Phil Laak always wanted to be rich, very rich. He discovered that there was a lot of money to be made playing poker and moved out to California to play at the Bay 101 in San Jose. Laak and Esfandiari would live and breathe poker in San Jose where they would begin their journey for fortune and eventually find fame as well.
Making a Fortune at Commerce Casino in LA
The bigger games at the Bay 101 were drying up and the Unabomber needed a new casino to call home. He would need to move to either Los Angeles or Las Vegas in search of action.
He headed out to LA and discovered the Commerce Casino. The Commerce would become his new home. His plan was to get rich playing poker in LA and, as it turned out, that’s just what happened.
Phil Laak Wins the World Poker Tour in LA
With the explosion of poker on TV and the World Poker Tour, his search for fortune would become inseparably intertwined with becoming famous. In 2004, the Unabomber would win the World Poker Tour Invitational at the Commerce Casino in LA in front of his home crowd and become an instant fan favorite for his outrageous antics at the poker table. His first major tournament victory was broadcast on TV and from that point on, poker success would also become poker fame.
The rush of winning on TV made him realize that he loved being in the news and on the television screen. From that point on, it would seem that he would turn up on any and every poker show that was aired.
Big Finishes and Big Money
Since his World Poker Tour win, he would continue a star studded poker career that would see him at the final table of many tournaments and see him winning even bigger events. The Unabomber was not a one hit wonder, he was here to play!
His next big showing would come a year later in 2005 at the World Series of Poker in the $2,500 Pot Limit Hold’em event where he would finish as the runner-up to the legendary Johnny Chan and take home a whopping $156,000 for his efforts.
The same year, he would win his biggest prize when he won the William Hill Poker Grand Prix and a record £150,000 ($265,000) in prize money. It would turn out to be an awesome year of poker for him as he wrapped it up with a 6th place in the World Poker Tour Main Event and an additional $161,000 in winnings.
His poker tournament success would continue in the years to come. In 2008, he would make the final table at the World Series of Poker $10,000 World Championship Pot Limit Hold’em event.
Other great highlights of his career at the poker table would include him winning the Party Poker World Open V in London for a $250,000 prize in 2009. In 2010, he would make the final table of the Party Poker Premier League IV in Las Vegas and take home a total tournament prize of $146,000.
His continued success on the poker tournament circuit and his appearances on most poker TV shows would make him one of the most famous poker players around.
He would appear on just about any and every TV poker event out there. He featured on several episodes of the World Poker Tour. And as new poker shows would hit the air, you could bet that you’d see him at the table and ready for action. He made several appearances on Poker Royale and in a special team format event would even have his own team known as “The Unabombers”.
He would also appear on Poker After Dark and the NBC National Heads-Up Championship.
He would become a regular on one of the most popular poker TV shows around – High Stakes Poker. Here he would play in the biggest cash games against some of the toughest poker pros in the world including the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, Patrik Antonius and many more legends of the game.
The Poker Star
Phil Laak’s continued success at the poker table and his many appearances on TV have made him one of the most famous poker stars out there. The Unabomber has become a household name over the years and he continues to win money and tournaments on the television screen much to the audience’s delight.