Canadian poker pro Gavin Smith, who possesses a pleasant, friendly and energetic personality and is highly popular especially during the poker boom era, has passed away unexpectedly whilst sleeping on Monday, January 14. The cause of death is still unknown. He was 50 years old.
Most of the poker fans during the poker boom era will definitely recall Gavin Smith as a regular player on TV poker shows such as Late Night Poker, NBC's Face the Ace, and Poker After Dark. His very first time on Poker After Dark was in its Season 3 Week 2 "19th Hole", where he knocked out Phil Ivey in a heads up match. He is also a regular player in the online poker world, mainly representing Full Tilt Poker.
Gavin's passing heavily saddened the poker community. His fans and friends express their mourning and write sincere messages regarding his untimely death via social media. Below are some of them:
WPT tournament director Matt Savage described Smith as generous, popular and gregarious and he always went out of his way to be a friend.
Away from the poker scene, Smith acts as both mom and dad to his two sons. From their residence in Ontario, they moved to Houston, Texas last summer and he decided to significantly reduce his time on playing poker so that he could take good care of his boys.
In a past interview by the WPT, he said, "It's difficult. I can't travel around like I used to. You've got to pick and choose your events. You need to get a lot of support from other people to play."
He was first recognized when he won tournaments in NLHE and 7 Card Stud in the 1999 and 2000 World Poker Finals at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
He's one of the extraordinary poker pros to have earned both WSOP and WPT titles each.
He is in 11th place on the Canada All-Time Money List with total live earnings of $6.3 million. His best live cash is $1,128,278 for winning the $10,200 buy-in WPT NLHE Championship at the Mirage Poker Showdown in Las Vegas in May 2005.
Smith is survived by his two sons, Kingston and Keegan. On Tuesday, a GoFundMe campaign was launched by his good friend Josh Arieh to benefit his children.