PCA 2012: Randy "nanonoko" Lew on his World Record attempt
Everybody in the main tournament room of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event today is playing one table apiece. Randy Lew is playing 40 games at one time and logging more than 3,200 hands of poker per hour. As of this moment, Lew is profitable for the day (making almost one penny per hand). If he stays that way, he'll set a Guinness World Record for most poker hands played in an eight hour period.
Lew sits on a cordoned-off podium with two small monitors in front of him. A minder from Guinness sits behind him making sure he sticks to the rules. A little more than seven hours from right now, we'll know the result. In the meantime, it's a man, his mouse, and 40 poker games.
If you'd like to keep up with Lew's progress, his stats are available live at nanonoko.com.
A few minutes before he sat down to play, I spoke with Lew about this thoughts as he attempts to set the World Record. Here's what he had to say.
Tell me why in the world you would want to do this.
Randy Lew: The reason I wanted to do this was it's a new goal and a new record. I came from a cash game background and I went to tournaments. Now I want to explore records. When you have a record, it feels good.
If you're nervous about anything today, what is it?
RL: I actually haven't had a chance to play the 40 tables for that long yet. I've messed around for very short sessions. So, I'm not sure if I can do it for eight hours straight without taking breaks. I'm trying to minimize the breaks so I can get as many hands in as I can. That's kind of like my main concern.
Do you have a target number of hands you want to play?
RL: I don't have a target number. I wasn't able to estimate it very well. My target is just to play as many as I can.
I know that you have to maintain profitability to set the world record. Is there any particular strategy you have in mind to make that happen, or are you just planning to approach the variance as it comes?
RL: It is variance as it comes, but I'm just going to play the way I play poker normally, and I think I play okay. So, hopefully that ends up profitable. The time frame should help.
When you do take a break, other than running to the restroom, what will you do?
RL: I think the time just runs from 1pm to 9 o'clock. Eight hours straight. So, if I take a break, the timer still runs. So, I think I will just run to the restroom, do what I need to do real quick, and come back.
Normally when you work, what does it look like around you?
RL: I try not to have any distractions. I don't play music. I try not to have people talk to me. I try to get in the zone, you know?
So, here, you're going to have media watching you, you'll have players watching you, how do you expect that to affect you?
RL: I need to just try my best to focus really hard and try to block out as much as I can. I realized when I was playing my practice session, the second I was off my beat, I started to slow down tremendously and I may actually time out on some tables, which would be horrible. So, it's going to be one of the challenges I have to get through, and I'm sure people are going to be randomly saying things to me, and I want to listen, or people chatting to me at the tables. I have to try my best to stay focused.