I just talked to Phil “The Unabomber” Laak who has made friends with my new media room buddy from Amsterdam, who was nice enough to fix Laak’s playstation.
Anyway, I asked Phil about how he felt about players like Phil Gordon, who say they would like to see less antics displayed on televised poker. Since Laak is well known for his antics I was pretty sure that he would take the Matusow, Hellmuth side of the dispute and he did, but without the bluster or his compadres.
“The trick is to do whatever you need to do at the table to achieve fun, freedom, and fulfillment. About 5% of the time I might be thinking that the camera is on me, but 95% of the time I’m just floating along being myself. I saw these 17-21 year old kids the other day who have never been in a casino and they were watching nothing but clips of poker players blowing up instead of renting a movie at Blockbuster or something.”
On the Poker after Dark episode featuring Tony G, Mike Matusow, and Phil Hellmuth that incited Gordon to say he’d “like to see a lot less of that in poker.”
“You had three guys who showed up for a televised event and were out to make it a good time, and three other guys who knew exactly what to expect and probably really enjoyed what went on.”
On Richard Marcus’ book Dirty Poker where Marcus implies that Jennifer Tilly’s win in the WSOP Ladies event was fixed.
“It didn’t bother us at all. Everybody in the public eye has someone saying something ludicrous about them, but clearly it was such an absurd claim that it didn’t pick up any traction. I read the first ten pages of that book, and it was like a certain
Hollywood star, with a certain Professional Poker playing boyfriend, in a National Championship. I haven’t talked to a single person who has given the claim any credence and it’s clearly not true.”
On the criticized structure of the Limit Events: “I don’t know. I’ve never played limit before. I’m just in the event because I’m a poker drone and that’s what we do.”
On the Phil Ivey vs. Paul Jackson hand at the Monte Carlo Millions: “Best poker clip ever and I’ve seen them all.”
Phil is clearly as big a fan of televised poker as everyone else. We discussed the best blow up in poker history and I mentioned the Hellmuth tirade after he lost the WSOP TOC to Annie Duke. Hellmuth kept hitting top pair and seemingly every hand Duke had flopped two pair. “And he folded every time, didn’t he? You have to admire that, Hellmuth is incredible. How does he know?”