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The Great Dane: Gus Hansen

This article was written by: Jannah Strat for Celebrity Poker Players

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Gustav Hansen also known as “The Great Dane” was born on February 13, 1974 outside Coppenhagen, Denmark. He is a well-known professional poker player who now lives in Monaco.

In his poker career, Hansen has won a record of three WPT open titles, 2007 Aussie Millions main event and was the season one winner of the Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament. Before his professional poker career in 1997, Hansen was a world class backgammon player and a youth tennis champ. Known for being a sports enthusiast throughout his teen years, competing in several indoor and outdoor sports as a successful junior athlete.

While he was an exchange student at UC Santa Cruz in 1993, Hansen started playing poker at the Ocean View Card Room in Santa Cruz, California. He is notorious for his extremely loose, aggressive play. He has a reputation for raising or bluffing with almost any two cards, which leads to opponents calling (or raising) his bets when he has a legitimate hand.

In 1996, Gus played his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) event but was eliminated on the first day. Determined to learn more, he abandoned backgammon for poker. He moved to New York City in 2000, and tried to make a living playing professional backgammon, but found the field too small for his taste. Gus began making frequent visits to Las Vegas and in 2002, he turned pro.

Gus Hansen broke into the mainstream poker world during the debut season of the World Poker Tour. During that first season alone, he made final tables at the Bellagio Casino and the Commerce Casino, and he won both events. He also won the Pokerstars Caribbean Poker AdventureThe Bad Boys of Poker WPT event and in the second season.

Hansen finished in the money of the 2004 World Series of Poker main event, and also made the final table of a European Poker Tour (EPT) event in Barcelona. Hansen finished in the money in 150th place in the 2004 Main Event. In the 2006 Tournament of Champions, Gus made a World Series of Poker final table, but lost on the very first hand with Ace King against a pair of 9's. Also in 2004, he was voted one of People magazine's sexiest men alive.

In 2006, Hansen was a member of the winning Danish team in the Football & Poker Legends Cup tournament, alongside Theo Jørgensen and Kim Christofte. He is currently featured in the Professional Poker Tour and the second season of High Stakes Poker, where he won the fifth biggest pot in the show's history. Gus was the first winner on NBC's Poker After Dark earning him $120,000, as he outlasted a field of six pro's including Phil Hellmuth and Huck Seed. In January 2007, Gus won the $10,500 main event at the Aussie Millions in Melbourne, Australia, beating a field of 747 players to take home the AUD $1,500,000 first prize.

In 2007 Hansen cashed in the money in the $10,000 no limit Texas hold 'em championship, coming in 61st place out of a field of 6,358 players, winning $154,194. In 2008 he came in 160th place out of a field of 6,844 players to win a prize of $41,816.

In September 2006 Hansen won the inaugural EPM event, The London All Star Challenge, eventually beating Marc Goodwin heads-up to take home the title and cheque for £53,600 ($US102,000). Hansen won the inaugural $400,000 Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament, winning the $1,000,000 first prize in a one-table event featuring some of the most well-known players today. He did not appear in the second series whilst losing to Antonio Esfandiari in the semifinals in the third.

As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed $7,200,000. These days, he can be seen on TV regularly competing in the Professional Poker Tour and High Stakes Poker Season 2. So far, he is the top-winner in High Stakes Poker history, winning $575,700 after a final hand against fellow poker star Daniel Negreanu, the former’s pair of 5’s faring better than the latter’s pair of 6’s.

The Danish poker player is known for his wild bankroll swings, and this month has been no different. According to

Gus Hansen is currently down nearly $3.3 million dollars over the first 20 days of April. He has dropped this money over a total of 16,710 tracked hands, meaning that he has lost around $200 for every hand that he has played this month. Since March 29th, the results are even worse for Hansen, as he has suffered a $4.1 million dollar loss on Full Tilt Poker since that date. A $4.1 downswing is quite incredible, even for the ultra-volatile Hansen.
In addition to his poker accomplishments, Hansen also documented his Aussie Millions win in his book "Every Hand Revealed."

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