Phil “The Unabomber” Laak has had an eventful summer.
In June, he set the world record for the longest consecutive amount of time playing poker, playing at the Bellagio in Las Vegas for over 115 hours straight.
In August, the 38-year-old Laak was involved in an all-terrain vehicle accident while on a camping trip in Oregon. The accident left him with broken bones in his wrist, a broken rib, a dislocated elbow, and damage to his right eye.
Late last week, he added his first World Series of Poker bracelet to his “things I did this summer” list.
Laak took down event one at the WSOP Europe, a Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em event with a buy-in of €2,500. With his girlfriend, actress and fellow WSOP bracelet winner Jennifer Tilly looking on, Laak came out on top of the field of 244 entrants.
For his victory, Laak was awarded a WSOP bracelet and €170,802.
Entering the final table, Laak sat third in chips (317,000) behind leader Andrew Pantling (627,500) and Chris Bjorin (368,500). Behind him were David Peters (251,500), Ilan Rouah (200,000) and short stack Willie Tann (72,000)
Laak was definitely the most well known player at the final table, but the other players were not entirely unknown in the poker world.
Pantling has career tournament winnings of over $600,000. Chris Bjorin is the all-time leader in WSOP Europe cashes with five over the four-season life of the tournament.
David Peters is the owner of a WSOP Circuit event title and $791,217 total in tournament winnings.
Willie Tann owns a gold bracelet from the 2005 WSOP, where he took down the $1,000 buy in No Limit Hold’em event. Ilan Rouah was the unknown quantity to most, as his tournament play and success has been limited.
Laak chipped up throughout the final table and eventually found himself heads-up against Pantling. Pantling held the advantage with 1,078,000 chips to Laaks’s 759,000.
The players exchanged the lead several times, with the final hand coming 2.5 hours into heads-up play.
On the final hand, with Laak holding the chip lead, Laak raised all-in before the flop. Laak showed Kd 5c to Pantling’s Ah 9h.
The flop came 7h 4h 4c, and Pantling was in the lead with his ace kicker to go with the pair of 4’s on the board. The turn was the 5d, and now Laak had the lead with a pair of 5’s.
The river was the Qc, and Laak’s fives held up for the victory.
The gold bracelet adds to Laak’s WSOP resume, which, in addition to this win, includes three final table appearances, and seven cashes. Laak has one runner-up finish in the WSOP, losing out to Johnny Chan at the 2005 Pot-Limit Hold’em championship.
His WSOP career winnings are $509,529.
The win in this tournament gives Laak three major-tournament victories in his career. He has wins in the 2004 World Poker Tour Celebrity Invitational as well as the 2005 William Hill Grand Prix. His overall tournament winnings are close to $2.5 million.
The payouts for the final table:
Phil Laak €170,802
Andrew Pantling €105,506
Chris Bjorin €70,473
David Peters €48,202
Ilan Rouah €33,617
Willie Tann €23,900