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“Upstuck” – Why I Love Poker’s Newest Term

Phil Laak has done it again.

The colorful and beloved poker personality coined a new term this week – “upstuck” – to describe a poker player who is down from their peak net-win in a cash game session, but still overall in the black.

Laak is mostly known for his high-octane personality and propensity to do off-the-wall things like set a new Guinness Book of World Records mark for most consecutive hours of poker played (115, if you were wondering).

It should be noted that this is not his first contribution to the poker lexicon. He is also widely credited as being the first poker player to use the word felt as a both a verb and an adverb, coining the term “felted” to describe a player who loses all their chips.

Laak’s long time partner Jennifer Tilly tweeted out the creation and meaning of poker’s newest vocabulary word:

Being Upstuck Means Never Having To Admit Just How Unlucky You Really Aren’t

Let me just say upfront that upstuck is the greatest poker innovation since top shelf shots were made available for players at the $2/$4 limit table. I love this new term.

Poker players hate two things more than anything: listening to others’ bad beat stories, and seeing someone else win when they are losing. Now thanks to upstuck, I can be at your table and make you suffer through both simultaneously.

That’s why the term is truly ground breaking stuff in the field of poker table dynamics. Before, if I was having a winning cash game session, I felt good. I could be counted on to drive the conversation at the table and encourage a light, fun atmosphere.

Now, even if my overall profit is 3 buy-ins, I have a term to easily explain to you that I am actually down from a peak of 5. I can now make sure everyone else knows I am really having a bad night – upstuck for 2 buy-ins.

That, of course, is all the evidence I will need to prove what I always knew – that I am without a doubt the most unlucky poker player to ever play poker.

So, the ultimate beauty of the term does not lie in how effortlessly it rolls off my tongue (“upstuck” is a really, really, fun word to say if you haven’t done it already). What really makes upstuck great is the fact that even if I am up 3 buy-ins, I can feel perfectly justified in relentlessly complaining about how unlucky I am to someone actually down 2 buy-ins.

If I use the Periscope live streaming app, I can even let the entire internet know too:

For this, every poker player truly owes Laak a huge debt of gratitude.

Pushing The Boundaries Of Poker  

At a point in poker’s history where an entire branch of coaching has developed devoted to the mental game, it’s great to see this new term pushing the boundaries of ways to keep me (and everyone within earshot of me) on tilt.

Laak may not be Jason Somerville using Twitch streaming to bring poker to the masses, but I want to thank him for contributing in his own way to moving poker into the future and making it fun again.

And actually, thinking of how much fun poker can be reminds me of this one session I played in Atlantic City…I had been on a roll all night, but in the end I finished upstuck 2 buy-ins for $2k and only walked away with $3K that night…ugh…

Can you imagine? It was so sick how unlucky I was that night…here….let me tell you all about it…

Actually, you know what? I think I’ll just wait until the next time I see you at the poker table…

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Bradley Chalupski

Bradley Chalupski made his first deposit onto an online poker site in 2009 and has been paying rake and following the poker scene ever since. He received his J.D. from the Seton Hall University School of Law in 2010.