Gavin Smith (poker player)

Gavin Smith (September 4, 1968 – January 14, 2019) was a Canadian professional poker player who won the World Poker Tour's Season IV Mirage Poker Showdown Championship event and the WPT Season IV Player of the Year award in 2005, then at the 2010 World Series of Poker he won the $2,500 Mixed Hold 'em event along with his first bracelet.[2][3]

Gavin Smith
Gavin smith 2007.jpg
Gavin Smith at the 2007 World Series of Poker
Nickname(s)Birdguts, Caveman
ResidenceGuelph, Ontario
Born(1968-09-04)September 4, 1968
Guelph, Ontario, Canada[1]
DiedJanuary 14, 2019(2019-01-14) (aged 50)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
World Series of Poker
Final table(s)2
Money finish(es)18
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
52nd, 2004
World Poker Tour
Final table(s)4
Money finish(es)10
Information accurate as of 27 June 2010.

Smith learned how to play cards by playing cribbage and rummy with his father. He started playing poker at the age of 26, playing mixed games with co-workers. He became a poker dealer in 1996 and set up his own poker club in 1998. He also worked as a taxicab driver and on a golf course.

Poker careerEdit

Smith first came to note by winning tournaments in no limit Texas hold 'em and seven card stud in the 1999 and 2000 World Poker Finals at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

World Poker TourEdit

In May 2005, he won the first prize of $1,128,278 in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Mirage Poker Showdown in Las Vegas, defeating Ted Forrest in the final heads-up confrontation. In October 2005 he made the WPT final table again in the 2nd Annual Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship, where he finished third, behind Minh Ly and Dan Harrington. He made a third WPT final table in January 2006, finishing fourth. The three WPT final tables earned him the World Poker Tour Player of the Year award for Season 4.[3]

World Series of PokerEdit

He first cashed in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in 2003 and would later cash in the $10,000 no limit hold'em main event in 2004, finishing 52nd. He went on to cash in 2005 also (471st), as well as in 2007 (592nd).[3]

Smith boasted several other high finishes, including a runner-up finish in 2007 ($1,500 Pot-Limit Hold 'Em for $155,645). The experience Smith gained in mixed-games when he started playing also served him well, as he had several high finishes in H.O.R.S.E. tournaments.[3]

Smith earned his first World Series of Poker bracelet in the $2,500 Mixed Hold'em (Limit/No Limit) event at the 2010 World Series of Poker, defeating Danny Hannawa heads-up, and earning $268,238 for his 1st-place finish.[2]

World Series of Poker braceletsEdit

Year Tournament Prize (US$)
2010 $2,500 Mixed Hold'em (Limit/No-Limit) $268,238

World Series of Poker Circuit eventsEdit

In May 2006, Smith finished runner-up in the World Series of Poker circuit event at Harrah's New Orleans, winning $293,930. Smith had made a bet with Allie Prescott on who would win. If Smith won, Prescott would give him $70,000 per year for 10 years; if Prescott won, Smith would give him $100,000 per year for 10 years.[4] Peter Feldman went on to win the tournament.

Other poker related activitiesEdit

He won the Big August Rec.Gambling Excursion (BARGE) Main Event in 2004, besting a strong field of 249 poker enthusiasts, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In July 2006, Smith won the World Pro-Am Challenge event at the Poker Dome Challenge, taking home the $500,000 first prize.[3]

From April 2006 until October 2006, Gavin was one of the hosts of The Circuit radio show sponsored by Card Player magazine. Beginning in 2007, Smith and Joe Sebok co-hosted PokerRoad Radio with Joe Stapleton. Smith's final episode as a co-host on PokerRoad Radio was July 12, 2010.[5]

He won Poker After Dark´s Season 3 Week 2 "19th Hole", defeating Phil Ivey in heads-up play. It was his first time on the show.

Smith played online poker on several sites and played under the alias "Birdguts", as well as his own name on Full Tilt Poker, where he played as one of their Full Tilt Pros.

Smith was good friends with Erick Lindgren, who helped bankroll him early in his career.

As of 2010, his total live tournament winnings exceeded $5,375,000.[6] His 17 cashes as the WSOP accounted for $874,278 of those winnings.[7]

Prop betsEdit

Smith co-starred with Joe Sebok on a show called "Prop Bets" on the Internet-TV site, mainly thanks to the above-mentioned prop bet at the 2006 World Series of Poker.

Smith won a bet with Joe Sebok on who would win the most Card Player magazine points at the 2006 World Series of Poker. As a consequence, Sebok had to wear a bear outfit on Day 1B, among other funny-looking outfits, including Wonder Woman.

Smith had a tattoo on his upper right shoulder of a four-leaf clover and the initials J.S. He had to get the tattoo after losing a prop bet to Joe Sebok.


Smith died on January 14, 2019 at his home in Houston, Texas at the age of 50. His death was ruled natural.[8][9]


  1. ^ Gavin Smith: A Successful Canadian Poker Pro
  2. ^ a b Pempus, Brian (June 27, 2010). "World Series of Poker -- Gavin Smith Wins Event No. 44 ($2,500 Mixed Hold'em)". Retrieved June 27, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e Butt, Robert. "Gavin Smith - Results". Retrieved June 27, 2010.
  4. ^ commentary of 2006 World Series of Poker (episode 1) by Norman Chad and Lon McEachern
  5. ^ PokerRoad Radio Podcast (July 12, 2010), Gavin Smith Farewell Episode; "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 15, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Butt, Robert. "Gavin Smith - Stats". Retrieved June 27, 2010.
  7. ^ World Series of Poker Earnings Archived June 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine,
  8. ^ "Poker Pro Gavin Smith Unexpectedly Passes Away at Age 50".
  9. ^ "Poker Champion Gavin Smith Dead At Age 50". CardPlayer. Retrieved January 15, 2019.

External linksEdit