Phillip Laak was born in Dublin, Ireland and is an Irish-born American professional poker player. Nicknamed the "Unabomber" because of his hooded sweatshirt, Laak is one of the most successful professional poker players over the past decade.
After being born in Dublin, Ireland his parents moved to Boston, Massachusetts where Phil developed a love for games as a child. He played all sorts of games including backgammon, bridge and poker as a child.
After high school, Laak went to the University of Massachusetts Amherst and graduated in 1987 with a mechanical engineering degree. After school, he had a wide range of jobs, including an engineer, stock trader, repo man and real estate investor. He eventually found himself drawn back to his love of games.
He played backgammon briefly for a living and then discovered poker in 1999. After playing in New York City briefly, he went to the Bay Area to play live poker. He worked several years before playing full time, but by 2003, he was a full time professional player that split his time between Las Angeles and Las Vegas.
He has won one WSOP bracelet, made four final tables and has 12 in the money finishes in WSOP events. Laak also has a WPT Title under his belt, along with three final tables and 7 WPT in the money finishes. In his live tournament career, Phil has eclipsed $2.7 million in tournament winnings.
Phil is a colorful character at the tables and one of the most recognizable in the poker world. He was a regular on High Stakes Poker on GSN, winning a record amount on the show. Laak won $281,610 in just 12.5 hours. He co-hosts a show with fellow pro Antonio Esfandiari, called "I Bet You", in which they bet on various events. He also has a regular column at Bluff Magazine.
Phil once set a record for hours played at a live poker table. In June of 2010, he played for a record 115 hours. He won $6,766 playing $10/$20 No Limit and donated half of his winnings to charity. He is adamant that he did not use any caffeine or other bodily stimulants.
He currently resides with his longtime girlfriend Jennifer Tilly, in both Las Vegas and Las Angeles.