Sometimes games and board games can take longer than we expect. There are games that last less than 5 minutes and others that can last days. That’s what happened with the longest poker game in history. It took place in 2010, specifically at the Hotel-Casino Bellagio (Las Vegas), where the professional poker player Phil Laak stayed for 5 days playing an almost endless game.
His story has been recorded for prosperity. In fact, even today this professional player holds the Guinness Record title for being the one who has spent the most hours in a row playing poker. Here we explain you everything that has to do with this anecdotal fact in the world of poker.
Who is Phil Laak?
Phil Courtney Laak (1972) is one of the most prominent figures in the world of poker. And not only because of his fame when playing the longest poker game in history, but also because of his awards, recognitions and trajectory in this popular card game. The professional player of Irish origin was born in Dublin on September 8, 1972, although he grew up on the East Coast of the United States -as his family moved to Wellesley when he was 4 years-. Laak graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, although it was always clear to him from an early age that his passion was poker.
It wasn’t until 2004 that he stood out for the first time. His first major tournament win took place in February of that year at the World Poker Tour Celebrity Invitational. Also, Laak was the winner of NBC’s Poker After Dark where he received a total of $120,000. The professional poker player has participated in numerous tournaments and television events, including making a cameo for the movie Knight Rider for American television. One of his most outstanding achievements has been to hold the title of Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em champion at the 2010 Word Series of Poker Europe, where he won his first WSOP bracelet.
Currently, Phil Courtney Laak is married to the actress of The Devil’s Doll saga -and also a professional poker player- Jeniffer Tilly. Phil continues to pursue his career as a high-profile poker player and commentator.
How was the longest poker game in history played?
The story of this popular feat took place in 2010 when the current GGPoker ambassador Phil Laak headed to the Hotel-Casino Bellagio (Las Vegas) to play what has since been considered the longest poker game in history. Phil Coutney Laak, accompanied by the actress Jennifer Tilly, began his online poker marathon in a single player session on a Wednesday at 12:00 noon in the World Series of Poker room and ended the following Monday at 7:00. A total of 115 hours were spent playing poker in a row – or almost 5 days.
The event was witnessed live by more than 130,000 people from 90 countries who were connected online at that time to one of the cameras that recorded everything that happened live. In addition, the poker player, dressed in his sunglasses and classic cap, did not want to consume caffeine or stimulants at any time. A promise he kept throughout the game.
The game was played normally, although he had 5 minute breaks to recover and he rested for only 30 minutes during the endless session. Although Unabomber, as Laak is also known, was fine, he concluded the game indicating that he did not want to do more damage to his body than necessary.
The other longest poker game in history
The case of Larry Olmsted and Paul Zimber
If there is a poker game that also had great repercussion in all the media, it was the one played by Larry Olmsted 6 years before Phil Laak broke his record. It took place at Foxwood Casino in 2004 and lasted 72 hours in total. This is equivalent to a total of 3 full days.
The case of Londoner Paul Zimber is also one of the examples of the longest poker games in history, although it is not officially recognized and is only talked about in private poker circles. Zimber played his game a year before Larry Olmsted and it lasted 78 hours and 45 minutes.
The truth is that the records for playing the longest poker games in history are the order of the day and more and more professionals are trying to break the record of the player Phil Laak.