The APT-RWM Iron Man Poker Challenge just set a new record for the Guinness World Records “Longest Continuous Poker Tournament” when Damon Shulenberger managed to stave off sleep and exhaustion and claim the new record and the title after 48 hours, 55 minutes and 58.5 seconds.
Shulenberger took home the first place prize of $18,240 and set his name in poker history. Shulenberger hails from the United States and said he never grinds as much as other "pros" in poker do.
“I have never experienced anything like it in my life. Not only going without sleep for two nights straight but I started at Level 1 at 8PM and never left the table for five minutes, until almost 50 hours later, with winning the championship,” Shulenberger said in the post-tourney interview.
“I am mostly a casual player so whereas some people like to play all night, all day I’ve always maintained a commitment to sleeping at least by 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. so I never did an all-nighter like some of my friends. So actually I was really an iron man virgin.”
The $700 buy-in tournament brought 115 runners to the tables and the field was down to 48 players when the previous the previous record of 36 hours, 34 minutes and 41 seconds set in Delaware, U.S.A. in August of 2012, was hit — about midway in this record breaking tournament. The field hit 18 players when the bubble burst at around 30 hours of play.
The 10-handed final table was set in approximately two more hours of play and five more players hit the rail in the first three hours.
The final five—Shulenberger, Sandro Simon (Germany), Lim Dae Hoon (Korea), Choi Byung Kyoo (Korea) and Florencio Campomanes (Philippines) — were grinding it out at 8:45 a.m. Manila time when the previous record was broken.
“I owe it all to Berroca (juice) and also to the Asian Poker Tour girls for enlivening me with their presence,” said Shulenberger on his remaining alert and awake during the whole tournament.
Once the record was broken, the remaining five just kept grinding. They were trying to set a new world that would be harder to break in the future, and there was the matter of prize money to battle for, plus, one of them would be the new world record holder!
“(Honestly) we wanted to finish it as quickly as possible to sleep but unfortunately the structure of the tournament didn’t allow it. We were forced to go on and on and on and almost to force us to sleep in our seats,” the champ said.
Then one by one, they began to fall: Campomanes busted at the 38th hour, Hoon at the 42nd hour, and Simon at the 45th hour. The final stage was set with Shulenberger vs. Kyoo heads-up. But it took another four hours of heads-up play to find ta champion.
The final hand came down with Shulenberger holding the against Kyoo’s . The board ran out with the to give the American the title.
“I don’t think I’ll play poker again for at least a month,” Shulenberger said.
APT-RWM Iron Man Poker Challenge Payout (US $)
|1st||Damon Shulenberger (USA)||$18,240|
|2nd||Choi Byung Kyoo (Korea)||$10,670|
|3rd||Sandro Simon (Germany)||$7,390|
|4th||Lim Dae Hoon (Korea)||$5,390|
|5th||Florencio Campomanes (Philippines)||$4,460|
|6th||Howard Ang Lee (Philippines)||$3,680|
|7th||Gerry Flores (Philippines)||$3,030|
|8th||Kim Jinwi (Korea)||$2,530|
|9th||Norbert Koh (Singpore)||$2,180|
|10th||Martin Corpuz (Philippines)||$1,870|
|11th||Samad Razavi (England)||$1,750|
|12th||Zhang Quaosheng (Singapore)||$1,750|
|13th||Nasser Jose Perez (Philippines)||$1,500|
|14th||John Tech (Philippines)||$1,500|
|15th||Liam Anderson (Australia)||$1,500|
|16th||Dexter Salmingo (Philippines)||$1,320|
|17th||Davor Bendin (Germany)||$1,320|
|18th||Wendell Davis Garcia (Philippines)||$1,320|
To satisfy the Guinness World Records’ requirement and to assure the integrity of the event, cameras were installed around the tournament areas with the event being recorded 24/7 for the duration of the tournament. Officials from the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and independent auditors were also present all of the time to be “witnesses” to the record-breaking feat.