Philip Courtney Laak aka Phil Laak is an Irish professional poker player who made a name for himself with his poker escapades as well as making appearances in various television shows. Apart from being a professional poker player, he is also famous for being a poker commentator. Laak has made a fortune for himself, having been involved in some very high-stakes games. Let’s look at Phil Laak poker career, net worth and more in this article.
Phil Laak was born in Dublin, Ireland and spent his childhood on the East Coast of the USA. He graduated in 1990 from the University of Massachusetts, with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Following his graduation, Laak picked up a couple of odd jobs before beginning his poker career. He worked across various verticals, including dishwashing, day trading, gardening, and repossessing cars, before becoming a professional poker player.
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Phil played a couple of games earlier before making the complete switch to the card game back in 1999. He recorded his first major tournament winnings at the 2004 World Poker Tour (WPT) Celebrity Invitational before managing two final tables at the WPT.
He also recorded a sixth-place fish during the Battle of Champions season two and Five Diamond World Poker Classic in 2005. It was the same year when he finished in second place against Johnny Chan during the $2,500 Pot Limit Hold’em event in the World Series of Poker (WSOP). He also defeated Ram Vaswani to win the inaugural William Hill Poker Grand Prix to win £150,000.
Laak has also participated in the various Poker Royale series competitions. He appeared on Stakes Poker of GNS, from seasons 2nd-6th of the show while also serving as a dealer at the short television series E! Hollywood Hold’em.
Laak, alongside Ali Eslami competed against Polaris, a computer game software program created by the University of Alberta, at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence conference in 2007. Laak also appeared in the Knight Rider television movie in 2008 and was named a poker pro at the event.
Later on, in 2009, Laak emerged victorious at the PartyPoker.com World Open V Champion to walk away with $250,000. He won paired with his long-term partner, Jennifer Tilly, and Luke Schwarts at the final table during the historic win. The following year was one of the most important years for Laak as he made history in September 2010 by winning his first ever WSOP bracelet.
The Irish player won the ₤2,500 Buy-In Six Handed No Limit Hold’em championship during the WSOP Europe 2010. This win came just after he suffered a major accident, wherein he broke his elbow as well as suffered other injuries.
Laak started writing a monthly column named ‘Being Phil Laak’ for Bluff Magazine in 2015, which was shut down in the same year. He was also seen co-hosting a TV show with fellow poker player Antonio Esfandiari on the MOJO network named ‘I Bet You’.
Laak has generated a solid amount of wealth for himself as a successful professional poker player. He has earned himself a WPT title as well a WSOP bracelet alongside 50 cashes in WSOP tourneys over the years.
His sharp intellect, winning moves, and antics made Laak a fan favourite and gathered a large fan following. According to Hendon Mob Laak’s total winnings from tournaments sit over $3.8 Million. Apart from poker winnings, he had also made money by hosting various TV shows. As per reports, Laak’s net worth is around $20 Million.
Laak’s last big appearance came at the recently concluded WSOP 2023. Already a legend in the poker industry, seeing him on the table is always a delight. All we can hope is to see the ‘Unabomber’ (as lovingly named by Gus Hansen) grab some major titles in the coming future.
Smit is a sports writer at Gutshot Magazine. After completing his Bachelor’s in Mass Media, and a Master’s degree in Sports Management, this sports fanatic uses articles as a tool to express his opinions. Bring up cricket or football and you will find this usually quiet guy speak for hours! He also co-heads the official supporters club of Chelsea FC in Mumbai, wherein he hosts screenings, football meets and other such events.
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