A while back I did a post on how a British poker player by the name of David Cain was seeking to break the world record for the longest poker session in history. Check that out here. To summarize things, he was trying to play longer than American Larry Olmsted’s record of 72 hours and 2 minutes straight of poker. Of course, Olmsted did take breaks every once in a great while to shower and change clothes but that was it.
And to hear Cain speak of playing over 100 hours straight well, I just thought that was madness. In fact, I’m not even sure that I thought he could go past 72 hours as that is a lot of poker to play without a real break. After all, most regular players have trouble playing 5 or 6 straight hours straight without going insane.
The word insane is a good term here too as it seems Cain starting to get pretty delirious while he was playing. According to an article written by Cain on his website after the challenge, “As usual, I will be completely honest and upfront about what happened, so I won’t hide the fact that my decision to bring it to an end was mainly based on health grounds. During Wednesday afternoon I had something of a mental breakdown. It was extremely scary for me and even worse for friends and family who witnessed it. I was fine one minute then all of a sudden I didn’t know where I was or what I was there for.”
Cain slipped further into insanity saying, “People obviously explained what I was doing but even so it was something I could not comprehend at all. I even had to be taught how to play poker literally from scratch. I complained that the blinds were not necessary and that there should be a flexible amount of community cards and that the game was too linear so should be played in a circle. Following that I felt like I was in a cage being taunted tortured and punished for a crime I didn’t commit.”
Luckily for Cain and the charity he was playing for though, he did manage to break the record as he played for 74 straight hours. My hat does go off to him for being able to accomplish a feat many of us would have given up on a long time before that.