The longest poker games in history

If there's one thing that attracts media attention in the poker world, apart from global superstar tournaments, it's the longest game challenges. Over the years and throughout history we have heard and seen various professional players struggle to gain that well-deserved recognition. That's why in this article we're going to take a look at the longest poker games in history. If you are a poker lover and want to know more about its history, news and current affairs, don't miss this article.

The longest game in the world

Can you imagine playing poker for almost 5 days uninterruptedly? Well, this was the record broken by the professional player Phil Laak, specifically in 2010. Laak spent a total of 115 consecutive hours playing online poker in one of the popular World Series of Poker rooms. Of course, this record went head first into the Guinness Book of Records as the longest poker session in history. The most anecdotal aspect of this was that the professional player chose not to consume any stimulants, such as caffeine, in order to complete his goal. 


The player was supported at all times by his partner Jennifer Tilly. The actress from the "Chucky: The Evil Puppet" saga and professional poker player - Tilly was a WSOP bracelet winner in 2004 - supported the player all the way to break the record. Of course, the event was anecdotal, so the state of Nevada came to a standstill as the WSOP and WPT champion made history in one of the city's most popular casinos. Phil Laak, who is currently a GGPoker ambassador, only rested for a total of five minutes every three hours played. Furthermore, in the entire period of time in which he was playing the longest poker game in history, he only rested for a total of 30 minutes.

The game in which the champion took part was Texas Hold'em, his speciality. The money he raised during the event was donated to a foundation for seriously ill American children.

Challenges prior to the longest poker game

Some in poker circles also claim that one of the unofficial records for the longest game is also held by Paul Zimber, who in September 2009 played a game of 78 hours and 45 minutes. The pro played head-to-head against his opponents, beating 102 out of a total of 183. Prior to this - and Phil Laak's game lasting 115 consecutive hours - there was also the game played by fellow poker pro Larry Olmsted. He broke the record in 2004 and his record lasted a total of 72 consecutive hours. Olmsted played his game in a Foxwood casino. 

The longest tournament in history

We are in the age of tournaments. Today, more than ever, we see more poker tournaments in different parts of the world, which is giving rise to many challenges and attempts to break records set in the books. One of the latest players to get his name in the Guinness Book of Records was Damon Schulenburger (USA). He participated in the longest tournament in history, the Asian Poker Tour (in the Philippines), specifically the Iron Man Challenge. The tournament lasted 48 hours and 55 minutes and went straight into the record books as the longest continuous tournament in history. Although not purchased with the aforementioned poker games, this tournament lasted more than 2 hours uninterrupted. The champion, Damon Schulenburger, took home a prize of $18,240.

Poker urban legends: the game that lasted more than 8 years


In the old days, we didn't have all the devices and apps we have today at our fingertips to follow live tournaments and poker games - such as Twitch, YouTube and other apps that stream live content. No, there was no such thing in the past. However, there are urban legends circulating that speak of a supposed game in which the players played for years until it was finally concluded, specifically unofficial sources say that this game lasted for 8 consecutive years.

Apparently, this game was played in the basement of the Bird Cage Theatre, in the city of Tombstone (Arizona, United States). Specifically between 1881 and 1889. It is believed that the richest businessmen of the time played in this basement and did not stop until someone new came in to play - in addition, they only had a few minutes' rest, after which the game continued. Accounts also say that western legends such as Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, but also many wealthy businessmen took part, and that, in total, it is estimated that more than 10 million dollars were gambled.

Of course, there are neither reliable sources nor witnesses who can verify the facts, so there is no way to say what happened. The same is true of another urban legend alleged to have occurred at the Dun Glen Hotel, a lodge on the banks of the Thurmond River in the United States. In this case, they claim that the duration of the game could have been 14 consecutive years, although it is not known what is true about this, nor what form of poker they might have played.

In the end, like all urban legends, it is up to the individual to believe it or not. What is certain is that poker is a game that attracts a large number of players and has been doing so since it was invented.

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