Poker professional Phil "Unabomber" Laak won the opening event of the World Series of Poker Europe, collecting his first-ever gold bracelet.
Laak, 38, is a regular in major poker tournaments and televised high-stakes poker games. Earlier this year, Laak set a world record for the most consecutive hours spent playing poker (at 115).
Laak won the Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em championship at the tournament in London, which is being held at the Casino at the Empire. He topped a field of 244 players to earn $270,000 for first place.
“The main thing to me is now is that I don’t have to listen to all the ragging I get from everyone when I play.” Laak said. “80 percent of the time, it’s all I hear, that I don’t have a gold bracelet yet. Well, that’s all gone now.”
Laak won the event on the birthday of his girlfriend, actress Jennifer Tilly, a former Oscar-nominee who won a World Series of Poker gold bracelet in the 2005 Ladies World Poker Championship in Las Vegas. She was present at the final table from start to finish and cheered Laak to victory.
“What timing, and to win it on Jennifer’s birthday, it just makes it that much more sweet,” Laak said.
Laak wore an arm cast at the final table, the result of a fracture suffered last month while riding an ATV. He painted his arm cast with the Union Jack flag, the nation symbol of Great Britain.
Photo by Rob Gracie