Gavin Smith

Poker Source: What is your favorite childhood memory?

Gavin Smith: Wow…what is my favorite childhood memory…I guess in my childhood, I enjoyed camping with my family. That was probably what was the most fun. We used to go camping every year. That was our family vacation.

PS: How has playing poker changed your life?

Gavin Smith: Well, I have money now. I can drive nice cars and ride nice motorcycles. I guess it’s changed my life because I’m living a lifestyle that never would’ve been possible before, and now I’m recognized, whereas before I was kind of obscure. It sort of made me in the public light and…financially secure.

PS: What has been your biggest extravagance since turning pro?

Gavin Smith: I guess just recently I bought myself a new Mercedes. CLK55 AMG. It’s the nicest car I’ve ever owned and that’s probably the biggest extravagance I’ve had.

PS: If you weren’t a poker player, how would you be earning a living?

Gavin Smith: I’d probably just still be working on golf courses back in Canada.

PS: What is the worst part of being recognized?

Gavin Smith: I don’t really think there’s anything all that bad about it. There’s no “worst of it,” because, you know, I kind of feel a little bit lucky that people care enough about me to come up and say hello or to want an autograph or a picture, so I don’t really have too many downsides.

PS: What was the lowest point and highest point in your poker career?

Gavin Smith: My highest point…it’s a toss-up between winning the World Poker Tour Player of the Year and when I won the Mirage. It’s probably winning the Mirage. It was my first huge win, it was kind of euphoric.

I’ve had so many different low points because I was never really well bankrolled, so I’d go broke and I’d have to go back and work, then I’d go broke…it was a long grind for six years before I finally had success. It was hard for six years. So, I guess my low points were always the times I knew I had to go back to work because I had to scrape up a bankroll again.

PS: You said you had a tough six years. When did you officially start your trek as a professional poker player?

Gavin Smith: In 1998 was when I first started playing professionally and I’d work on and off whenever I needed to between then and now.

PS: Where is your favorite place to hang out when you’re not playing poker?

Gavin Smith: I got a couple local bars that I enjoy hanging out at. I like going golfing with my friends, a little bit of roller hockey. I love getting back to Canada when I can, but that’s so rare nowadays.

PS: What is your most significant or proudest non-poker accomplishment?

Gavin Smith: I’m very proud of the work I’m doing right now with this charity. I’m doing a charity for this little girl back home. This little girl is two and a half years old and lost her mother in March and I’m sort of spearheading getting together stuff from poker players and celebrities that we can auction off in a silent auction to make this little girl some money to make at least the financial hardships from losing her mother a little easier.

I think, probably, that’s the best thing I’ve done so far.

PS: What is the little girl’s name?

Gavin Smith: Peyton Novoa. The website we have is

PS: Who would play YOU in "The Gavin Smith Story”?

Gavin Smith: [Laughs] Wow…Jack Black.

PS: What is your least favorite interview question?

Gavin Smith: I guess my least favorite, or one that I’m getting a little tired of, would be “What would you be doing if you’re not playing poker?”

PS: Guess I’ll cross that off the list then!

As was discussed in the interview, Gavin is helping raise money for Peyton Novoa, a little girl who lost her mother to cancer in March of 2006. He would like to encourage everyone to visit the website that has been setup where you can read more information about the Novoas, as well as make a donation to help Peyton and the fight against cancer. The website is