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'If luck wasn't involved I guess I would win everytime'
-Phil Hellmuth

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Name: Phil Laak
DOB: September 8, 1972
Alias: The Unabomber, Darth Maul
Hometown: San Francisco, California
Nationality: Irish
Total Winnings (as of Jan '07):
$1,200,000 (live tournament)
Notable accomplishments:
WSOP Highlights:
 Bracelet(s): None
 Money finishes: 6
 Highest ITM main event finish Winner: None
 *ITM = in the money, To place high enough in a poker tournament to get prize money.
WPT Highlights:
 Titles: 1
 Final tables: 3(+2)
 Money finishes: 6

Phil Laak Biography

Although Phil has not won a WSOP bracelet he is wide;y know inside and outside of the Poker world due to his antics and his trademark hoodie and sunglasses from which he gets his nickname "The Unabomber" because of the resemblance to the sketch of Theodore Kaczynski (the Unabomber).

In 2004 Phil won the Celebrity Invitation WPT event and has finished in 6th place in both WPT season 2 (Battle of Champions) and at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic in 2005. In 2005 Phil also finished Second in the $2,500 WSOP Pot Limit Hold'em event to Johnny Chan.

At the inaugural William Hill Poker Grand Prix, Phil defeated Ram Vaswani to take first place and the 150,000 pound prize.

Phil has appeared in seasons 2, 3 and 4 of GSN's High Stakes Poker and he has competed in a number of Poker Royale series.

Not only is Phil a player but also a dealer for the TV series E! Hollyood Hold'em. Unfortunately this series was short lived lasting only 6 episodes.

In 2007 Phil appeared on Poker After Dark on NBC. Phil defeated Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, Antonio Esfandiari, Jennifer Harman and Erik Seidel to take the $120,00 top prize.

Phil is currently dating actress and poker player Jennifer Tilly, who won a WSOP bracelet in 2005. Tilly has since been nicknamed "The Unabombshell" because of her relationship with Phil.

World Series of Poker Bracelets

Personal life


* In 2007 Phil competed against Polaris (a poker playing AI program) developed at the University of Alberta. Phil beat Polaris in 2 of 4 rounds. The other two rounds were a draw and win for Polaris. This match was held at the 2007 conference of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence in Vancouver, BC.
* Phil has been credited with coining the term "Felted". Being "Felted" means you have lost all your chips and only the table felt remains in front of you.


Phil writes a monthly column in the poker magazine Bluff. © 2024. All rights reserved.