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Phil Laak’s biography

Phil Laak’s biography

Country: USA

Nickname: "Unabomber"

Date of birth: September 8, 1972

Winnings in live tournaments: over 3 680 000$

Best result: 265 290$ or 150 000£ (1st place at the Grand Final William Hill Poker Grand Prix 2005 in Cardiff for 6 000£)

Main achievements: a WSOP bracelet, a WPT title

Phil Laak is one of the best poker players, who has got a gold WSOP bracelet and a WPT title. He is also known under the "Unabomber" nickname, which was obtained due to the similarity of his game image (a hood and sunglasses) with the image of American terrorist Theodor Kazinsky named "Unabomber".

For the first time Laak familiarized with poker at school while being on a camping trip. However, he did not plan to leave studies for the game. Phil graduated from Massachusetts University in Amherst and got a degree in mechanical engineering. After university, he tried to realize himself as an engineer and a trader.

His desire to find the perfect work has forced him to move from place to place until he stopped in New York and got into an underground club where he started to play backgammon. Soon, Laak switched to poker, since backgammon was less profitable. Having sharpened his skills and got experience, he achieved his first good result in 2004, having won the WPT Main Event NLH Invitational. Then the amount of his prize money was 100 000$.

In 2005, he got on the WSOP and stopped a step away from the victory, having taken the 2nd place in the PLH tournament for 2 500$. His winning was 156 400$. In October of the same year, Laak won the Grand Final William Hill Poker Grand Prix in Cardiff for 6 000£ and earned 265 290$.

In 2010, the "poker Unabomber" managed to take the first place at the WSOPE in the NLH-6 handed tournament for 2 650$ in London. In addition to 263 500$ of prize money, he also received his first bracelet.

Currently Phil is among the most recognizable poker players. He can often be found at casinos and at the prestigious poker series. However, Phil Laak cannot boast of great winnings in 2018.

Phil Laak's photos

​Interesting facts about Phil Laak:

  • Phil Laak was born in Dublin (Ireland). When he was 4 years old, his family moved to Wellesley, Massachusetts.
  • Phil has graduated from Massachusetts University in Amherst and got a degree in mechanical engineering.
  • He has got a moniker "Unabomber", because he can always be found at the table wearing hood and sunglasses. This look is very similar to the image of American terrorist-criminal Theodor Kazinsky, named "Unabomber."
  • At the WSOP 2008, Phil appeared in an image of an old man, having changed himself beyond recognition with the help of a pretty serious grease-paint and a wig. It took six hours to create such a "disguise".
  • In 2010, Phil Laak entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the 115 hours of continuous poker playing. He set that poker record during the WSOP in the Bellagio casino at the 10$ / 20$ cash tables.
  • Laak has played a role in a movie "Knight Rider".
  • Antonio Esfandiari is Phil's best friend. They have performed together as TV presenters of the "I Bet You" show. Since 2006, "Unabomber" has been running its own column "Being Phil Laak" in "Bluff Magazine".
  • Phil has got his own poker site "Unabomber Poker".
  • Laak is in relationship with American actress Jennifer Tilly, who also plays poker; she has received a gold WSOP bracelet in a women's tournament.

Phil Laak and Jennifer Tilly

  • "Unabomber" is a fan of extreme. At one time he used to ride on a motorcycle fast and such his hobby led to the accident. He has miraculously managed to avoid injuries and remain unharmed. In addition to racing, the poker player was also fond of backgammon.

Phil Laak on the social networks:

Phil Laak on Twitter (@phillaak)

Laak on Instagram (phillaak)

Phil Laak on Facebook (Phil-Laak-Unabomber-Poker)