Gavin Griffin - Poker's first Triple Crown Winner
It's day three of the EPT Dortmund where 32 remaining players will play down to a final table later this afternoon.
But right now there's another story to report, the kind of story that writes itself, of the good guy triumphing in a world laced with ego and brag. There's no need for any artificial injection of hyperbole, the news is simple and good - that last night Gavin Griffin won the WPT event in Borgota making him the first winner of poker's Triple Crown -WSOP, EPT and WPT titles.
The potential of the Orange County man was made clear when, aged just 23, Gavin won the WSOP $3,000 pot-limit hold'em bracelet back in 2004 - becoming the youngest player ever to win a bracelet.
Nobody was surprised then when last April he won the PokerStars EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo worth $2,434,061. The way he played was exceptional, but his attitude during that highlight week was equally impressive - his pink-haired support for breast cancer awareness at the centre of his life, with girlfriend Kristan at his side - a sane head on level shoulders with a healthy interest in the world beyond his hole cards.
How to win an EPT...
Since then Gavin has been a great friend of PokerStars, appearing as guest of honour at this year's Hold'em 100 in London, a charity poker tournament in London that for the last 11 years has raised money for the Royal Marsden Cancer fund.
News of his run on the Triple Crown emerged early yesterday - second in chips at the Borgata he still had five players to beat, but beat them he did, holding Q-J to David Tran's K-8 on the last hand catching a queen on the turn for much more than $1,401,109 prize money.
So at least this exclusive Triple Crown club now has a chairman, and whilst the Christmas party might make for a slow night Gavin won't care. Sure, sooner or later someone else will be welcomed into the fraternity - there are enough players with two of the three titles to be getting close - but one thing is certain, that events like this happen rarely and when they do, particularly for the first time, they ought to be saluted.
Congratulations to Gavin Griffin, poker's first Triple Crown winner -