About Gavin Smith
Known as one of the most fun and most aggressive players on the tournament circuit, Canadian pro Gavin Smith learned to play cards as a youngster; his father taught him cribbage and rummy at the kitchen table in his childhood home in Guelph, Ontario. His introduction to poker came years later, in 1994, when a traveling charity tournament was hosted at the golf course Gavin was working at.
Having earned a bachelors degree in economics Gavin has a keen understanding of mathematics and is a natural poker player. Intrigued, he began playing home games with friends and co-workers and in 1996 took a job as a poker dealer, a position he held for nearly two years. During that time, Gavin opened and ran his own poker club in Kitchener, Ontario for about one year before going pro in 1998.
That year Gavin headed to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. to compete in the World Poker Tour (WPT) World Poker Finals, where he made two final tables. In 1999, Gavin returned to Foxwoods and won his first major tournament, the No-Limit Hold'em event at the WPT World Poker Finals. The next year he won the Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo Eight-or-Better tournament at the same annual series.
In his first years as a pro Gavin became acquainted with fellow up-and-comer Erick Lindgren, who helped bankroll him and also coached him in strategic and analytical play. Both players signed on as representatives of Full Tilt Poker and rose to prominence in the world of poker.
In 2000, Gavin placed fourth in the Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo Split tournament at the United States Poker Championship in Atlantic City, N.J., and in 2003 he placed second to "Miami" John Cernuto in the WPT World Poker Finals at Foxwoods, earning $33,630 - his largest tournament win at that time - and beating out poker pro Kenna James, who took third.
In the years since Smith shifted his focus from cash games to tournament play and the results speak for themselves. He placed in the top ten in 14 different events, four of which were first-place finishes. His most prominent wins include first place in the Mirage Poker Showdown Championship in 2004, third place in the Second Annual Doyle Brunson North American Poker Classic and a win in the World Pro-Am Challenge in 2006.
In the spring of 2006 Gavin's talent was recognized when he was named WPT Player of the Year and the exposure his wins and skills garnered him led to other poker-related opportunities, including a deal to film an instructional poker DVD. Smith's total career tournament earnings are an astounding $6.3m.
He might be remembered most, however, for his appearances on Poker After Dark, where he won several shows and endeared himself to poker fans worldwide.
In spite of his lucrative sponsorship deals and skyrocketing poker career Gavin always remained grounded by returning to his roots and giving back to those less fortunate. In April 2006, the poker community helped raise funds for the young daughter and surviving family of a woman who passed away from terminal cancer in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
Inspired by Gavin, several top pros including Scott Fischman, Phil Gordon, Joseph Hachem, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Isabelle Mercier, Michael Mizrachi, Daniel Negreanu, and Mark Seif donated money and autographed merchandise and photographs to be sold in a silent auction on eBay to benefit young Peyton Novoa and her grandparents, who had spent all their money trying to keep Peyton's young mother alive.
To bring further attention to the cause Gavin discussed the charity initiative on ESPN and brought it to the attention of the poker media, including PokerListings.com, where articles were published to help generate funds and awareness.
Though this kind of empathy and compassion are wonderful traits, they are not the most desirable when sitting at the green felt. Smith, however, had no trouble putting them aside when playing poker and was known for his talkative nature and "crazy" antics at the table. Combined with his instinctual style of play, that gave him an edge over his opponents at virtually every poker table he ever sat down at.
When he wasn't calling the ranks of the poker world or leading charitable initiatives, Gavin liked to relax by playing golf, rollerblading, playing pool with his friends and raising his two sons.
