Cookies on the PokerNews Website

We use cookies to support interactive features like login and voting. Also, we allow trusted media partners to analyze site usage. Keep cookies enabled to enjoy the full site experience. By browsing our site with cookies enabled, you are agreeing to their use. Review our cookies information for more details.

Continue using cookies

Phil Laak

The Unabomber

United States

WSOP Bracelets EPT Wins WPT Wins
1 0 0
Total Winnings GPI

1566.66 251st (206th)

  • Phil Laak
  • Phil Laak
  • Phil Laak
  • One Drop Hoodie on Phil Lakk
  • Mitch Garber an Phil Laak
  • Phil Laak
  • Phil Laak announces "Shuffle Up & Deal" for the One Drop High Roller
  • Phil Laak announces "Shuffle Up & Deal" for the One Drop High Roller
  • Phil Laak
  • Phil Laak

Latest Videos with Phil Laak


Born in Dublin, Ireland, Phil Laak learned to play cards while growing up, but the game wouldn’t become his profession until later on in his life. Before professional poker, Laak came to the United States and attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he obtained a degree in mechanical engineering. After college, Phil tried out various career paths including an engineer, a day trader, and investing.

After those forays, Phil became immersed in poker with both high stakes cash games and tournaments. Laak took sixth in the Legends of Poker in 2003 and made himself over $50,000. Later that year, he also made a deep run at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic. In February of 2004, he won the WPT Invitational event. In other WPT success, Laak has final tabled two other events. One of those was the Five Diamond World Poker Classic in 2005 where he placed sixth for over $160,000.

In 2005, Laak made a final table at the WSOP. The event was a $2,500 buy-in, Pot-Limit Hold’em event and the only thing that stood between Laak and his first bracelet after hours of play was seasoned champion Johnny Chan. Chan defeated Laak and went on to win his tenth bracelet, leaving Laak with second place and nearly $160,000. That same year he also made the money in another WSOP event.

At the William Hill Poker Grand Prix, Phil would get another chance at a big win when he got heads up with Ram Vaswani for the £150,000 first-place prize. Laak proved better than Vaswani and took down the event. He also won Poker After Dark for $120,000 once, defeating a table stacked with Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Erik Seidel, Jennifer Harman, and good friend Antonio Esfandiari.

Outside of tournament poker, Laak regularly plays cash games and is considered one of the best players around, participating in the highest limits around. He’s also appeared on High Stakes Poker multiple times.

Laak earned the nickname “Unabomber” because he usually can be found wearing a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses at the table. The look makes him look like the police sketch of Theodore Kaczynski. He also acts out a lot at the table. Running around to get a better look at the deal of the cards, pushups, and tightly wrapping himself up in his sweatshirt are all antics put on by Laak. At the WSOP in 2008, Laak went one step further and disguised himself as an older man, complete with a latex mask, wig, and make up.

The show “I Bet You” also stars Laak alongside Antonio Esfandiari. The show is a reality show where Phil and Antonio expose their degenerate side with bets on anything and everything. Laak also actively contributes to various poker publications.

Covered Events

Event Place Prize
2013 World Series of Poker
Event #57: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em
41st $17,097
2013 World Series of Poker
Event #47: $111,111 One Drop High Rollers No-Limit Hold'em
19th $173,723
2011 World Series of Poker
Event #57: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-low Split-8 or Better
4th $133,377
2011 World Series of Poker
Event #46: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em / Six Handed Championship
28th $29,228
2011 World Series of Poker
Event #33: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better Championship
12th $36,858
2010 NAPT Los Angeles
Main Event
59th $9,500
World Series of Poker Europe 2010
Event #1: £2,650 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em
1st £170,802
2010 NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship
$20,000 Heads-up Championship
14th $25,000
PartyPoker Premier League IV
PartyPoker Premier League IV
6th $50,000
2009 EPT Grand Final
€10,000 EPT Grand Final Main Event
69th €25,000
2008 World Series of Poker
Event 4 - $5,000 Mixed Hold'em (Limit/No Limit)
24th $12,483
2008 World Series of Poker
Event 1 - $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em World Championship
9th $74,448
2008 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship
$20,000 Heads-Up Championship
10th $25,000
2007 World Series of Poker
Event 28 - $3,000 No Limit Holdem
62nd $7,418
2007 World Series of Poker
Event 22 - $5,000 No Limit Holdem
11th $29,073