Phil Laak was just over 24 hours into his world record attempt when I dropped by the Bellagio early this afternoon and things seemed to be going pretty well. “I’ve been to this mark 50 or 60 times in my life,” he told me. “I’ve gone to 48 hours maybe 10 times. My record is 62 hours – and it only ended because the game broke. I felt like I had another 5 hours in me, easy.”
So far he’s only taken 25 minutes of breaks – running through Bellagio to the bathroom and running back as fast as he can each time. He has another 90 minutes in his time bank, which should make for a nice little break at some point in the next day. Money-wise, he’s been up as much as $3,541 and down as much $2,500. “I should’ve bought in for $600, that way if I get whacked I’m only stuck six,” he told me. “But I didn’t think about that enough.”
Phil’s graph of his results so far
Helping to keep Phil balanced is his nutritionist, All American Dave. Dave dropped by with some freshly prepared food for our man – chicken, brown rice and broccoli, lightly cooked in olive oil. The goal of Dave’s diet, which Phil is taking very seriously, is to keep his blood sugar at a constant level. That will prevent his insulin levels from spiking, helping Phil to avoid the crash that follows such a spike.
Jen Tilly was on hand to support Phil last night.
Lots more people have been by to check out the action since Phil started the record attempt yesterday, too. Chief among them is his girlfriend, Jennifer Tilly. Jen sweated phil for a while before jumping into a cash game of her own. Another fan dropped in to ask for Phil’s help in winning a prop bet; her friend bet that she couldn’t get the Unabomber on the phone, so he gladly helped her out.
“How do I know this is really Phil Laak?” her friend asked when Phil talked to him.
“Well, you can always pull up the live stream on the internet,” he replied.
Phil at the eight-hour mark, looking alert
So far there have been nearly 8,000 unique viewers on the live stream, so the world is definitely paying attention. Those numbers are likely to begin going up once Phil hits the 50-hour mark – that’s when he expects the hallucinations to begin. “It’s not like people get demons with tails or whatever – just weird little things,” he told me. “But I’m not looking forward to motor reflex collapse. It’s one thing when you start imagining you can see the other side of the cards, it’s another when you don’t know how to look at your cards. That happened to me once when I didn’t know how to get to my cards – that was a mess.”
You can keep tabs on the Phil Laak Poker Endurance Contest here on the Unabomber Poker Blog, or by following Phil’s Twitter feed. You should also check out Steve Friess’ interview with Phil. I’ll have another update for you tomorrow, when things should begin to get really interesting.