Tennessee poker pro moves into a tie for second on the all-time ring leaderboard with his ninth ring and $25,873

Over the course of the last several years on the World Series of Poker Circuit, Robert Hankins emerged as one of the most successful players in the history of the tour.

Last season, he won four rings to bring his career total to eight and on Wednesday evening, he continued to ascend the all-time ring leaderboard after winning his ninth ring in the $580 no-limit hold’em. He earned $25,873 and moved into a tie with Alex Masek for second on the leaderboard.

The soft-spoken Southerner was calm and collected throughout the final table. His immediate reaction was just an extension of his demeanor throughout the final table.

“It’s just a good way to start 2018 and get it going,” said the 37-year-old poker pro.

Most players that have the resume that Hankins possesses tend to rest on their laurels, patting themselves on the back and boosting their egos.

Not Hankins.

Over the last few months, Hankins joined Chip Leader Coaching, a group of poker players that are coached by WSOP bracelet winner Chance Kornuth and a few other top pros. Learning from some of the best players on the planet only helped Hankins improve and possibly achieve even more on the felt.

“The program carries a lot of weight, man,” said Hankins about the “CLC Squad.” “It does a lot for the player. It just helps because they focus on trying to help you in every aspect. They help you plug leaks that you don’t even know you have, you know? It’s just all around helpful in every way.”

The way the program is set up, Kornuth and a few other coaches help out a large group of players. The players that are in the program act as de facto poker family. The sense of community is another aspect that Hankins appreciates and hopes that will help him continue to improve.

“Plus, it’s like a family of people that you can talk to and they can really help with hand histories and just situational things, you know?” said the Murfreesboro, TN native. “Having a good bunch of people that are smart and that are successful, you’re going to get some really good coaching.”

It’s that desire to get better and to continue to achieve bigger and better things in the poker world that led him to join the coaching group.

“What if there is something that I’m not doing right that could get me 10 bracelets?” said Hankins. “I just kind of had to suck my pride up and just take any advice I think and try to form it into my game. There are a lot of leaks that people have that people don’t even know they have. Just hearing this from people that have success and can show you what they can do has got to be helpful.”

Along with the pride of making a name for himself and accomplishing more than he already has, he wants to set up his family financially. In a perfect situation, his two children Reese and Aubrey, won’t have to worry about money.

“I want to print my name in poker, “said Hankins. “I want to be successful, but in the long run, I want to take care of my family and make sure my kids are taken care of. I want to make so they don’t have to worry about anything.”

His ninth ring puts him just one win away from tying Maurice Hawkins and Valentin Vornicu for the all-time lead.