Irish professional Poker player, Phil Laak broke a world record in 2010 by playing the longest continuous Poker game in history. The plucky player stayed at the table for an unbelievable 115 hours, at which point he stopped the game and probably went for a well deserved nap!
Phil almost doubled the previous record of 72 hours with his feat. The former world champion of Poker sat down at the famous Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas where he was joined by his actress girlfriend Jennifer Tilly, who is a well-respected Poker player in her own right and has won a World Series Of Poker bracelet in 2005.
Laak ended the marathon game with $6766 in winnings. Half of this amount was donated to his favourite charity, Camp Sunshine, which takes terminally ill children on summer camp adventures.
Rules Of The Record Attempt
The rules of the game were pretty strict. The poker variant Phil played was $10/$20 No Limit Hold’em that also included uncapped buy-ins. The game was not completely continuous as Laak could earn himself a 5-minute break every hour. These minutes could be banked by the player, and used in one go later, which let him take a 30 minute nap to refresh himself. Even though Phil could eat and drink what he wished, he finished the feat without any caffeine or other stimulants.
The incredible game was streamed live on the web with more than 130 000 people watching from home and on mobile devices.
The original plan was for Laak to play 80 hours in one sitting, comfortably putting him ahead of the then-record of 72 hours. When he hit the 80-hour mark however, he felt he could still do more, which resulted in his record-breaking play.
A Persevering Player
Laak is a world famous player and this charity event helped rocket him to even more fame. He is affectionately known to fans, and not so affectionately to rival players, as the Unabomber.
This is thanks to his very covert dress sense during games. Laak wears dark sunglasses and a grey hoody pulled over his head, which makes him look like a police sketch of the American domestic terrorist, the Unabomber.
So far Laak does not have any more charity events or world record attempts lined up. He did take part in a widely reported event in 2007 where he and professional poker player, Ali Eslami, competed against an advanced poker playing computer program called Polaris. They beat the program in the first two rounds, and then took a loss and the final match ended in a draw.