Gus Hansen, born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1973 is known as “The Great Dane” because of his aggressive method of playing poker. He is strongly competitive, has an excellent mind and is skilled at playing games such as physical sports as well as poker. Before coming to the United States and playing his first poker game in Santa Cruz, California, he excelled in tennis and soccer as well as chess and backgammon.
Considering that Gus is relatively new to the game, he has done remarkably well in a short period of time and although early in his career, he has high visibility among the more seasoned champions.
Some of his successes are:
* 2004, First Place World Poker Tournament Superstars Cruise NLHE
* 2003, WPT Battle of Champions
* 2003, Third Place WPT Five Diamonds World Poker Classic
* 2003, First Place WPT LA Poker Classic NLHE
* 2002, First Place WPT Five Diamonds World Poker Classic
In 2004, along with the legendary Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson and “Maverick” actor James Garner, Hansen was inducted into the Poker Walk of Fame in the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles. The men’s handprints and signatures are now permanently displayed in the Casino.
During the first season of the WPT, he received Player of the Year title and has played at four finalist tables. Gus was also in WPT events that were specifically made for television and won the first championship in the “Bad Boys of Poker” playing against Antonio Esfandiari, Paul “The Truth” Darden, Phil Laak and David “Devilfish” Ulliott as well as amateur player Mark Richardson, a bank teller from Illinois.
Hansen has a number of female fans and in 2004, was called the “Sexiest Poker Player” by People Magazine. He follows a strict physical routine in preparation for poker tournaments
Gus learned his aggressive style while playing backgammon where this behavior is necessary in order to be a winner. His opponents never know whether he has a bad hand or “the nuts” during his constant attacks as he very often knows how to manipulate them due to his advanced knowledge of probabilities and odds. Thus far, opponents have found it impossible to read him because he plays practically every hand. He is a very popular player at tournaments with a good following and is considered by many to be the most interesting player in the WPT.
He is also considered a dangerous opponent due to his playing style because he is known to raise during pre-flops and plays rag hands very casually. Gus is the only player who has won three tournaments in the WPT and is also a strong competitor on the European Poker Tour. As of this date, his total winnings are $2,247,049.
Hansen has also started an online poker room of which he is quite proud. He stated that he feels it has superior software and interface compared to other poker room websites.
His typical response when asked the secret of his success is, “Not to say that I am a great player or anything, but somebody has to win.”
By Kenneth Bateman
Kenneth Bateman writes numerous articles on the subject of poker and its players. To read more player profiles or on how to play poker.