If you are going to break a record, you might as well really break it.  Such was the case with Phil Laak this past weekend, as he shattered the Guiness World Record for most consecutive hours playing poker.  On Sunday evening, “The Unabomber” finally called it quits at 115 straight hours, besting the previous record by almost 60 percent.
Prior to Laak, Britain’s Paul Zimbler set the high water mark for poker marathoning, clocking in at 72 hours, 2 minutes at last fall’s World Series of Poker Europe (we previously reported 78 hours, which was incorrect).  During the feat, Zimbler raised over £30,000 for UK charities.  Laak also used charity as an incentive to keep going, pledging beforehand to donate half of whatever he won to Camp Sunshine, which is a summer camp for children with life threatening illnesses.  When all was said and done, Phil Laak finished $6,766 in the black, meaning that $3,383 was going to go to Camp Sunshine, but according to his blog on his new poker site, UnabomberPoker.com, the entire sum will be sent to the organization.  Fellow players and fans also contributed funds along the way.
Playing $10/$20 hold’em at the Bellagio, Laak posted updates on his Twitter page as the endurance challenge went on.  While most people would do whatever they could to stay lucid, it did not appear that Laak fought the physical effects of his fatigue.  In fact, on the morning of June 5th, just a few hours until the record, he was outright disappointed that he was not going crazy, tweeting, “How is it that I have not yet hallucinated even one time yet? Seems like I got handed the short end of the stick again.”
When the magical moment arrived, Laak, his girlfriend Jennifer Tilly, and other friends and fans popped champagne to celebrate the occasion.  Laak’s sage words: “There’s a new sicko in town!”
But “The Unabomber” wasn’t done.  He originally intended to stay on for 80 hours, but as that approached, he tweeted, “80 near but 90 is the new 80. True. That is what sleep depravation [sic] will do to a guy. So hope those articles about what can happen are wrong.”
As he approached 90 hours, he actually typed out an entire blog post, a post in which his mental state was quite entertaining.  Some examples:
“…my team is becoming thinner as they must leave.. run this op solo… yes i think i can.. it is all good…less efficient i will be.. and that is cool…the boat will be sinking–and i will be running the bilge pumps.. in the same way that i will soon meet the bed and this ride will be over.. the boat and his owner are also aware that there is no saving their boat.. it must sink.”
“hurry hurry play play.. make new numbers while passing time….. make a chart.. log ur wins.. record everything.. why not?.. maybe that is the trick in fact..the trick to beating the sleep thing… treat it like .. well make him a joker.. and then pull him from a hat..take this joker and pull him from a hat… make him ur play mate… in the game…”
Laak had to stop sometime, finally deciding to call it a “night” after 115 hours.  In fitting Unabomber fashion, he tweeted the following after about 12 hours of sleep:
“Woke up – had 2 bowls of cereal, then as an after thought had a ham sandwich. Thinking about going to play some 10/20 at the Bellagio.”

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