Posts Tagged ‘Phil Laak’

Poker Central announces 2 New Shows: Pokerography and Inside Poker

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

poker-central-networkIf you’ve been starved for quality poker programming, then you’ll be pleased to know that Poker Central has announced two new shows that they’re working on.

The first is “Pokerography,” which will provide an in-depth view of some of the best poker pros ever to play the game. Some of the players who’ll be profiled include Antonio Esfandiari, Chris Moneymaker, Erik Seidel, Michael Mizrachi, Phil Hellmuth and Vanessa Selbst. According to TV Media Insights, the tagline for Pokerogrpahy is as follows:

“Each episode will explore the individual behind the legend in their own words. Interviews with family, friends, professional rivals, and expert poker-analysts dig deeper into their legacies.”

Another show, which will debut some time early in 2016, is called “Inside Poker.” Matt Savage will host this TV show and dive into some of the hottest topics in the poker world. In addition to discussing current news, Inside Poker will also dispense tips from pros and provide coverage of the top card rooms in the U.S.

Poker Central, which launches on October 1st, is set to be the first 24-hour poker television network in history. Up until now, few specifics have been given on what exactly Poker Central will offer, beyond coverage of the $500k Aria Super High Roller Bowl. So it’s nice to finally get a glimpse of what kind of shows will be offered once the network is up and running.

It’s been quite a while since any good poker TV shows have run in primetime spots. Poker Central will finally give players and fans of the game the opportunity to see some good shows any time they want – rather than watching 2009 episodes of High Stakes Poker through YouTube.

Zombies invade WSOP (New Comic Book)

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

wsop-zombies-comicIt seems that you can’t watch TV for two hours these days without something zombie-related popping up. Hell, Walking Dead is so big that they even made a show just to talk about a show. So it doesn’t surprise me that the World Series of Poker has caught zombie fever too.

Specifically, PokerNews editor and gold bracelet winner Chad Holloway has created a comic book dubbed World Series of Zombies (WSOZ), where Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Laak, Vanessa Selbst and Phil Hellmuth are the stars (we can only hope that Hellmuth is the first one eaten).

“Bringing WSOZ to life has been a goal of mine for a long time, and I can’t wait to debut it at the 2015 WSOP,” Holloway told PokerNews. “I hope both poker players and zombie fans will enjoy what was designed to be a fun and light-hearted take on poker’s premier event.”

As you can see to the right, there were some pretty sweet covers created for WSOZ, with Chicago-based comic book artist Terry Huddleston doing the one on the left (as well as artwork for the entire book), and two-time Survivor contestant and comic book artist Erik Reichenbach drawing the cover on the right. Reichenbach explains his special variant cover by saying:

“When I first started coming up with sketches for the cover, I kept coming back to a horde of zombies behind Negreanu and what I could do to make them distinct. The idea of zombie showgirls made the most sense for a zombie apocalypse in Las Vegas. The juxtaposition of terrifying showgirls coming after the patrons just felt like the right way to put zombies into the world of poker.”

Assuming you’re interested in this comic book, it’ll be available in the Rio this summer. So if you’ll be playing in the 2015 WSOP, be sure to check out WSOZ.

Lex Veldhuis bashes Antonio Esfandiari

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

lex-veldhuis-pokerDutch poker pro Lex Veldhuis doesn’t like Antonio Esfandiari, and he’s not afraid to let everybody know. During an episode of ChicagoJoey’s Poker Life podcast, Veldhuis used the word “worthless” to describe Esfandiari. So what’s at the root of his very strong dislike for ‘The Magician?’

According to Veldhuis, it all began during his first live tournament trip to Vegas. He played next to Esfandiari during one tournament and initially befriended him. However, things went sour when Esfandiari invited Veldhuis to dinner, but told him that his four friends couldn’t come along because he wanted to keep it small. “I’m not going to ditch my friends because you think you’re fucking Antonio, (like) I should be grateful that you’re asking me to dinner,” Veldhuis said.

