Being Phil Laak … Finding a Game on Television

Phil plays “Underground Poker”

Phil Laak

A long time ago Antonio and I luck boxed our way into a show called “I Bet You.” It was a blast. It happened fast. And then it was all over. Only much later did we realize how lucky we had been.

Most shows never make it to air.
Oftentimes projects labeled as a “sure thing” or “in the works” end up taking a turn, go nowhere, and die. Even shows that are truly meant to live sometimes die. As a *haze dweller myself (*someone often in a haze) I probably would not have noticed either except now it was close to home.

Antonio and I are getting a second crack at a show! Wow!

Luck in poker is often terms measured by turn and river cards, but in TV Land your luck is measured a different way.

Who is on your team? Who is the kingpin? How hard are they going to the champion your project? Well … being extreme luck boxes we hit a home run and got the world’s greatest to champion our cause. (Thank you Kingpin (Jennifer Killoran) for never giving up on this! And thanks to everyone at Appian Way as well.)

A few months ago I was a clown and gave you misinformation. I told you that “Underground Poker” was going to air in May 2014. Then molasses happened and it reverted back to a sort of dream-like slow motion run thingy. But now we are awake again. And that is good.

“Underground Poker:” Debut …
Air Date: September 10, 2014.
Air Times: 10 p.m. EST, PST, and Mountain Time. (9 p.m. Central)
Network: Discovery

“Underground Poker” is a show about just that: Underground poker. Cameras follow me and Antonio as we bounce around New Orleans looking for (and finding) action.

It was fun making it and I hope people find it as fun to watch.


A few random quick thoughts.

I don’t like to gamble with stuff in my pockets. But I do love pockets. My favorite “gamble pants” all have zippered pockets. I don’t use them often, but when I do, I love them zippers. (Losing 10K in a poker game is no fun but way less fun and 37 times more painful is to lose 10K by having it fall from an unzippered pocket. Yes, sadly I have firsthand experience with that.)

The WSOP APAC (Australia)/October 2014 will have all hands on a 30 minute delay on ESPN2. Yup. A first for sure. Hats off to Mori Eskandani for being the best when it comes to televising this poker stuff. Beast! The 25K and 10K final tables. Yup, live streaming with hole cards and commentary on a 30 minute delay. MASSIVE for poker!


About a year ago I learned that Louis C.K. was one of the funniest men alive. Over time, I have managed to see nearly everything that this man has created. Thank you Louis for being one of the true gods of comedy.

OK, that’s it. There is more, but it will have to wait.

I have the Twitter and Instagram things, but I don’t use them too much. If you were to follow me at @PhilLaak you would also discover that I like grapes.

September 2014