Phil Stewart Gordon was born in El Paso, Texas, USA, on July 6, 1970. He was a very intelligent and driven person in his younger years, as he attended Georgia Tech while still in high school. After 11th grade, he dropped out of high school to attend Georgia Tech full-time. This is where he got the degree in Computer Science in 1991. He worked in big companies Santa Cruz Operation and Lockheed until he decided to join a start-up company Netsys Technologies. Netsys was acquired by Cisco Systems in 1996 which ended up making him a millionaire; this prompted his early retirement from the high-tech world in 1997. He has travelled the world and played poker and now lives in Newport, Washington with his wife and two children.
Phil Gordon’s Poker History
Phil Gordon started his poker career in 1997 when he retired, but his fame and poker fortune did not arrive until his first time playing at the 2001 World Series of Poker tournament. He ended up getting to the final table and finished in 4th place, winning $400,000. He made another two final tables in two different 2002 WSOP events, Pot Limit Hold’em and Omaha Hi/Lo Split, where he finished 6th and 3rd, respectively. He made another final table at the No Limit Texas hold 'em Shootout event in the 2005 WSOP, where he finished in 3rd place. He has been able to make it to many final tables in the WSOP but has been unable to win a bracelet, as of yet. He has been successful in the World Poker Tour as well.
During the 2004 World Series of Poker Bay 101 Shooting Stars tournament Phil managed to beat two players at once, one of them being a former WPT main event champion Chris Moneymaker. With his first poker tournament win, he took the title and $360,000. He has also participated in other events, like the 2006 Full Tilt Poker Poker Championship at Red Rock, which he won by outlasting five other tough opponents. He beat Roland De Wolfe in a heads-up and won the $600,000 first place prize. He has also played in the 2007 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship tournament, where he got 16th place. Apart from live tournaments, he also likes to play in the online setting. Playing as part of the group “Tiltboys”, which is the group that helped design the software for Full Tilt Poker.
Phil Gordon’s Other Activities
With his background in Computer Science he was able to be part of the group that helped design and implement the software used at Full Tilt Poker; he is also a member of the Full Tilt Poker team. Gordon is also well-known for being a commentator during poker broadcasts. He has broadcasted in several different events, including Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown for seven seasons, the WSOP Championship Event, and for ESPN's live pay per view broadcast of the final table of the World Series of Poker main event championship in both 2006 and 2007.
He has also written several books, one of which is a bestseller, ‘Poker: The Real Deal and Phil Gordon's Little Green Book: Lessons and Teachings in No Limit Hold 'em’. Gordon also enjoys doing philanthropy work; known especially for his donations towards cancer research. He started and ran several poker tours that would go around the country and play poker against local opponents to raise money for various charities. During this time, he and Rafe Furst came up with the idea of creating ‘Bad Beat on Cancer’. It is done by getting poker players to pledge 1% of their winnings, which would go towards cancer research. Until now they have been able to raise over $3 million.
Phil Gordon’s Overall Success
During his time playing in the WSOP, he has not yet been able to win a bracelet, but he has had 18 money finishes. It is at the WPT that he has had more success, where he has won the title once, made one final table, and had one money finish. His total live tournament winnings in 2010 were over $2,300,000. He has had success in and out of the poker world, and he enjoys every bit of it.