Cookies on the PokerWorks Website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the PokerWorks website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Continue using cookies

Phil Laak

Phil Laak
The Unabomber
United StatesUnited States
San Francisco, California
Total winnings
$ 3,297,843
First place Finishes


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.

Latest News about Phil Laak

Tournaments and Winnings

Tournament Place Winnings
2018 World Series of Poker
Event #75: $1,500 The Closer No-Limit Hold'em (30 minute levels) - $1 Million Guarantee215th$3,515
Event #68: $1,000 + 111 The Little One for One Drop No-Limit Hold'em635th$1,593
Event #34: $1,000 DOUBLE STACK No-Limit Hold'em391st$2,508
2017 World Series of Poker
Event #58: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em38th$8,286
2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas
$25,750 High Roller21st$45,180
2014 World Series of Poker
Event #64: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship43rd$18,585
Event #63: $1,500 Six-Handed 10-Game Mix44th$2,703
Event #42: $5,000 Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha6th$66,918
Event #34: $1,500 Seven-Card Stud19th$3,586
Event #7: $1,500 Seven-Card Razz40th$2,575
Event #3: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha39th$4,385
2013 World Series of Poker
Event #57: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em41st$17,097
Event #47: $111,111 One Drop High Rollers No-Limit Hold'em19th$173,723
2011 World Series of Poker
$ 5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo4th$133,377
$ 10,000 No Limit Hold'em - Six Handed Championship28th$29,228
$ 10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo Championship12th$36,858
North American Poker Tour - Los Angeles
$ 4,750 No Limit Hold'em - Main Event59th$9,500
2010 World Series Of Poker - Europe
£ 2,500 No Limit Hold'em - Six Handed1st£170,802
English Poker Open 2010
£ 3,500 No Limit Hold'em - Main Event18th£6,800
Partouche Poker Tour - Main Event
€ 7,750 No Limit Hold'em - Main Event15th€52,000
The Poker Lounge
$ 20,000 Episode 46th
$ 20,000 Episode 34th
NBC National Heads-Up Championship 2010
$ 20,000 No Limit Hold'em9th$25,000
Party Poker Premier League IV
Final Table6th$50,000
Heat 68th
Heat 41st$32,000
Heat 21st$32,000
Heat 11st$32,000
Poker After Dark VI
$ 20,000 Week 2 - Nicknames1st$120,000
Full Tilt Poker Million VIII
Heat 115th World Open V
Heat 21st
EPT - Grand Final
€ 10,000 EPT Grand Final - No Limit Hold'em69th€25,000
Poker After Dark V
$ 20,000 Week 5 - Dream Table III4th
Poker Million VII
Heat 65th
Poker After Dark IV
$ 20,000 Week 4 - Mission Impossible2nd
Bellagio Cup IV
$ 15,000 No Limit Hold'em - WPT80th$19,390
2008 World Series of Poker
$ 5,000 Limit/No Limit Hold'em24th$12,483
$ 10,000 World Championship Pot Limit Hold'em9th$74,448
NBC National Heads-Up Championship 2008
Poker After Dark III
$ 20,000 Week 9 - "Love at First Raise"5th
Poker Million VI
Heat 25th
2007 World Series of Poker
$ 3,000 No Limit Hold'em62nd$7,418
$ 5,000 No Limit Hold'em11th$29,073
Poker After Dark II
$ 20,000 Week 17 - Poker Prowess6th
$ 20,000 Week 16 - Rivals Week2nd
Poker Nations Cup II
Grand Final2nd
Heat 24th
William Hill Poker Grand Prix II
Heat 34th
Poker Derby
$ 200 Phil Laak Invitational - No Limit Hold'em3rd$1,900
Poker After Dark
$ 20,000 Week 51st$120,000
Pro-Am Equalizer Tournament
California State Poker Championship
$ 2,500 No Limit Hold'em Championship19th$6,095
2006 World Series of Poker
$ 1,500 No Limit Hold'em89th$6,122
The Seneca World Poker Classic
$ 5,000 Championship Event - No Limit Hold'em5th$15,840
Fourth Annual Five Diamond World Poker Classic
$ 15,000 Main Event - No Limit Hold'em6th$160,995
2005 Monte Carlo Millions
$ 25,000 No Limit Hold'em35th
William Hill Poker Grand Prix
£ 6,000 Final - No Limit Hold'em1st£150,000
£ 6,000 Heat 1 - No Limit Hold'em1st
Poker Royale: The James Woods Gang vs The Unabombers
Grand Final - No Limit Hold'em1st$41,667
Preliminary Match 5 - No Limit Hold'em4th
Preliminary Match 3 - No Limit Hold'em6th
Preliminary Match 1 - No Limit Hold'em3rd
World Poker Tour Battle of Champions II
No Limit Hold'em6th
Poker Royale: Comedians vs Pros
Grand Final1st$55,000
Preliminary Match 103rd
Preliminary Match 63rd
Preliminary Match 52nd
Preliminary Match 21st$5,000
Preliminary Match 11st$5,000
2005 World Series of Poker
$ 5,000 Limit Hold'em22nd$7,585
$ 2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em2nd$156,400
$ 2,000 No Limit Hold'em62nd$5,165
2005 Mirage Poker Showdown
$ 10,000 WPT No Limit Hold'em Championship27th$9,148
2004 Monte Carlo Millions
Consolation Tournament42nd$1,000
2004 Borgata Poker Open - WPT
$ 10,000 No Limit Hold'em Final Day19th$18,120
2004 - WPT Invitational
Main Event - No Limit Hold'em1st$100,000
2003 Bellagio Five-Diamond World Poker Classic
$ 10,000 WPT No Limit Hold'em Championship12th$34,917
2003 Legends of Poker
$ 5,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event - WPT6th$54,075
World Poker Tour Bad Boys of Poker
No Limit Hold'em4th
Uncle Louie
$ 500 No Limit Hold'em1st$15,660
2002 L.A. Poker Classic
$ 1,000 No Limit Hold'em18th$1,720
Player List
Top 5 Money Winners
Featured Players

Subscribe to the Nightly Turbo

Be the first to know all the latest poker news, tournament results, gossip and learn all about the best online poker deals straight from your inbox.

RSS Feed

Quick Room Review

Bonus Room review