Phil Laak, the world’s greatest poker player of all time, now lives in a humble house outside of San Diego. He’s been living on a ranch in Palm Springs, California since 2020, in the company of other Hall of Famers and a small army of bodyguards, still the world’s best poker player.
The “Laak Mansion” is located at Sierra Madre, a lake-side compound of luxury and high end men’s clubs. For the poker pro, it’s an absolute paradise. This luxurious community is the destination of choice for a lifestyle full of sports and leisure activities, as well as the site of the annual Poker Star Tournament.
There’s not much of a room service with Phil’s management style: his entire staff eats in the dining room, which has a serene view of Lake Tahoe. Guests are brought a glass of wine by a local caterer who does an amazing job for a mere two dollars per plate.
There are very few of the typical trappings of a high-end Las Vegas casino, but this particular Las Vegas property belongs to Phil Laak. This isn’t quite the look of a fast-food joint: he owns the entire house, and it’s absolutely perfect for him.
Golf: Laak’s own five-star luxury course, in Chula Vista, California. It is the third-best course in the world according to the PGA. It boasts a par three, four, and five, which make for fantastic play for the world’s best poker player.
Golf, dining, and mingling are free, except for the $35 annual dues: that’s what you pay in dues to get access to the exclusive community, and Laak is protecting the community by keeping his players within the bounds of the rules. You might be wondering, if there is a “community,” where did the word come from?
Phil Laak owns this property for himself. Even though he spent millions of dollars on poker tournaments, Laak still needs someone to maintain the clubhouse and to keep the doors open. In this case, his wife, Paula Laak, who manages the facilities in her husband’s absence.
Phil Laak has invested thousands upon thousands of dollars into this luxurious residence, and it makes it sound like a sumptuous vacation. But this is a property for Laak, and not for the general public.
So how can you get in the door? Many people would be afraid to approach a man who won the World Series of Poker seven times in a row, but Laak has just one rule: If you have spent ten thousand dollars playing poker, you’re allowed to come in. Some players can do much better, some can make even more money playing online, but that’s the exact opposite of what Laak is about.
Phil Laak, himself, can invest ten thousand dollars in a tournament. But he doesn’t want people doing that. He wants to keep his game as the only thing that matters, and no matter how many tournaments he wins, he’s always going to play by his own rules.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a mega-rich poker pro, or you’ve never played poker in your life, Phil Laak wants to meet you. You don’t need a passport to be accepted. Even if you have no skill at all, Laak likes to have people around him, in the clubhouse, and he even has a very good golf course, so you can bring the whole family along.
The only rule is that you don’t drink while playing poker with Phil Laak. Otherwise, it’s a life of luxury in this luxury community. He calls it the “Palm Springs of the West,” and he lives it up!