By Hayley Cook, The Linc
Dave Cain broke the world poker endurance record by playing over 73 hours of continuous heads-up poker on the Brayford Campus last week. The event, which lasted for four days, hoped to raise £10,000 for the Louth and District hospices, and St Barnabas’ Lincolnshire Hospice.
Cain said: “I’m doing this primarily to raise money, but I’ve been involved in poker for about 10 years at a semi-professional level. “The last few weeks have been absolute chaos trying to organise this, but I’ve had such great help. The people around me are the people who have been here all the time; helping me, and making sure I can break the record.”
Cain decided to hold the event at the Library Bar at the University of Lincoln, which is the first bar in Lincoln to be granted a 24-hour licence.
“I spoke to the owner of the Library Bar, and mentioned Freshers Week at the university. He said that he wanted to do an event, and I knew I wanted to do something with poker. “So he suggested trying to break the world record, and I agreed. I’ve never looked back since.”
Michael Cheng, owner of the Library Bar said: “Dave’s an absolute nutter for doing it! In all seriousness, it’s great for the university with the national coverage of the event. It’s not often something like this happens.” American Larry Olmsted was the previous record holder with a total of 72 hours and 2 minutes continuous play which was set in June 2004, but Cain broke this last Thursday at 8.00pm.
Cain said: “A friend of mine, James Dempsey, tried to break the world record about five years ago. He failed at about 64 hours and was going through big problems with hallucinations and tiredness. “At that time, I was as well. I was seeing spiders crawling all over the table on Tuesday night.”
The poker marathon was certainly a mammoth challenge for Dave, and the coverage has not just been local. As well as appearing on Sky television and in European poker magazines, the online response has been overwhelming. Cain even states on his website, that “yes, I’m famous!” His website, which provided a live-video from the event, also encouraged people to donate to the charities.
But whilst Cain has broken the world record and raised a tremendous amount of money for local charities in Lincolnshire, the connotations between poker and gambling still underlie. Cain said: “I’ve been involved in poker for years and I have seen the dark side of the game. But, I don’t call myself a gambler.
“When I relocated to Lincoln about three years ago, I started running a poker league which had lots of interest, but nobody pays anything so it’s fun.” “There are people who learn the game, and get better at these poker leagues and go on to play for money, and there are people who live from gambling.”Those who want to gamble will do it anyway; regardless of the negative aspects. I have children; I don’t want to risk that.”