News24

Man plays poker for 4 days

2010-06-06 13:57

Las Vegas - Poker star Phil Laak eclipsed the world record for the longest consecutive stint of playing the game on Saturday, putting in more than 79 hours at the table and passing both the official Guinness record as well as the unofficial one recognised in the poker world.

Laak, 37, said after breaking that unofficial record that he planned to continue playing at least until he hit 90 hours, which would occur at about 06:00 local time on Sunday.

"There’ve been a few times where I realised if I didn’t stand up I wouldn’t be able to keep going," said Laak, who has won more than R2.5m in tournaments in his career and frequently appears on poker TV shows.

"I’ve been stretching a lot. I’m the stretchmaster. It helped me through."

The pro hopes to fulfil a lifelong dream to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Authorities at Guinness won’t certify whether the attempt is valid for months, after his staff sends them a recording and other documentation of the attempt.

Thousands watched live via webcam during the four-day effort.

Larry Olmsted currently holds the official record of 72 hours and 2 minutes, set at the Foxwood casino in Connecticut in 2004, but in poker circles the unofficial record - not sanctioned by Guinness but still part of lore - is Paul Zimbler’s 78 hour and 45 minute stint last September in London.

Laak, who began the quest at 01:00 local time on Wednesday at the Bellagio Hotel-Casino, was permitted a five-minute break for every hour played and typically banked his time so he could shower or do yoga.

He had a nutritionist providing meals every five hours and he had been on a strict no-sweets, low-fat diet since January to prepare for the feat.