Gavin Smith

Posted by admin | poker pros | Wednesday 5 May 2010 12:40 am

Haven’t heard of Canadian player Gavin Smith? Wait five minutes.

A story has been circulating on the Web. In it, Gavin Smith walks over to a 2-5 no-limit game to say hello to his friend Steve Dannenmann. After Dannenmann folds, Smith peeks at the hole cards of the person sitting next to him and says, “Let me play this hand for you.” He raises the pot up to $25 with Q-4 diamonds, gets re-raised to $100, and flat calls. The flop comes two diamonds and he calls $150. He then calls a $350 all-in on the turn with a flush draw and straight draw, blanks against AA, and pulls a wad of cash out of his pocket to give the puppet player his money back. Then he leaves without so much as an explanation. Even if it never happened, the story has gone a long way towards cementing the wild reputation of one of poker’s most meteoric young players.

Anyone who has watched Smith on the World Poker Tour shouldn’t be too surprised to hear this story. With only a few years of professional play under his belt, Smith was named the 2005 WPT player of the year, largely due to his fearless style and some serious chip stacks.

The Canadian made his big entrance into the poker world at the 2005 Mirage Poker Showdown, winning not one but two events, and accumulating over $1.3 million. By the looks of it, that was no fluke. Along with 25 other cashes, Smith has already racked up two final table appearances, at the L.A. Poker Classic and the Gold Strike World Poker Open. “It was a dream for a long time, winning something huge like that,” he says. “Finally realizing I won’t have financial pressures anymore and being recognized as one of the top players”. For all of us common mortals, a new pokerstars bonus code 2010 just came out, but Gavin does not need that.

But Smith is no spring chicken when it comes to the game of poker. After stumbling onto a charity hold ‘em tournament in his Ontario hometown, Smith burst out of the gates as a competitive player. With his poker roots continuing to grow in his home province, the Canuck has grown beyond the title of local poker wunderkind. After operating local poker clubs back home, he took a chance on two live tournaments at Foxwoods, finishing at the final table in both. “That was pretty cool,” he admits dryly.

Gavin attributes his success to his signature aggressive style. “I get people trying all types of ridiculous bluffs on me, live and online. I don’t know if it’s just because they think I’m aggressive or because they think I’m a little bit crazy,” he says, suggesting that beginners should learn how to play aggressively from the start of their poker careers. “I think it’s really important to stay aggressive and be confident and not worry about looking stupid. If you think the opportunity is right to make a bluff and win a big pot when you don’t have a hand, pull the trigger. You’re going to be wrong some of the time, and you’re going to get caught some of the time, but that’s just the nature of the beast.”

Smith pushed all his successful finishes to the periphery, instead focusing on a singular goal: the World Series. He’s looking for a chance to improve on his 2005 finish, where he placed 471st and managed to make the money. Per his signature, Smith’s aggressive play got him into a little bit of trouble in the main event. “I was having a personal situation, and I actually didn’t sleep for all of the World Series. By the time we’re on the fourth day, I was pretty tired,” he remembers. “I just had a big brain fart. The tightest player at the table re-raised me after I raised with Q-T, and I thought I could get him to throw those two aces away.”

Needless to say, Gavin plans on coming in more focused for this year’s “big one.” “The week before, I’m just going to take it easy, play a little golf, and get ready. Try to get sleep and try not to party too much,” he says; from his mouth to the poker gods’ ears.

Don’t expect Gavin Smith to leave his signature style at the table. His fearless nature also comes through away from the poker tables. With a financial interest in Vegas Maximus DVDs, Smith is producing instructional poker DVDs as well as becoming a national spokesman for Canadian Black Velvet whiskey. After qualifying for the World Series last year on Full Tilt, he was made a member of Team Full Tilt, a group that enjoys its fair share of prestige.

With his colorful personality, formidable table skills, and an obvious flair for the dramatic, look for Gavin Smith to make a play at this year’s World Series. Just look behind you when you’re playing at your own table. After all, he might be interested in playing your hands for you. Don’t worry, you know he’s good for it.

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