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Poker Pro: Gavin Smith - his best week ever

Poker Pro: Gavin Smith - his best week ever 0001

PN: How about those last four of five days been like?

GS: I really haven't done much. I've been losing my arse on the internet, and kind of taking it easy. We stayed a couple nights at the Mirage, took in a show...but now, I'm just gearing up for Friday {WSOP}

PN: The $2,000 NL Event you won earlier in the week was your biggest win of your career was it not?

GS: Yes, it was.

PN: Then, a few days later you win the WPT tournament. Funny in poker how you work so long, and then all of a sudden the work comes to fruition.

GS: It's pretty weird. And it was doubly weird in the sense that my girlfriend and her brother launched my website two days before the $2,000 event, then boom I crack off a couple tournaments right away.

PN: Let's talk about your website, Gavin Live. What are your plans or goals for it?

GS: Basically, the biggest reason was to increase my exposure out there, and capitalize on the poker boom. I get to let people know what is going on in the poker world, as well as in my life on a day to day basis. Plus, there is a forum, where people can write in questions, and I can discuss hands with them, etc.

PN: How does one get from Guelph, Ontario Canada to moving to Las Vegas to play poker full time?

GS: Oddly enough, it wasn't the poker that led me to Vegas, because I was going to Vegas three or four times a year anyway. I was traveling the tournament scene before I moved to Vegas. I chased a girl, and that is what brought me to Vegas. I probably for the last eight years, have spent 8 - 9 months on the road in America playing the circuit.

PN: And that was back when the circuit was maybe a half a dozen big events a year

GS: Certainly not what it is today, that's for sure.

PN: Do you play cash games much, as opposed to tournaments?

GS: Up until now, I needed to play a lot of cash games, just to pay my day to day expenses. I would play side games as well as the tournaments. I was probably playing 12 hours a day of poker...pretty much seven days a week. Now I can slow down a little bit.

The way tournaments are geared, you have to win a lot just to stay afloat. I was staying afloat, but I wasn't getting ahead in tournaments. Prior to the 1.1 million, in the last year, I had probably cashed $250,000-$300,000 or so. But I went on a cold streak last year, and that got me back to even.

PN: Any thoughts on a difference between playing tournaments, and playing live? Is there a big difference?

GS: Tournaments are so much more about survival than live games. There are so many more hands in a tournament that I can't call with, that I would call with in a live game, because I can't go back into my pocket for more money. I may flop some huge draw, 17 outs or something, but I have to throw the hand away in a tournament. I would call almost 100% of the time in a live game.

PN: I noticed Erick Lindgren sweating you pretty hard at the WPT. Has he been a big influence to you?

GS: Erick is a funny one. Because years ago, Erick came to visit me in LA when I was at a tournament. He called me up, and said "Can I share your room?", I said sure, and he basically picked my brain for three days straight about tournament poker. Somewhere along the line {Laughs} he rocketed by me, and now I am picking his brain about tournament poker. Erick has been a great help in my tournament game, and he is a big part of my tournament success, and he has been a great friend.

PN: How much do you play online, and what are the good and bad points of online play, and which site do you play at?

GS: I play every day on Full Tilt poker. I like the fact that I can walk over to my computer in my underwear, and just traffic, no lines. I also like the fact that the play is much faster, and I can play multiple games at the same time.

The only thing I don't like is I think my table image is a big part of my game. I like to create like a clown image, and I can't do that online to the same effect I can online.

PN: Do you think that clown image gets you calls?

GS: It gets me calls, it gets me people making crazy plays against gets me a number of different things. In the $2,000 no limit, a player made a play at me with queen high, and a pot of 560,000, with only 760,000 chips in play. I don't think he ever makes that play against someone with a different table image.

PN: How many events do you think you will play in at the WSOP this year?

GS: I'm taking June 9, 13, and the 18th-21st for a wedding. I will probably take Sunday the 26th off, July 2nd, and that is probably it.

PN: Let's talk about the business of poker for a minute. What do you think the most glaring need in the poker world is, from a player's perspective?

GS: From a players perspective, I think it is the need to gel together as players, and have a common voice. I think we need someone to stand up for us. As much as the World Poker Tour has helped poker, and I love the WPT, but for them to say we can't wear logos, and make money off our images is ridiculous. It s a travesty. The reason we don't is we need an organization to stand up, and say "If we don't have these rights, you don't have us.". There have been a lot of people who have been talking about doing something like this, but its tough. In the PGA, you have to get a 150 people together on the same page, in the poker world you need to get 10,000 players on the same page, so it is definitely a challenge.

PN: Thanks for the time, Gavin.

GS: You bet. I would like to thank my girlfriend for all her support, and her and her brother for doing my website. Also, I have to thank Erick for all his support as well.

Ed Note: Gavin like many pros, plays at Full Tilt. Maybe you should too.

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