Grub Smith is the back page columnist for Poker Player magazine and a regular commentator on TV tournaments. He has worked in the sound booth with Scott Fischman, Kristy Gazes and Clonie Gowen, and the high point of his career was beating Jennifer Harman in a heads up tournament. The low point was providing commentary on an episode of "Showbiz Blackjack" which featured Timmy Mallett, James Hewitt, Russell Grant and Rusty Lee.
He began playing poker seriously in 1995 when he joined a weekly home game in Swiss Cottage. As well as hold ‘em and seven card stud, the variations played included infamous wild card pot-builders like Follow the Queen, Baseball, and Zulu Wardrobe. The players were mainly drawn from the men’s magazine market – Grub has been an editor on GQ, Esquire, Maxim and FHM – and the only full-time professional to emerge from the game was Jac Arama, famous for his bizarre headgear and loose aggressive style.
Grub enjoys trips to Las Vegas, staying mainly at the Wynn, but in nine attempts has only once managed to come home with a profit. His best performance in a big tournament was 15th in the 2004 Victor Chandler Cup. His favourite game is 6 card Omaha hi-lo.
He plays occasionally at the Victoria Casino, but is most often seen online at short-handed STTs, or at the green baize of his local spieler, a snooker club in west London.
He is the author of Real Sex. It has nothing to do with poker.
13 Mar 2008 -
Played thirty four, lost thirty three
Before bad knees and Benson & Hedges got to me, I used to play a lot of football. But about ten years ago, I had to stop. I simply couldn’t compete with younger, keener opponents. They kept on coming, those kids, leaving me wheezing and red-faced in their wake. So I put my muddy Nikes [...]
29 Dec 2007 -
The stone bonking unbeatable nuts
I recently profiled the playwright Patrick Marber for a Sunday paper. The idea was to give a well-deserved puff to the West End opening of his play Dealer’s Choice. A pretty simple assignment for a hack you’d imagine, especially one interested in poker, but it didn’t go quite as I had planned. The trouble was, [...]
16 Oct 2007 -
From “Idiot” to “Immeasurable Genius”
I recently went on a romantic mini-break to Umbria with my girlfriend. The plan was simple: to stay in a beautiful villa in the grounds of a ruined abbey, to go truffle hunting and fishing, to take long walks by the ornamental lake, to dine not wisely but too well, and to make out like [...]
15 Sep 2007 -
Press squeezed to get poker juice from WSOPE
I grew up in a crossword solving house. Home from work, my dad like to settle down in his armchair with the Telegraph or the Times, chewing the end of his pencil as he decoded the cryptic intentions of the setter. It was a contest every evening, a battle between two formidable brains. He enjoyed [...]
24 Aug 2007 -
I’ve just finished reading a great book called The Power of the Dog. It’s a novel about CIA activities in central America, and it contains as neat a summing up of US foreign policy as I’ve ever heard: "What we lack in subtlety, we make up for in lack of subtlety." That line struck a [...]
13 Jul 2007 -
Improve your karma
The Set Up I’m writing this as the main event goes into Day Four, and all we know for sure is that the winner is going to get around $8,000,000 this time. Not a bad chunk of change. And as I watch the hand by hand reporting come over the internet – an experience very [...]
23 Jun 2007 -
My cover is blown
The Set Up When I first signed up to write for Bigger Deal, I had a problem. I knew that my fellow bloggers were all much better poker players than I was. Al and Tony’s skills had been forged in the white heat of their home game and their trips to the WSOP; Lee’s expert [...]
04 Jun 2007 -
THE SET UP As someone new to blogging, I must say that I’m finding all the democracy that goes with it rather hard to handle. So far as I can see, it works like this: I write a diary, offering a humble, honest insight into my play, and then everybody else lines up to put [...]
17 May 2007 -
A stiff upper lip and onto the next game
The Set Up. I’m not here to talk about the great moments of poker we’ve all seen on television, the Gus Hansen bluffs, the Sammy Farha reraises, the spectacular eruptions of Mount Hellmuth. No, I want to focus on the worst bits of play that have been broadcast to the nation. First up, let [...]
26 Apr 2007 -
Shady characters and carcinogenic backrooms
The set up Most people seem to like the fact that poker is clean and safe now. But when I first started playing, part of the attraction of the game was the chance to mix with shady characters, to hang out in carcinogenic backrooms, to rub shoulders with people who talked about “shooters” and “grasses” [...]