Phil Laak Going Strong on Day 3 of Poker Endurance Challenge

Phil Laak is now more than two full days into his attempt to break the Guinness world record and things seem to be going well. For starters he’s back in the black, having erased a deficit of more than $11,200 to find himself up $914 right as he hit the 47-hour mark. The upswing was helped along earlier today when the game morphed from $10/$20 No Liimit Hold’em to $10/$20 with a mandatory straddle, doubling the average pot size.


A great shot of Phil at the table at Bellagio

Physically Phil is holding up okay at this point, though there are some minor issues that come along with an attempt like this that most of us wouldn’t even think about. “I’ve got itchy-ass syndrome a little bit,” he said, “but I got some talcum powder on my last break. I’ve also got a bit of a sore back.”

Like Evel Knievel, Phil’s doing something others wouldn’t consider

He also tweeted earlier that his movement is becoming labored, though when I talked with him he seemed to be moving just fine. The most common movement has been standing up, which helps to keep him awake at a point where most people will collapse without pharmacological assistance. On the mental side, he still seems relatively fresh, considering how long he’s been at it. The hallucinations he’s expecting haven’t kicked in yet, and he’s still able to read the board without any problems. That’s good, because about 10 hours ago he brought out his entire $100,000 stack and one other player at the table matched him – a mistake against him could be bad news indeed.

Phil’s $100,000 stack

“She was making it like it was news,” Phil said. “it’s not really news. It’s more like a goofy thing that’s happening, like who can hold the most golf balls in his hand. Is that news? It’s just an enduro session of poker.”

But is it really just an enduro session? If he falls short of the record it may be. But if he can make it, the difficulty of pulling off such a feat means it will probably be very difficult to surpass – which in turn means that it will stand as a world record for some time. For some perspective, consider this: ESPN has had a reporter coming to check on Phil from time to time throughout the session, and on her last visit she asked how many players at the table had played for 24 straight hours. Two-thirds of the table raised their hands. When she asked about 40 hours, two people raised their hands. For 48 hours, there was only one. And for 60 hours, none. Doing something no one else has done might not necessarily be “news,” but it’s nothing to shake a stick at.

Be sure to check in on the live stream, and of course to monitor Phil’s Twitter feed for all the latest news coming straight from Bellagio. Things should get pretty interesting as the day rolls on.