Phil Laak was born in Dublin, Ireland; however, he was raised in the United States. He grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Laak is a well known figure in the poker world. He is known for his uniform of grey hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses. He began playing professional poker in 1999, after having already established himself as a competitive backgammon player.
His training in mechanical engineering and backgammon have led him to have a highly developed understanding of game theory and the mathmatics behind the games of poker.
Laak is currently dating actress, Jennifer Tilly, who also plays competetive poker.