– General Information –
Nicknamed “The Great Dane,” Gustav “Gus” Hansen was born outside Copenhagen, Denmark on February 13, 1974. Originally named Gustav Jacobsen, the professional Danish poker player was a world-class backgammon player and youth tennis champion prior to becoming a professional poker player in 1997.
Since going pro, Hansen has won the 2007 Aussie Millions Main Event, three World Poker Tour titles, and one WSOP bracelet. He was also the first winner of the Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament. He has over $10.250 million in lifetime live tournament earnings.
Hansen was a regular feature in classic poker TV shows such as Poker After Dark on NBC and High Stakes Poker on The Game Show Network.
Despite all his accolades, his poker prowess is somewhat called into question by the massive, over $20 million loss he amassed while playing high stakes PLO cash games online.
– Key Career Dates –
- 1997: He comes back to the USA to play backgammon for a living. However, due to a lack of action, he transitions to poker.
- 2004: He is voted one of People magazine’s 50 Sexiest Men Alive.
- 2005: He wins the 2005 Poker Superstars Invitational No Limit Hold’em freeroll tournament for $1,000,000.
- 2007: He wins the A$10,500 Main Event at the Aussie Millions in Melbourne, Australia, beating over 700 players to take home A$1.5 million.
- 2008: He finishes second in the $25,500 Five-Star World Poker Classic (WPT) No Limit Hold’em event for $1.715 million. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date.
- 2010: He wins his first WSOP gold bracelet after finishing first in the £10,350 No Limit Hold’em High Roller Heads-Up event for £288,409 at WSOP Europe in London.
– Gus Hansen’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
While attending UC Santa Cruz as an exchange student in 1993, Hansen was introduced to poker at the Ocean View Card Room. Two years later, he left California and returned to Denmark to fulfill his service duties to his country.
When he completed his time as a civil servant, Hansen returned to the US. This time he headed to New York intending to make his living as a professional backgammon player, but he started playing more poker when he discovered that the backgammon action was not as big as he’d imagined.
He officially transitioned to tournament poker in 2002 when he won the WPT’s Five-Diamond World Poker Classic, surpassing 146 opponents and taking home a cash of $550,000. Due to the wide range of hands he played, Hansen built up a reputation as a loose and aggressive player.
→ World Series of Poker Bracelets ←
Gus Hansen has won one WSOP bracelet so far.
He took down the £10,350 No Limit Hold’em High Roller Heads-Up event for £288,409 at the 2010 WSOP Europe in London. He beat the American James Collopy in the final match-up for the title.
→ World Poker Tour ←
Hansen is a three-time WPT event winner, claiming victory in $10,000 games at the Commerce, the Bellagio, and in the Caribbean. The only other player who has more victories in the prestigious tournament series than him is Darren Elias with 4.
Hansen’s biggest live tournament score to date is also from a World Poker Tour event. In 2008, he finished 2nd in the $25,500 NLHE Championship event at the Bellagio and pocketed $1.715 million. He lost the heads-up battle for first place to David Chiu.
→ Other Tournaments ←
Hansen took home £53,600 (US$102,000) when he beat out Marc Goodwin to win the EPM inaugural event, The London All-Star Challenge, in September 2006. He also took home the first prize of $1,000,000 when he won the inaugural $400,000 Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament.
In January 2007, he took down the A$10,500 Main Event at the Aussie Millions for A$1.5 million. He bagged another big score at the famous Australian tourney series n 2012. Then, he finished 3rd in the A$250,000 NLHE Challange for A$800,000.
→ Live Cash Games ←
Admittedly a fan of cash games, Hansen is a regular at Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio, Las Vegas. The stakes here are the highest of any casino in the world, and Hansen has reportedly lost millions of dollars in a single game while playing there. Hansen’s known for posting short videos from Bobby’s Room to his Instagram page.
He’s also played a lot of high stakes NLHE cash on TV. He appeared on the classic Poker After Dark on NBC and High Stakes Poker on The Game Show Network.
On the latter show, he was in one of the most famous hands in TV poker history. Hansen turned Quad 5’s against Daniel Negreanu’s full house which got him a hefty $575,000 pot.
→ Online Poker ←
Hansen is one of the biggest losers in online poker history, reportedly having lost $21.7 million on Full Tilt between January 2007 and January 2015. In his tracked sample, he played 1,572,615 hands of mainly Pot Limit Omaha, on stakes as high as $500/$1,000.
→ Sponsorship Deals ←
Hansen had an endorsement deal with the late poker site Full Tilt. They used to provide his financial backing, in exchange for him playing exclusively on FullTiltPoker.com as a member of Team Full Tilt.
– Gus Hansen’s Private Life –
→ Love Life ←
Famous for being quite the playboy, Hansen was rumored be dating professional Danish professional tennis player Caroline Wozniacki in 2010, when she was the #1 ranked female player in the world. During this time, Wozniacki was seen globetrotting to many main events with Hansen, but the relationship seems to have fizzled out sometime in late 2011.
People magazine’s “50 Sexiest People” list in 2004 only further solidified his reputation as a player on the circuit.
He famously declared: “I am a very individual person. I like gambling. I love what I do, and I love the fact that I don’t have to answer to anyone . . . this way of life gives me a lot of freedom – no girlfriend, no ties, and I’m not looking. I like to hang out and have fun. I like my independence.“
In a 2008 video interview titled “Gus Hansen’s Advice On Women,” he explained how to land girls in Las Vegas and admitted he’s a “Lady’s Man“.
More recently, he’s been seen on Instagram posing with Australian poker player Lucy Lechich.
Although he’s been a resident of Monaco for 14 years and says he enjoys living there, Hansen claims that eventually he will return to Denmark.
→ Business ←
After building his online poker site, pokerchamps.com, Hansen sold it to Betfair (a British company) in 2005 for over 100 million Danish Kroner, which is approximately $15 million.
In 2007, Hansen published Every Hand Revealed, a book that details his experiences as a poker pro and the work that went into his victories.
The World Series of Backgammon, a high-stakes televised backgammon tour that is broadcast across Europe via Eurosport hired Hansen to join their commentary team in 2008.
Hansen launched GusHansenTV, a free poker channel broadcast over the Internet, in February 2009.
In a 2017 interview for Somuchpoker, Gus admitted that he’s gotten involved in the music business in Denmark, but he stated that “it went probably as bad as my online poker career!”
Occasionally, he also appears as a spokesperson for Frank Q, a popular Danish fashion line for men.
→ Net Worth ←
Gamblingtimes.com estimates that Hansen has a net worth of $1.7 million.
→ Hobbies & Personal Life ←
Hansen regularly exercises his competitive hackles in a variety of games, including backgammon, bridge, chess, and go. He’s a huge sports fan and has coached several high level sports pros. Although he makes fewer TV appearances than some players, he did appear (as himself) playing poker with David Williams in the 2007 film Redline.
— Gus Hansen (@GusHansen) July 31, 2013
– Gus Hansen on Social Media –
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