It is with great sadness that we recently learnt of the passing of poker pro Gavin Smith at just 50 years of age.
He passed away suddenly on Monday night in Texas.
Few details have been released at this time.
He started making a name for himself by winning the World Poker Tour Season IV Mirage Poker Championship resulting in a career high win of $1,128,278 and with it the WPT Season VI Player of the Year title in 2005.
He also finished 2nd in the 2008 WPT North American Poker Championship for over $500k, he won the 2006 World Pro-Am Challenge for $500k and won a WSOP Bracelet in the 2010 WSOP Event 44: $2,500 Limit/NLH for $268,238.
These wins helped him amass a total of $6,321,096 in tournament winnings dating back to 1998.
The WSOP bracelet was undoubtedly a high point of his career, a statement from the WSOP at the time saying it was “the one achievement that had eluded the fast-living, hard-drinking, Butterball-shaped poker superstar was the long-coveted WSOP victory.”
Smith himself was equally excited, commenting on the WSOP quote by himself saying “Yeah, I seem to be pretty good at screwing things up. I have had a lot of issues through the years. I know this year I came in trying to try my ass off. I have not always done that. In the past, I sometimes went out and got drunk or hung out. But this year, I decided to come in and try to play my best the whole time. I came in and the first several events I kept getting my teeth kicked in. I was playing well. I was playing my best. But I wasn’t seeing the results. And then when I cashed in the Heads-Up that helped. Then, the last three days everything just clicked. I played well and things went well and everything clicked at the right time.”
Born in Canada in 1968, he grew up playing mainly rummy and cribbage before coming across poker at the relatively late age of 26.
“I’m just an older guy from Guelph, Ontario, who used to drive a taxi and cut greens,” he once said.
As the news of his death broke, fellow players paid their respects on social media.
“I can’t believe he is gone,” said friend Mark Kroon. “I will miss him so much. One of the funniest and fun guys in poker and life.”
Todd Brunson, famed member of the Poker Hall of Fame, added: “We lost one of our best friends and one of pokers greats tonight. If u knew him u will know the drink. RIP my friend.”
Will “The Thrill” Failla responded as well, saying: “Today the poker community is in a darker place, My friend Gavin Smith died last night! You will be missed by all! RIP my friend.”
Also, Eric Crain, another player known for his jovial outlook on life gave his take: “I met Gavin at the first WSOPC event I ever played in Tahoe. He had a way of making everybody laugh and was a joy to be around. RIP to one of the good guys. The poker world is worse off without Gavin in it.”
Condolences from everyone at LateReg go to his family, friends and the poker community at this sad time.