Sometimes watching a tournament poker table is like watching paint peel. When Gavin Smith is at the table its more like watching a one ring circus with a ringmaster, two clowns, and a four piece drunken trumpet trio with a backup singer. When Gavin speaks the table listens and sometimes, then it's really fun, they talk back.
"Tim, come over here, these boys have an appointment with the poor house."
Yes, Gavin talks to me. But as you can tell there is another audience for that comment and it's the other players at his table.
"Well one of us is going to have a lot of chips at the end of today. You need to win some more so we can play a really big pot. Call this raise, I got nothing."
What do you do when the WPT player of the year says that to you after he 4X raises your big blind and you have K9o? This time the player folded and showed, so Gavin showed his J6o.
"Call this raise, I got nothing…..did I not say that?"
It was like a machine; a relentless, unceasing machine running over the other players at this table. The blinds were 25/50 and six out of eight hands Gavin would make it 150. Early position 150; late position 150; UTG 150; big blind 150; small blind 150; with one card and a napkin 150. After the flop it's 250, 250, 250, 250. If you make it to the turn 450. It was all Gavin all the time.
Somebody has to stand up and then….150, flop is A24 check 250 call, turn 8, 450 call river J; 750 fold. Gavin shows the flopped straight with his monster starting hand of 35o.
Comment from the gallery: "It's like magic."
Gavin: "Welcome to my world!"
Next hand, 150 raise to 950 all-in, Gavin calls and shows TT, all-in shows A6, no Ace hits the board, as he rakes the chips:
"You know sometimes I really do have a hand."
Another player: "How do we know when that is?"
"Ah, you see that's for you to find out. Just call and you can see every time."
"I love to raise."
Railbird: "Especially when you triple up with 6 high."
"I loved that hand, so did he and so did he!"
Gavin points to the two players who made the calls on Gavin's 56d all-in; but they were sooted!
Next hand, a player stands up to the relentless Gavin attack with bottom pair. Gavin has top pair.
"Try to put me on a hand!"
"Any two, any two will do!"
Greg Mueller stops by the table and asks:
"How does he have all those chips?"
Gavin: "I play bad but I play a lot!"
Once again Gavin tells the table what he is doing and then just keeps right on doing it.
Another table, another event, 50/100 blinds. Gavin is again running over the table; he bets 325 UTG and gets one caller. Flop is XXX (meaning who cares what the cards were, no Ace & no pair) Gavin bets 525, the player folds. As the pot is being pushed, he asks the dealer:
"Who was in the hand?"
"The player in seat nine."
Seat Nine: "What did you have?"
Gavin: "I didn't look."
He didn't look and no one, at least not the player in seat nine, seemed to notice. It was Gavin Smith playing his game, at his table, and the cards didn't really matter.
Now we all know the professionals don't win all the time.
We all know there are players, top players, mid-range players, second tier players, internet players; who do stand up to the relentless attack of pros like Gavin.
And then there are the bad beats. Here is how Gavin exited the NLHE rebuy event.
With a flop showing As Kd Js, Kyle Wilson moves all-in and Gavin Smith immediately calls with fewer chips. Wilson shows Jh Jd, for a set, but Smith turns up Qh 10h, for a flopped straight. With a Jack, three Aces, and three Kings for outs (and yes potentially three more on the river) the Ace did hit. Gavin got it in with the nuts and as he said:
"Putting my tournament on the line into a 95K pot with the nuts on the flop….I'll take it every time."
Next day it's Pot Limit Omaha and Gavin is seated next to Doyle Brunson.
Gavin is playing KKJT.
The flop is AK9
Doyle pushes all of his 3775 into the pot. Gavin takes some time with his decision; that is Texas Dolly after all. He makes the call and Doyle shows AA48. Gavin is left with less than 1K but plays the short stack for another two levels.
In the Omaha 8 or better event (#12) Gavin began Day Two as the chip leader with 118K in his stack. Twenty-six players began Day Two and Gavin was to finish 22nd.
"I had great starting hands A234, A235, AK23 double suited. Never made a low, never hit the suits. I was very disappointed."
Gavin Smith is back at it everyday. Yesterday with the Amazon room filled to the rafters with poker players for the $1,000 NLHE event, it took me 15 minutes to locate Gavin and his first words were:
"Find Tony G. and if he has 1600 or less, I want a $2,000 last longer."
When I told him that Tony was taking the day off, Gavin said:
"How can you take a day off? This is the World Series."
Ed Note: Gavin plays any two at Full Tilt Check it out.