After several years had passed, another dinner-invitation incident like this came up. This time, Daniel Negreanu and Liv Boeree asked if Lex wanted to eat with them. He said sure, but was disappointed to hear that Esfandiari was doing the reservations. Veldhuis tried to give Esfandiari another chance, but was again met with resistance when he wanted to bring a couple friends that he’d previously made plans with. Antonio’s problem with this was that he wanted to “keep it exclusive.”

Another point that Veldhuis doesn’t like about Esfandiari is that “he has no empathy for the situation people are in if he wants attention.” One example he gives is when Antonio was making fun of Bertrand Grospellier (sitting to his left) and his pants to a player at another table.

It’s rare for poker pros to openly discuss their disdain for fellow players like this – or at least to this extent. So it’ll be interesting to see if Esfandiari has any kind of comeback upon hearing the podcast…assuming it’s not too beneath him of course. Check the rant out below, and it begins at about the 1-minute mark.

Columnist claims ESPN “Ruined Poker”

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Over the years, ESPN has proven to be a leader in mainstream poker coverage. And many players thank the fact that the worldwide sports leader continues to dedicate hours of programming to a game which isn’t accepted by everybody. However, a widely read column by Argun M. Ulgen claims that ESPN has done nothing but ruin poker and efforts to legalize the online version.

Through a wordy piece that required me to look half the adjectives up on, Ulgen presents an overall picture that ESPN’s glamorization of all-in moves and lack of strategical analysis is killing the game. More specifically, he thinks that the network’s WSOP coverage shows poker as anything but a game of skill. In turn, this is exactly the type of thing that gives politicians fuel to keep federal online poker regulation down. Here’s one excerpt from Ulgen’s gripe:

Antonio Esfandiari – another brilliant broadcaster from ESPN’s live 2011 coverage – has a marginal role in this year’s telecast. He, along with close friend and poker pro Phil “The Unibomber” Lak, now has a small two minute segment on the show in which the two – with requisite colorful exuberance – hurriedly break down some of the key elements of a just televised poker hand. Esfandiari’s analysis is but a sliver of the remarkably accurate discussions he presented in ‘11; it’s but quick, specialized segment in the show.

After 10 years of coverage, ESPN still fails to routinely provide basic information of each hand, which usually starts well after key bets have been made. The infographics predominantly focus on cash prizes and the Tournament Leaderboard as opposed to even the most basic skill elements: position, blind levels, and stack sizes. All this in spite of a wealth of opportunities to accurately capture poker as an entertaining and complex game without pandering to gimmicky reality TV style broadcasting.

So is the lack of strategy talk on ESPN really killing poker and preventing politicians from recognizing it as a skill game? Or is this fun, light-hearted presentation more conducive to attracting millions of casual players to poker.

Well, based on the growth that the game’s experienced from 2003 until now, I tend to go with the latter thought. And while that growth has slowed and the US federal government still shuns poker, it has little if anything to do with ESPN.

Phil Laak Crushes Zimbler World Record With 115 Hours Of Poker

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Last year Paul Zimbler set the world record for the most consecutive hours spent playing poker with 78 straight hours of poker. However, this week poker pro Phil Laak, of Unibomber Poker, crushed Zimbler’s record with an unbelievable 115 hours of poker!

Phil Laak’s record-breaking poker challenge took place at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Laak was playing a $10/$20 cash poker game. Six hours before Laak’s 115-hour poker marathon concluded he was up $4000 and by the end of his Guinness World Record-winning game he was up $6,766! Laak also manages to lose five pounds over the course of his poker marathon. He wrote on Twitter, “Wow – my weight was 182 – first time in 12 yrs it has been below 185!”

A blog linked to from the Unibomber Poker website had this interesting tidbit to say about the 4.8 day poker marathon:

“Professional baseball teams can play a full series against each other in four days. Folks with day job can complete 80% of their work weeks in four days. And a driver in an automobile can go from Los Angeles to New York and back again in four days. Now imagine doing any of those things without sleep – and you’ve got an idea of where Phil is right now.”

The 115 hours that Paul Laak played in 4.8 days was the same amount he would have played in almost three traditional work weeks! At the end of his marathon, Laak tweeted, “115 hours late…Bedtime…ahhhh!” He was surely tired, but it must have been worth it!