Phil "The Unabomber" Laak says he can do three push ups in a row - Saturday 12th of March 2005

The World Poker Tour Invitational winner, Phil Laak, is better known as "The Unabomber". He has got this nickname in honour of American terrorist Ted Kaczynski, convicted mail bomber. Phil says he was called ???The Unabomber??? by other people and the title was not thought up by him.

Anyway, the nickname, which stuck to him, really reflects his behaviour. Phil???s fans like him due to his eccentric tricks, however, his foes do condemn him for the same things. The WPT remembers as he was doing push ups, running around the table, even peeking over the dealer???s shoulder. Phil admits that he can do three push ups in a row.

The journalist of, preparing an interview with ???The Unabomber??? marked that Phil shot out sentences rapid-fire, charged with the same manic energy that comes across in his playing style.

Laak came into the poker world, as he says, rather by accident. It was his friend, a regular visitor of a NYC poker club, who introduced the absorbing game to Phil five years ago. The very moment ???The Unabomber??? started playing the game he got crazy about it.  "Voila. I was hooked. That very night I saw what I had been missing. What a great game!" Phil recalls his first experience.

After the inception he got hugely involved in the game, spending up to 1500 hours a year playing poker at one time. Now he plays less often and prefers taking part in the big tournaments. Despite his provoking behaviour, that is often considered infant, Phil is a person of keen intelligence, who is a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Sometimes he spends free time reading articles of the website supported by Princeton's engineering anomalies research department. But his education seems not to affect his simple lifestyle that ignores conservative, generally accepted rules of conduct.

"Life for me is all about happiness and freedom; and playing smart poker, antic free or with a little goofing about, all falls under the umbrella of life. Having some fun and exercising the joy of freedom."

Laak comments on his nickname that some may find offensive in the current terror-sensitive environment: "You rarely pick the nickname others give you, and this case was no different. I did not give it to myself, it was given to me. It is obvious to see that the original Unabomber was a very sick man, and what he did was twisted and evil. I don't aim to disturb is just a nickname." resembles that of the infamous wanted poster of. I ask him how he rationalizes the fact.???

Phil, the handsome, slim-built, fair-haired man says about girls: "I don't know if "the ladies" are tallying points on fellas that play cards. If they are then I am losing out, as I am sort of in something of a relationship now. That probably sounds commitment phobic...maybe I am a little bit."

???The Unabomber??? may tell a lot of interesting stories regarding is gaming, one of them includes even paranormal phenomena. "I remember one time I had been up for about 3 days or so (no caffeine or stimulants, nor any mind altering substances). Every time I looked up the chips in the middle of the pot looked like they were floating in mid air. The felt had started to look like some sort of neutral air or something???and in this chunk of time the deck and me were one. It was something else. I was really surfing the whole probability matrix of poker nicely. And then this hand came to me...and I did not know what to do. We were at the turn. Two people had acted...I knew I had no way to win the hand. I had nothing and knew I was beat in both spots and I was far removed from a moment of bluffing. I knew I was going to lose...but I still was confused. I did not know what to do.

"I had forgotten that I could fold. I had played to the end so thoroughly on so many hands. I was in some sort of nether space/time continuum fuzziness. I just plain forgot that you could fold a hand in this game. The player to my right saw that I was trying to understand the moment... Yes, of course, I remember now... folding...yes...phew.... situation resolved."

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