A resident of Las Vegas, Anchorage and Houston, Gavin sadly passed away on Jan 14, 2019, at his home. A GoFundMe fundraiser was initiated by his friend and fellow pro Josh Arieh to help support Gavin's sons. Click here to donate.
|4||$54,889.00||WSOP 2016 - Event 53 - $1500 Mixed PLO/8; Omaha 8/8; and Big O|
|6||$19,787.00||WSOP 2016 - Event 15 - $1500 Eight Game Mix|
|84||$2,851.00||WSOP 2015 - Event 62 - $1,500 Bounty No-Limit Hold'em|
|113||$2,947.00||WSOP 2014 - Event 58 - $1,500 Mixed Max|
|25||$3,880.00||WSOP 2014 - Event 41 - $1,500 Dealer's Choice|
|28||$5,805.00||WSOP 2013 - Event 50 - $2,500 10-Game Mix|
|32||$6,899.00||WSOP 2013 - Event 46 - $3,000 PLO Hi-Low|
|83||$5,556.00||WSOP 2013 - Event 36 - $1,500 Shootout|
|7||$34,268.00||WSOP 2013 - Event 13 - $5,000 Stud Hi-Lo|
|96||$62,021.00||WSOP 2012 - Event 61 - $10,000 Main Event|
|54||$17,360.00||WSOP 2012 - Event 50 - $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em|
|58||$5,169.00||WSOP 2012 - Event 28 - $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Four Handed|
|29||$13,722.00||WSOP 2012 - Event 23 - $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six Handed|
|87||$5,295.00||WSOP 2012 - Event 14 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout|
|38||$10,984.00||WSOP 2012 - Event 6 - $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Mixed Max|
|12||$46,209.00||WSOP 2011 - Event 56 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em|
|65||$9,625.00||WSOP 2011 - Event 36 - $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em|
|16||$13,368.00||WSOP 2011 - Event 24 - $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout|
|289||$1,914.00||WSOP 2011 - Event 20 - $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em|
|730||$19,263.00||WSOP 2010 - Event 57 - $10,000 Main Event Championship|
|1||$268,238.00||WSOP 2010 - Event 44 - $2,500 Mixed Hold'em (Limit/No-Limit)|
|9||$38,424.00||WSOP 2010 - Event 35 - $10k Heads-Up Championship|
|23||$6,434.00||2009 WSOP - Event 25 - $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo|
|10||$23,777.00||2009 WSOP - Event 21 - $3,000 H.O.R.S.E.|
|10||$14,718.00||WSOPC Season 5 - Harrah's Tunica|
|22||$25,197.00||WPT Season 7 - Foxwoods World Poker Finals|
|2||$612,427.00||WPT Season 7 - North American Poker Championship|
|44||$25,855.00||WPT Season 7 - Bellagio Cup IV|
|6||$35,340.00||2007 WSOPC - Harrah's Rincon San Diego North|
|9||$27,045.00||2007 Special - United States Poker Championship|
|592||$20,320.00||2007 WSOP - Event 55, World Championship No-Limit Texas Hold'em|
|21||$9,024.00||2007 WSOP - Event 26, H.O.R.S.E.|
|2||$155,446.00||2007 WSOP - Event 4, Pot Limit Hold'em|
|4||$125,000.00||2007 Special - NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship|
|7||$34,673.00||2006 WSOPC - Harrah's Rincon|
|19||$17,137.00||WPT Season 5 - World Poker Open|
|11||$205,920.00||2006 WSOP - Event 20, H.O.R.S.E.|
|214||$1,578.00||2006 WSOP - Event 17, No-Limit Hold'em|
|22||$7,473.00||2006 WSOP - Event 12, Omaha Hi-low Split|
|12||$23,690.00||2006 WSOP - Event 5, No-limit Hold'em Short Handed, 6/table|
|3||$327,610.00||WPT Season 4 - Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championships|
|471||$14,135.00||2005 WSOP - WSOP 2005 $10,000 World Championship Event|
|10||$24,090.00||2005 WSOP - Event 13, $5,000 No-limit Hold'em|
|26||$11,010.00||2005 WSOP - Event 7, $1,000 No-limit Hold'em w/rebuys|
|10||$16,260.00||2005 WSOP - Event 3, $1,500 Pot-limit Hold'em|
|1||$1,153,278.00||WPT Season 4 - The Mirage Poker Showdown|