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Kiwis Break Poker Endurance World Record

Posted at 21:33 2010-11-30

And the Poker Endurance World Record Goes to . . . New Zealand!

As the kicker states, New Zealand has broken the poker endurance world record, ending Phil Laak’s near six-month reign at the top.

As the 2010 World Series of Poker was in full swing, the “Unabomber” endured 115-straight hours of poker to set a new Guinness World Record. Compacted into just-under five days, Laak endured the challenge on the $10-$20 No Limit Holdem tables at the Bellagio in Las Vegas in the first week of June. Laak shattered the old record of 78 hours set by Paul Zimbler – and although his original goal was 80 hours – Laak pushed past that, and then past 100, before finally calling it quits at hour 115 after winning US$6,766.

Laak’s individual effort on the cash tables was a fantastic achievement, but the poker players in the Wanganui region of New Zealand opted for a different approach to their poker endurance world record attempt. With a maximum field of eighty players, each would start with a 20,000-chip bank and have unlimited rebuys and add-ons. Blinds began at 100-200 and would remain so until the record was broken. Each player was allowed a five-minute break each hour, but could bank these breaks and use them for an accumulated break at a later time. No illegal stimulants were allowed, but you could bet on an infinite number of coffees and Red Bulls littering the area of the world record attempt. All money raised wouldn’t be heading into the players pockets. Instead, all proceeds raised would be benefiting the charities of Starship Children’s Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Canteen.

Last Monday, eight players took to the felt and battled through numerous bad beats – one of which involved a {Kx}{Tx}{Tx}{2x}{5x} board with four players  each holding full houses with {Kx}{Kx}, {Tx}{5x}, {5x}{5x} and {2x}{2x}! However as Friday morning rolled up, only two players still sat battling it out with Christine Teki-Reu and “Chopper” managing their breaks the most effectively – both accumulating multiple lengthy breaks up their sleeves to battle the record attempt.

As midday slowly crept round, and the clock ticked passed it, everyone at The Grand Hotel (where the record was being attempted), the Wanganui region and virtually everywhere in New Zealand where poker has an influence, celebrated as Teki-Reu and Chopper broke the record set by Laak just a few months previously.

Play remarkably continued for another two hours before Teki-Reu and Chopper opted to call it a dead heat and folded their hand simultaneously, stood up from the table, shook hands, hugged and celebrated their feat of breaking the poker endurance world record while setting a new time of 117 hours of continuous play! Although no cash was awarded to Teki-Reu and Chopper, both received a handmade glass trophy by local artist Vicky Rodgers to signify their great accomplishment of setting a new world record while simultaneously raising much-needed funds for the charities headlining the event.

Sour Notes

A website based in the UK have picked at the record attempt saying that the lack of detail regarding the attempt and conditions Teki-Reu and Chopper were under makes it hard to determine if the record should be justified.

“Barring further authentication and more details on what exactly happened, it’s unlikely that most of the poker world will recognize this achievement as being on par with Laak’s marathon session. Laak’s attempt was highly publicized, involved a well-known professional player, and occurred in one of the world’s busiest poker rooms – making it clear that Laak had accomplished his record by the book.”

On PokerWorldRecord.co.nz under the event information it is also stated that, The blinds shall be 100/200. These shall stay at that level until the record has been broken. At this stage if there are more than 2 players left, then the blinds shall start to be raised every 15 minutes so that a WINNER can be determined. THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE WINNER!” Whether or not this will affect the determination of the record attempt – since both Teki-Reu and Chopper opted for a chop – will only be uncovered by the officials at the Guinness World Record headquarters.

With Wanganui, Teki-Reu and Chopper having to wait weeks, or possibly months, to see if their record attempt will be justified, their feats on the tables over the past week were extraordinary. They battled sleep deprivation, bad beats and who knows how many times they wanted to quit to set a record that will stand the test of time. Even if this attempt isn’t recognised as a record, it is certainly one of the longest poker sessions of any kind played in the world.

Congratulations to New Zealand poker, Wanganui, Christine Teki-Reu and Chopper for their amazing achievement!

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Christine Teki-Reu and “Chopper” are the unofficial new poker endurance world record holders! Christine Teki-Reu and “Chopper” are the unofficial new poker endurance world record holders!

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