More Poker Related Stuff: Texas Holdem Omaha Poker Poker Rooms Poker Tournaments

Poker School

Phil Laak Biography

Phil Laak Biography
by Chad Holloway of Predictem.com

Phil Laak was born on September 8, 1972 in Dublin, Ireland. He relocated to the United States at an early age and was raised on the East Coast, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Laak first learned poker as a child:

"I remember playing poker on a camping trip with family friends. There were probably 4 or 5 of us ranging from 7 to 12 years old . . . So there I was, seven years old and seeing how powerful it was to have money. I could see the dripping equity then. I did not have a name for it but I knew it was a good thing. At the time I was hooked on a chocolate bar called the '100 Thousand Dollar Bar', and knew that I needed to have these guys covered if I was going to be living large in the chocolate world."

Eventually, Laak moved to the West Coast where he began to take his poker game seriously. He broke onto the poker scene by winning the World Poker Tour's Season 2 Celebrity Invitational event at the Commerce Casino ($100,000). His other poker accomplishments include finishing sixth at the WPT's Season 2 Battle of Champions ($54,075), sixth at the WPT's 2005 Five Diamond Poker Classic ($160,995), second to Johnny Chan in the $2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em event at the 2005 World Series of Poker, winning the inaugural William Hill Poker Grand Prix (150,000), finishing fifth at the 2006 Seneca World Poker Classic, and appearances on Poker Royale, High Stakes Poker, and Poker After Dark.

Laak is known as the "Unabomber" because of his sunglasses and hooded sweatshirts, in which he resembles the forensic sketch of Theodore "Unabomber" Kaczynski. He is known for his table antics which include doing push-ups and standing behind the dealer in order to be the first to see the cards. In July 2007, Laak and Ali Eslami barely defeated Polaris, a highly ranked poker-playing computer program. Laak is credited with coining the poker term "felted," which means to lose all of one's chips so that nothing remains in front of them except the felt:

'Felted is a term I coined about three or four years ago . . . I was worried when I started seeing it actually hold up that I might not get credit for it. In 20 years time, the rumor could be, 'Oh yeah, Phil. Of course you invented felted.' I immediately went into gear and made sure people knew it . . . I started with 'liquidise', then 'pulverize' . . . For the first six months I must have gone through five or six things, but I couldn't get them to work. Then it came to me one day: felted was the word. It's perfect because that's all you have left.'

Laak, who is regarded as one of the best cash game players, writes a monthly column for Bluff Magazine and co-hosts the show "I Bet You" with best friend, Antonio Esfandiari. He enjoys playing ultimate Frisbee and is dating fellow poker pro and actress, Jennifer Tilly. Laak currently splits his time between Los Angeles and Las Vegas and has lifetime tournament winnings totaling more than $1.2 million.

Tournaments

Check out all the guaranteed tournaments, SnG's, satellites and qualifiers Bovada Poker has to offer! They are truly a one stop shop for everything you could possibly need in an online poker room!

Party Poker - The PartyPoker "Monthly Milion" plays on the 1st Sunday of every month. The tourney starts at 12:45EST. (Note: Party does not accept USA players)

Promotions

Bovada Poker - Sign up, deposit and get an instant 10% bonus. Get a 100% bonus up to $500 which is released as you earn points. If done right, this could equate to a 110% bonus!

Featured Articles

The Difference Between Limit and No Limit Texas Hold'em - Cash games, tournaments, no limit, pot limit, fixed limit and more. Loki breaks it down!!

Tilt - It's a classless way to play online poker, but this article is a good read if you'd like to learn how to put other players "on tilt."

Satellite Poker Tournaments - What are they? How do they work? Jason explains.

MISC.

Famous Poker Players - Short bios about some of the greatest poker players ever to take a seat at the tables!

Female Poker Players - Biographies of all the best women poker players in the world.

Legends of the Game - Bio pages of legendary poker players, many of which have died and gone on to leave their mark on the poker world.

Poker Hall of Fame - Inductees along with their feats listed in chronological order.

Poker Players Alliance - This advocacy group is fighting for YOUR right to legally play online poker. Join today!

Home Poker Games - Everything you need to know about hosting your own game.

What is Rake? - This is how card rooms earn their money off of poker games. K. Swope talks about this fee in detail.

Perspectives Weekly - Check APCW.org's Jay Todd each week as he brings us all the current news in the online gambling industry.

Poker Quotes - Famous and funny poker sayings from around the internet.

Famous Poker Hands - Sure, you know that "AA" is often times dubbed "bullets" or "american airlines" but what about other hands such as "JJ" and "88"? Chad tells all!

Poker Questions - Burn cards, clubs, spaces, diamonds, hearts, the deck, community cards etc. You've got a question? We've got an answer!