Dan Smith has one of the best poker tournament resumes of all time, with $37 million in cash during his tenure. Although only 31, Smith has played cards for half his life, having discovered chess as a child prodigy. The New Jersey native had been making a lot of money online since he was a teenager, and by his freshman year of high school, he had a bankroll that would be the envy of many pros.
Despite a slow start to his live tournament career, Smith began racking up big scores as he climbed to the top of the High Roller Circuit. He now has 22 tournament titles, as well as nine seven-figure earnings. Bonus138 and Smith even cashed in two $1 million buy-in events and finished third at Big One For One Drop 2018 and Triton Super High Roller London 2019. He also has a World Poker Tour title and won the Five Diamonds of Classic in 2013 Poker World. He currently ranks fifth on the all-time poker money list, behind only Bryn Kenney, Justin Bonomo, Daniel Negreanu and Erik Seidel.
In 2014, Smith founded The Double Up Drive, an organization that matches public donations dollar-for-dollar to help various charities more effectively. In the years that followed, he brought more members into the everyday poker and fantasy sports community and helped raise over $16 million. You can read more about the causes on the Double Up Drive homepage.
Highlights from this interview include the survivor lockdown, the Vegas pickle ball scene, the attachment of a chess grandmaster, why Mike McDonald might not be invited to barbecues in the future, his bankroll horse betting at age 7, the start of his career downturn, unsuccessful pursuit of poker prizes, writing your own speeches, psychedelic adventures in the wilderness, starting your own charity, why he gave up sports everyday fantastics, giving prizes to NFL kickers, becoming the best without a bracelet, climbing the money list, drank collectibles, split the mortgage with Stephen Chidwick, lost a 250,000 pot $, a lucky shirt and cowboy hat from Doyle Brunson.