Player Down: He died doing what he loved

by , Nov 6, 2007 | 4:49 pm

carpet-gary.jpgGary Smith, a Dallas player known as “Carpet Gary,” experienced a massive heart attack a couple weeks ago while at the table. The game stopped for the night as a few fellow players who knew CPR tried to revive him until paramedics arrived. He died later that evening at the hospital, survived by a wife and two daughters.

Smith was a Vietnam vet and all-around friendly family guy who was well-liked for his good nature, charming personality, and action-happy play around the low- and mid-stakes recreational games he frequented.

According to one player:

He played hold’em at whatever limit was spread between 1-2 and 5-10. He did not seek out specific games, he just liked to play. Enjoyed it because it was competitive even though his personality was more friendly than competitive. He enjoyed visiting with people as much as the competition. Like golf, I suppose. Whether the place was comfortable or the people were nice was more important than how juicy the game was — although he definitely was an above-average player who won more than he lost. He didn’t like to talk strategy openly, but every once in a while might ask a question or bring up an observation if there wasn’t anyone else around. He never, ever berated other people’s play and accepted bad beats for what they are — frustrating, hopefully infrequent, but more or less inevitable.

Several players followed him to the hospital and helped track down family members while he was being rushed to it. Many others attended Gary’s funeral. His remaining chip stack from what would turn out to be his final table was turned over to his wife, Mary.


3 Comments to “Player Down: He died doing what he loved”


  1. California Jen
    says:

    Sounds like he died doing something he loved.

    Condolences to his family and friends…


  2. IttyBittyWussy
    says:

    I’ve played at every joint between here and Oregon, and I’ve met plenty of nice folks who play. But I’ve met maybe 10 who were as nice, as respectable, as honest or as genuine as Gary. I’ll remember him for all of those traits (and for being the winner of the biggest 1-2 NL pot I’ve ever seen).


  3. Scott
    says:

    I called him Uncle Gary and I miss him alot. Gary loved to gamble, horses, craps, you name he liked to bet on it. A great man that will be missed…

    Scott