Laak Smashes Guinness World Record at Bellagio

Phil Laak
"This has been a wonderful journey."

A regular on televised poker shows like High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark, Phil Laak is well known for his often outrageous antics and colorful personality.

Now he’s also known for something else.

Saturday, Laak broke the World record for the longest single continuous session of poker.

"I've wanted to have a Guinness world record since I read through the book back in high school,” he said.

“This has been a wonderful journey.”

Laak began playing $10/$20 No-Limit Hold’em at the Bellagio Poker Room in Las Vegas on Wednesday just after noon. Saturday night at 8:41 p.m. PT he surpassed the 78 hour, 45 minute and 41 second record set late last year by British poker pro Paul Zimbler.

Just six hours prior, he had surpassed the official Guinness world record of 72 hours and 2 minutes set by Larry Olmsted and was shocked he’d made it that far.

"I’ve always considered 60 hours to be an uber-session,” he said. “So this is like completely new territory.

"What I don’t want to do is be one of those guys that’s like physiologically messed up (from sleep deprivation). But it feels totally like I’m pushing my body."

The high-limit section of the Bellagio poker room, where the record attempt continued to roll on through Sunday was crowded with onlookers and a slew of poker media as the clock continued to progress toward the record-breaking moment.

Laak's girlfriend, actress and former World Series of Poker ladies’ event champion Jennifer Tilly, was on hand, as was longtime friend Antonio Esfandiari.

As part of the record attempt he was allotted five minutes of break time for every consecutive hour of poker that he played.

But more often than not he pushed through the fatigue rather than taking extended breaks, relying on his momentum to keep him going.

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