There’s an old saying that no one remembers who finishes second. Andy Philachack learned that lesson the hard way. Twice.
Back in 2005, the 33-year-old Dallas chiropractor took second place at the World Poker Open. Earlier this year, he followed up that mixed blessing with yet another second-place showing, on a day when poker history was re-written by one of poker’s most famous superstars. Philachack was the runner up in Event #15 at the 2007 World Series of Poker, which just so happened to be the tournament domino that knocked Phil Hellmuth, Jr. into a class all his own, as the combustible poker icon iced away his record-11 th WSOP victory.
The memory of being ignored and instantly forgotten by pretty much the entire poker world was tempered by a second-place payout from that event totaling $394,594. As satisfying as collecting a big payout may seem to the average poker player, true champions measure themselves not on the basis in-the-money finishes or final table appearances, but of victories won. That happened last weekend as Philachack won the Winter Bayou Poker Challenge in New Orleans. Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Josh Arieh was the runner-up in the tourney, which was held at Harrah’s New Orleans.