From Bust to Bracelet: Bell Talks About WSOP Win

Chris Bell
Chris Bell now has 14 WSOP cashes and $759k in career WSOP earnings.

Poker is a game of peaks and valleys. Nobody understands this more than Chris Bell and Gavin Smith – two players currently at the top of the poker mountaintop.

Bell and Smith each notched their first ever WSOP victories over the weekend, Smith in No-Limit Hold'em and Bell in Pot-Limit Omaha High-Low Split.

The first time bracelet wins are especially satisfying for the two friends as both have spent years on the professional circuit with mixed success waiting for their breakthrough WSOP moment.

"You don't realize how important it is until you win it," Bell said. "When you play for a living, sometimes you're just trying to make a living."

The two veterans were both at the end of their respective bankrolls at this time last year, but their perseverance paid off.

"That was a pretty low moment," said Bell of going broke. "That's another thing [we] both had in common: We stayed broke together for the last year."

Undeterred, staked by friend Erick Lindgren and armed with the belief he could win, Bell battled back from rags to riches. The win allowed Bell to take home a purse of $327k, while Smith pocketed $268k.

"I'm very relieved; these things are hard to come by," Bell told PokerListings. "It's a lot of pressure taken off me. It's not all the money in the world, but it definitely helps."

No telling whether a bracelet win will increase the soft-spoken Bell's profile. He admitted that he might not have the most marketable personality.

"I don't yell or cuss or scream at anybody," said Bell with his trademark southern accent.

Now Bell hopes he and Smith can use the momentum from their wins for future success. "Things definitely run in twos and threes," Bell said. "You hear about these guys who have never won bracelets and then all of a sudden they win two."

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