When poker professional Gavin Smith passed away unexpectedly earlier this year, it left a huge hole in the poker world. So, his friends and family are coming together during the first week of the WSOP to honor the late player.
Gavin Smith Memorial Tournament
The Gavin Smith Memorial Tournament will run on Tuesday, May 28 at 6 p.m. The tournament is a $200 buy-in no-limit event.
WSOP officials will spread the event rake-free, and there are unlimited re-entries until the end of registration. 50% of all entry and re-entry fees will go to the Gavin Smith Trust.
This trust is designed to provide for Smith’s two children, Kingston and Keegan. The trust originally came into existence due to fellow poker player Josh Arieh‘s actions, which also included setting up a GoFundMe page for the cause.
Comedy for the Caveman
Smith was beloved for his sense of humor and good cheer. So, it’s fitting that his friends remember him in a benefit comedy show as well.
Comedy for the Caveman will run on Wednesday, May 29 at 9:00 p.m. Friend and poker commentator Joe Stapleton is hosting the event at Las Vegas’s The Space.
The event will feature comedy segments by some of Smith’s closest friends. Performers will include Ben Ludlow and Jess Welman, the latter of whom wrote a touching tribute to her fallen compadre back in January.
Tickets to the event are available through The Space’s website. Make sure to book as soon as possible.
Tributes highlight the depth of Smith’s loss
Most poker players don’t rate this kind of salute in death. However, the outpouring of emotion shows how many lives Smith affected positively in his 50 years of life.
The truth of the matter is that poker players like Smith are becoming a rare breed. Though a skillful player, Smith always emphasized the human and social elements of our game.
Too often, the analytical, mathematical, and frankly, antisocial aspects of poker reign supreme these days. Tables filled with hoodie-wearing math whizzes have become the norm, and these savants have largely ousted the glad-handers and bon vivants.
The separation between poker and a new boom is the fact that the fun is just too hard to find these days. The soft money won’t return to the tables until it’s a fun way to spend a few hours again.
Gavin Smith never forgot that lesson. And so, the tributes to him are from friends, rather than fellow competitors.
The Gavin Smith Memorial Tournament is on May 28 at 6 p.m. Comedy for the Caveman is the following evening at 9 p.m.