Texas Card House Austin sat down with another one of the winners from our WPT Step 2
Tournament, Phil Monday, to talk about his upbringing around poker and the poker community
in Austin, TX.
Phil Monday grew up here in Austin. He went to college at Huston Tillotson University in
downtown Austin where he played baseball and then transferred to Ranger Junior College and
graduated from Tarleton State University.
He moved back to Austin after college, and his career took him to Phoenix, Arizona where he
worked in IT sales. Currently, Phil is a real estate agent and has been in this line of work since
October of 2020.
He started playing poker in high school with friends just for fun. He is self-taught. He and his
friends would do small $20 buy-ins. In general, it was a game with very little structure and little
strategy. After college, Phil really started learning more about the game itself including strategy
Playing poker started filling the void Phil had of being competitive from playing baseball. During
that time, he played in different poker rooms in the Austin area, mostly participating in
tournaments since they didn’t require as big of a bank roll.
When he moved to Phoenix, he started playing a lot more, mostly in the casino setting and
some poker rooms as well, looking for what he calls “the tournament of the day” that was
available to play when he was up for a poker session. He also lived in Seattle, where he started
making himself a schedule to play tournaments on the weekends.
After coming back to Austin, he took a break from poker until a friend of his introduced him to
TCH Austin, where they came to play the first WPT Step 1 tournament. He picked up and
started getting more involved in the game, strategy, and revisiting hands in his mind.
When it comes to having a favorite professional poker player, Phil picks up different things from
each one. He mentioned watching Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu.
Nowadays, Phil enjoys playing cash as much as tournaments, it all depends on the kind of time
and commitment he’s ready for any given day. We’ll watch Phil playing on the WPT Step 3
tournament this September and possibly win this thing!