Phil Gordon

Poker Source: What is your favorite childhood memory?

Phil Gordon: Getting my computer. My mom bought me an Apple IIe when I was twelve. I can remember, that was probably the happiest…I knew that computers were going to be very important to me. I had been using them in school, but to have one all my own that I could do whatever I wanted with was incredible. I spent about the next four years locked in my room.

PS: How has playing poker changed your life?

Phil Gordon: Well, most obviously, having a television show. After forty-two episodes on Celebrity Poker in two-and-a-half years, it’s definitely changed my life. I can’t go anywhere anymore without people asking for autographs and pictures and such.

PS: When you are playing now, do players that didn’t necessarily know you before the TV show realize that you have been playing poker for a long time, that you know what you’re doing, that you’re not just a TV guy?

Phil Gordon: The people who have been watching poker on TV since its inception have seen me on TV at one point or another. It’s not like I’ve been on only one time. I had two wins on the World Poker Tour, a couple final tables at the World Series, World Series Championship table in 2001, two Fox Sports broadcasts, and numerous World Poker Tour stand-up interviews as a player.

I guess the real answer to the question is people probably know me more as the host of Celebrity Poker than as a professional poker play now, though.

PS: What has been your biggest extravagance since turning pro?

Phil Gordon: I’m not really an extravagant guy. I guess my biggest extravagance has been playing cards for a living, instead of doing something constructive with my life. I like leading a lifestyle that is relaxed and affords me the opportunity to do things that I like to do. I don’t play poker for money; I had plenty of money before poker and I’ll have plenty of money after poker. I play poker because I enjoy the game and the challenges that it presents.

PS: If you weren’t a poker player, how would you be earning a living?

Phil Gordon: I wouldn’t be earning a living – I’d be retired.

PS: What is the worst part of being recognized?

Phil Gordon: I’m not sure there is a “worst” part. The only thing I can think of is people confusing me with Phil Hellmuth [laughs]. I think that’s the only thing that tilts me about being out in public. When you’re out at bars and someone says, “Hey! Phil Hellmuth!” I want to throw up every time that happens.

I’ve heard that he gets the same thing in reverse, so that makes me very happy. I’m sure it tilts him a hell of a lot more to be called Phil Gordon than it tilts me to be called Phil Hellmuth.

PS: What was the lowest point and highest point in your poker career?

Phil Gordon: Highest point was winning Bay 101.

Lowest point of my poker career was leaving Celebrity Poker Showdown. I loved doing the show.

Editor’s Note: Bay 101 was the San Jose casino that hosted the Bay 101 Shooting Star World Poker Tour event March 3-5, 2004. Phil outlasted 242 other players to win the $5,000 buy-in tournament and take home $360,000.

PS: Where is your favorite place to hang out when you’re not playing poker?

Phil Gordon: In the summer, Vancouver. In the winter, on a golf course in Vegas.

PS: What is your most significant or proudest non-poker accomplishment?

Phil Gordon: Completing the Ultimate Sports Adventure with my buddy, Rafe [fellow Tiltboy and professional poker player, Rafe Furst]. We bought an RV, we started at the Super Bowl in San Diego, and drove 43,000 miles over the course of a single year. We did 138 sports events in 42 states. We saw every major event in sports, including all three Triple Crowns, the Masters, the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, the World Series, the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, World Ping Pong Championship, World Figure Skating Championship, the Final Four, the NBA All-Star Game, the Little League World Series, the College World Series, we played the top 25 public golf courses…there’s a full schedule on the internet at

PS: Who would play YOU in the Phil Gordon Story?

Phil Gordon: [Laughs] People tell me I look like Nicholas Cage, so I’d have to get Nick Cage to play me.

PS: What is your least favorite interview question?

Phil Gordon: Who is the worst celebrity poker player? The question is not so bad, but it would take a really long time to answer it and I like answers that are short and sweet [laughs].