Gavin Smith to brave CPT freezeout

Gavin Smith

As much as we love our work, there are few occasions when we at PokerListings wouldn't rather being playing poker than reporting on it. However, the Jan. 25 stop on the Canadian Poker Tour is one of those rare exceptions.

Billing it as the coolest poker tournament in history, the CPT is hosting an outdoor event in Brandon, Manitoba. Unless the seventh circle of hell chooses to start hosting poker tournaments sometime soon, these will likely be the worst conditions in tournament poker history - literally the polar opposite of the Aruba Poker Classic.

"I always knew this extra layer of fat would come in handy someday!" says poker Gavin Smith, who will play in the $100 buy-in event.

Brandon is one of the coldest populated places in Canada and regularly touts winter temperatures of -25 Celsius and lower. They've already recorded temperatures as low as -50 C in January this year, and it is far from out of the question that dealers could be dropping cards to players in the middle of a raging blizzard.

Smith is from Guelph, Ontario, so he knows what it takes to deal with the cold. He was the Season 4 World Poker Tour Player of the Year after winning the Mirage Poker Showdown and making two other WPT final tables that season.

He has more than $4.5 million in career tournament earnings and god only knows why he'll be playing this $100 buy-in event. We expect he'll be all-in early and often.

The event was developed by Brandon promoter and poker player Randy Glowach and will be held in the parking lot of the Crystal Hotel, one of Brandon's oldest standing structures and longest-running businesses.

Canadian Poker Tour President and CEO Kelly B. Kellner will also be playing in the event. In addition to what we hope are some very thick toques, Smith and Kellner will both have bounties on their heads.

"You just can't beat the spirit of a Canadian poker player," says Kellner. The CPT has endorsed the event as an official stop on the tour, with players who make the money earning valuable CPT Player of the Year points along with their share of the prize pool.

Also, if all goes well, a Guinness World Book of Records mark may be set for the coldest poker tournament ever recorded. We're betting it'll be one of the shortest, too.

People in the area seem to be excited about the poker tournament, though.

"I think it's fabulous!" writes Leanne D in a thread about the event on "The owners, staff, and organizers have worked very hard to put on and promote this event and have obviously done a great job since not only has it garnered National recognition but is also sold out!

"Hats off to the Crystal Hotel and everyone involved with promoting this event!"

Actually, they should probably keep their hats and their gloves and their balaclavas on. And then they should get all-in and get out of the cold.

For more information on registration, call (204) 727-1232 or go to


Best Poker Sites - Editor`s Pick

Latest Blogs »