What’s the longest you’ve played poker? Whether it’s a high stakes tournament, or playing with friends into the wee hours, we all know a game of poker can last a very long time indeed. However, even if you’re a poker pro, we doubt you’ve hit the tables for anywhere near as long as Phil Laak, who broke the world record for the longest poker session, back in 2010. Incredibly, the poker star played continuously for 115 hours. That’s nearly 5 days straight. All for charity.
In what is still the Guinness World Record for longest marathon playing poker by an individual, Phil Laak displayed the endurance of an athlete as he checked and bet his way to the record books. Laak took part in the name of child charity Camp Sunshine, a campsite in the US offering respite and support for seriously-ill children and their families, bringing them together with others in the same situation.
Laak was originally aiming for 80 hours straight, which would’ve beaten the previous record, set by Larry Olmsted in 2004, by a comfortable 8 hours. However, after reaching his target the “Unabomber” powered through for another day and a half, citing his life-long dream of holding a world record as motivation.
Most impressively, Laak took no added stimulants during his attempt, even eschewing caffeine as he battled through hand after hand. He appeared chatty and alert, only taking a 5-minute break every hour or saving them up for a half hour nap after 6 hours play. He even managed to throw in 30 press ups during his stint to secure a further $1000 donation to Camp Sunshine.
The attempt took place at The Bellagio in Las Vegas and was witnessed by a massive 130,000 spectators online. Laak finished the heroic effort at 115 hours on the dot, and was even $6766 in profit, which he of course donated to his chosen charity.