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Phil Gordon - Adventures in Poker
Phil Gordon was born on July 6, 1970, in El Paso, Texas. He grew up in Stone Mountain, Georgia, which is a small suburb of Atlanta. He learned to play poker from his aunt. Gordon and his sister would visit her during their summer vacations and every night they sat around the kitchen table playing five-card stud for pennies. Phil Gordon was a child protégé and when he was 15 years old he enrolled in college at Georgia Tech on a National Merit Scholarship.
Phil Gordon Becomes a Millionaire
By the time Phil Gordon turned 20, he graduated with a degree in computer science. He took a job with Lockheed Industries where he worked for two years. Then he quit to go to work for the start-up company Netsys Technologies where he was their lead software engineer and their first employee. Three years after that, Netsys was bought out by Cisco Systems and Phil Gordon became a millionaire.
After the sale of Netsys, PHil Gordon went on a five-year journey trekking across the world. He traveled to South America where he built a raft from balsa wood and floated down the Amazon River. In Uganda in Africa, he tracked gorillas. While in Australia, he drove across the Outback in a Land Rover and had the fortune to be a judge in a wet t-shirt contest. He climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and dived with sharks. Wherever he went, it was always an adventure.
Phil Gordon - World Series of Poker
In 2001, Phil Gordon’s adventures took him to the World Series of Poker. He made it to the final table where he took fourth place and earned $400,000. He also won a spot on the Travel Channel’s documentary ‘Inside the World Series of Poker’. In 2002, he came back to make two more final table finishes. He took sixth place in Pot Limit Hold’Em and a third place finish in Omaha 8 or Better. Later that same year, he was invited by UltimateBet.com to play in the World Poker Tour’s inaugural tournament in Aruba. He took first place in the professional division but lost the championship to amateur division winner Juha Helppi. The professional division win earned him $250,000.
Phil Gordon Poker Wins
In 2004 at the World Poker Tour’s Bay 101 Shooting Star tournament, Phil Gordon won first place in No Limit Hold’Em and took home $360,000. In 2005 at the WSOP, Gordon had a third place finish in the $1,500 No Limit Texas Hold’Em Shootout event which earned him $75,350. Then in 2006, at the FullTiltPoker Poker Championship at Red Rock, Gordon outlasted the competition to take first place and win $600,000. During NBC’s National Poker Heads-Up Tournament in 2007, he finished in the top 16. Gordon has yet to win a WSOP bracelet but he has made several final table finishes.
At he 2004 Bay 101 tournament, Phil Gordon and his group of friends showed up at a ladies-only event dressed in drag. Phil went by the name Phyllis and he wore a dress, make-up and high-heels. The group was dubbed the “Tiltgirls” and were cheered by the crowd. At the end of the tournament, Matt Savage, director for the event, announced that all future events would conduct a ‘panty check’ before the event.
Phil Gordon as a Commentator
Phil Gordon is probably best known for his commentary at poker events. He was a commentator and co-host for seven seasons on Bravo’s television show Celebrity Poker Showdown. It was the highest rated show on the Bravo network as well as the highest rated show in its category. In 2003, he provided commentary for the WSOP Championship event for Binnion’s live internet broadcast. During the WSOP main events in both 2006 and 2007, Gordon was a commentator for ESPN’s live pay-per-view coverage of those events. In 2007, he became the lead broadcaster for the ESPN’s series The Pro-Am Poker Equalizer. Some of his other work includes being an expert analyst for Fox Sports Net covering the Pechanga Celebrity Poker Challenge and writing for ESPN Poker Club. He has launched his own radio show ‘The Poker Edge’ on ESPNRadio, where he co-hosted with Andrew Feldman.
Phil Gordon Poker Books
Phil Gordon is also the author of several books. His first book was Poker: The Real Deal, and within its first four months of publication managed to sell 100,000 copies. In 2005, he put out another book titled The Little Green Book: Lessons and Teachings of Texas Hold’Em. He later published a follow-up book The Little Blue Book: More Lessons and Hand Analysis in No Limit Hold’Em. Also in 2005, he released an instructional DVD titled Final Table Poker.
Phil Gordon Charity Work
Besides poker, Phil Gordon is involved in charity work for cancer research. His Aunt Lib who taught him how to play poker died of lung cancer. He is a Board Member of the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation. Gordon has also raised money by selling a booklet of tips he wrote for the contestants on Celebrity Poker Showdown. He set up a $200 entry Roshambo tournament at the WSOP in 2005. The first prize for the event was a buy-in to the WSOP main event and all profits from the event went to charity. He also hosted a celebrity poker tournament in Houston, Texas right before the Super Bowl XXXVIII. He continues to raise money for cancer research through the “Bad Beat on Cancer” initiative.
Phil Gordon - The Greatest Road Trip in Sports History
In 2003, Phil Gordon bought an RV with his friend and fellow player Rafe Furst. They nicknamed the RV “Big Blue” and embarked on what they termed was “The Greatest Road Trip in Sports History”. The tour started at the Super Bowl in San Diego in 2003. They traveled the country and attended more than 140 sports events in 40 states including the Final Four, the Stanley Cup Finals, the triple crown horse races, the Daytona and Indy 500, US Open Tennis, 25 baseball stadiums, the Masters, and the top golf courses in the nation. The tour ended at the 2004 Super Bowl in Houston, Texas. The purpose of the trip was to raise money for cancer research for the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation. At tailgate parties, sports bars, poker tournaments, and by selling autographed memorabilia donated by various sports organizations, they raised $100,000 for the cancer foundation.
Phil Gordon - FullTiltPoker.com
Phil Gordon is part of the infamous group called the “Tiltboys”. They helped to design the software that would eventually be used by the website FullTiltPoker.com, where he is a member. He remains as one of poker’s most interesting characters, both for adventuresome antics as well as his charity work. Gordon currently lives in California and his estimated tournament winnings are $1,700,000.
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