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New world record for longest poker game

Poker star Phil Laak played over 79 hours, passing both the official Guinness record as well as the unofficial one recognised in the poker world. -AFP

Mon, Jun 07, 2010

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AFP) - Poker star Phil Laak eclipsed the world record for the longest consecutive stint of playing the game, putting in more than 79 hours at the table and passing both the official Guinness record as well as the unofficial one recognized 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 6:00 am local time on Sunday.

"There've been a few times where I realized if I didnt stand up I wouldn't be able to keep going," said Laak, who has won more than US$2.5 million (S$3.51 million) 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 fulfill a lifelong dream to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Authorities at Guinness wont certify whether the attempt is valid for months, after his staff sends them a recording and other documentation of the try.

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

Larry Olmsted currently holds the official record of 72 hours, 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 Zimblers 78 hour, 45 minute stint last September in London.

Laak, who began the quest at 1:00 local time on Wednesday at the Bellagio Hotel-Casino, was permitted five-minute breaks 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.

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