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Phil Gordon

By Paul McGuire

Phil Gordon is one of the most recognizable faces in poker today. It’s not because he stands at a towering six feet and nine inches tall. It’s mostly due to the fact that he’s the host of the popular television show Celebrity Poker Showdown, where Hollywood’s brightest stars play a series of tournaments. Phil Gordon provides excellent color commentary and often gives some of the celebrities a crash course in how to play tournament poker. Celebrity Poker Showdown has helped make Phil Gordon a household name.

Phil Gordon
Phil Gordon - Source: Las Vegas & Poker

Phil Gordon is also infamous for being one of the Tiltboys, are a group of friends from Northern California who would incite havoc on one another during home games or on various trips to Las Vegas. Their goal was to get their friends on tilt either in poker or playing “Rock Paper Scissors.” The Tiltboys first started posting their stories on the internet and now those hilarious stories can be read in a new book called “Tales from the Tiltboys.” You can read all about Phil Gordon’s days before he got famous and became a professional poker player and a TV host. He once entered a “Ladies Only” tournament and wore a dress in order to deceive tournament organizers. He finished in an unimpressive 46th place.

Phil Gordon was born in El Paso, Texas and graduated from Georgia Tech at the age of twenty with a degree in computer science. He took a job in the high-tech industry in California. He would eventually become a millionaire when one of the companies he owned was bought out by Cisco Systems. He gave away all his material items and traveled the world for five years, visiting six continents and over 50 countries. He became a world traveler and adventure seeker. A few years ago, he and fellow Tiltboy Rafe Furst embarked on an American sports-themed road trip. They loaded up an RV and attended every major sporting event including the Super Bowl, the Final Four, the Stanley Cup hockey finals, the Masters golf tournament, and the Indy 500.

Phil Gordon has won over $1 million in tournaments. He has made two final tables on the World Poker Tour. In 2004, he won the Bay 101 Shooting Stars WPT event and made the final table in 2002 at the Ultimate Bet Poker Classic in Aruba. Phil Gordon has never won a WSOP bracelet and that is one of the goals he’s trying to achieve. He came in 4th at the 2001 WSOP and made five final tables including two at this year’s WSOP. He also has seven career cashes at the WSOP. Phil Gordon made one of the biggest laydowns of all time at the WSOP in 2001. With two tables remaining, Phil Gordon was the chipleader and held pocket Kings. He folded when Phil Hellmuth moved all in on him. Mike Matusow also folded pocket Queens. Gordon eventually mucked and Hellmuth showed his pocket aces. Hellmuth proceeded to go on tilt because he had A-A against K-K and Q-Q and did not get paid off.

Phil Gordon also has a poker strategy book coming out called “The Little Green Book.” Many people are anticipating that it’s going to be the next great poker book. Time will tell. Gordon just released a DVD called “Final Table Poker.” He set out to create the best instructional video on how to play in tournaments and he succeeded

Phil Gordon is very active in raising money to fight cancer. His Aunt Lib taught him to play and when she died of cancer he decided that he would do what he could to raise money for the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation.

Phil Gordon currently lives in Las Vegas, NV and can often be found playing online at Full Tilt Poker. You can watch episodes of Celebrity Poker Showdown on the Bravo channel. You can listen to his excellent poker podcast at http://www.expertinsight.com/_Podcast.html.

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