Many people have likened Layne Flack to the infamous Stu Ungar, mostly because their poker play is something next to genius and the both fought battles with drug and alcohol addictions.
Layne was born in Rapid City, South Dakota on May 18, 1969 and spent his early years in Montana, but returned to Rapid City to graduate from high school in 1987. He enrolled in college in 1991 and in his off time he worked as a dealer in the casinos of Deadwood. Like many others though, Layne found playing poker much more lucrative and exciting than college or working, so he scrapped both of them to become a full-time player.
Flack and his girlfriend lived in Reno briefly, but when their daughter Hailey was born in 1995 they returned to Montana, settling in Bozeman where Layne helped open and operate a poker room. In 1997, with the encouragement of his friend and mentor Huck Seed, Layne traveled alone to Las Vegas.
Jumping right into tournament play he took first in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event at the Hall of Fame Poker Classic. He booked his first World Series of Poker win in 1998, placing second in the $2,000 no-Limit Hold’em event and claimed his first WSOP bracelet in 1999 in the Pot’Limit Hold’em event. Layne continued to place in the money and in 2002 he got his nickname of “Back to Back” Flack when he won two events in a row—the $2,500 Omaha Hi-low split and the $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout—and two more coveted bracelets. In 2003 he picked up two more WSOP bracelets reinforcing his “Back to Back” title.
Flack had gained the attention of many people, Johnny Chan offered advice and backed him in several tournaments, and when the drugs and alcohol took their toll in 2004, Daniel Negreanu covered the $60,000 bill for his rehab. Phil Hellmuth called Flack a “No-Limit Hold’em Genius” saying he has a healthy respect for “Drunk Layne”—his reads are dead on and he has no fear. Over the next several years, Layne continued to play and cash, but even after rehab, he was still waging a battle with his personal demons.
In June of 2008, with many supporters in his corner, a sober Layne Flack, ran over the opposition in the WSOP $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha with re-buys event to claim his sixth bracelet and pocket $577,725 the largest cash win of his career. Layne has also placed 5 times during the World Poker Tour, including a first place title in 2003 Invitational tournament, winning $125,000.
Layne has amassed more than $4,000,000 in live tournament wins and with his lifestyle taking a turn for the better it looks like his opponents will be getting some more Flack from “Back to Back” Flack.
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