Gavin Griffin Discusses The Pitfalls Of Poker

Gavin Griffin is a 30 year-old live tournament pro who has amassed $4,634,067 playing live tournaments, and a little over $70,000 online. The California resident is also a triple crown winner, having taken down a WSOP, EPT and WPT title between May 2004 and January 2008.
Soon after, Gavin Griffin was snapped up by PokerStars but since then things haven’t gone so well for the US pro who has cashed for just $102,688 between 2009 and 2012.
As well as personal setbacks, Griffin found extra pressure mounting on his game from his sponsor PokerStars, who was demanding results which he was unable to provide and so in 2010 he lost his lucrative deal with the site.
Before his PokerStars contract was not renewed, Gavin Griffin posted a heartfelt analysis of his game on PokerStarsBlog which can be read here. Recently, Griffin posted an article on Cardplayer entitled ‘Gavin Griffin: From Poker High Roller to Low Stakes Grinder,’ which he then followed up with an in depth interview on Pokerlistings.
Discussing some of the factors which affected his fortunes over the past few years, Griffin cites the cost of travelling and playing in live tournaments, payment to backers and high state taxes especially in California (he paid $1 million in taxes in 2007 and 2008). On top of that, throw in stock market losses, a better level of general competition, and the effects of Black Friday, and you have all the ingredients of a massive knock to a poker professionals bankroll.
However, Gavin Griffin emphasizes the fact he isn’t broke but has had to step down several levels in order to keep a tight reign on his bankroll. This has lead to a slight dent to his pride, but Gavin now feels he is turning a corner, and as he explains:
“I’m proud that I don’t have too much trouble playing at lower stakes…I was there  [Commerce Casino] playing $8/$16 and in the past I’ve played $200/$400 on a regular basis and played as high as $1,000/$2,000 Limit. So to be there during the LAPC, the best time to play at the Commerce, and I’m playing $8/$16 and all these people I know are milling around, I found myself ducking my head a bit and avoiding people and stuff…So I felt like I was disguising myself a bit, at least until the article came out I guess.”
Finally, Gavin Griffin gives great credit to the support of his wife for keeping him grounded throughout the difficult period in his poker career. In the meantime, he has continued writing articles for CardPlayer and is also currently teaching at the  WSOP Academy.

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