The 15th Judicial Circuit Court ruled in Garcia’s favor in April 2019, awarding him $103,000 plus interest and court costs in May for a total of $115,828.34.
Hawkins gives his side
PokerNews spoke with Hawkins, who agreed that he had a poker staking agreement with Garcia and that he had been making payments for what he owed.
Hawkins did not dispute that he had gambled away the bankroll on blackjack. However, he said that Garcia’s problem with him was not about poker staking, but about a personal loan and his desire to be repaid faster:
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.”
Hawkins also said that the two men “have handled this amicably.”
PokerNews added that Garcia e-mailed them to say he was working on a payment plan with Hawkins. He echoed Hawkins in saying that they were resolving the situation amicably. Garcia has not announced this on Twitter as he has the rest of his story.