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News In Brief

Poker champ sets 115-hour world gaming record

Melissa Kaplan Jun 7, 2010

UPDATE: Phil Laak has finally ended his game, 115 hours after he began. He left 4.8 days of nonstop game play with a net of $6766. Despite the natural pains associated with lack of sleep, Laak exclaimed, “I have never had more fun playing poker in my entire life.”

(Note: As anyone who has worked a graveyard shift can safely attest, those who lack sleep will also have a tendency towards delirium.)

Original post:

Professional poker player Phil Laak has seen his fair share of gaming tables, but after Sunday he’s probably sick of the one he’s been sitting at in a Las Vegas casino for over 79 consecutive hours. Laak beat the world’s record for the longest game of poker ever played. And apparently, he’s trying to make sure no one else can beat him — he’s over the 105-hour mark.

MORE: Can poker make you a better investor?

The last person to have played the longest poker game ever was 72-hour player Larry Olmstead at Connecticut’s Foxwood casino in 2004, and Paul Zimbler unofficially (i.e. without the blessing of the Guinness people) in London at 78 hour, 45 minute in September of 2009. The Guinness Book of World Records won’t make Laak’s win official until they’ve reviewed proper documentation of the game.

In order to survive such a long stint, Laak has been allowed a five-minute break every hour, which he’s used judiciously with planned shower, food and yoga breaks. He prepared a high-impact diet for the game and has thanked intermittent stretching for his success.

Laak, whose poker nickname is “The Unabomber,” won his first tournament on the professional poker circuit in early 2004, and has cumulatively won over $1,975,000.

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