Backgammon

Gus Hansen: A Game Expert

At the age of 34, Gustav Hansen has made a name for himself on a sport that earns him millions of money. As a games enthusiast, Gus Hansen had shown in his teenage years a passion for competition by joining various athletic games. Whether indoor or outdoor, he participated in various competitions as a promising athlete. This sports lover is known to be a tennis prodigy but admits in one interview that aside from tennis he also enjoys playing other sports like golf, squash, and soccer. The interest in sports eventually shift to card games in which he later on excelled. This shift is gradual since even during his sports activities, he has already identified his great interest in mathematics and numbers.

Before this Monte Carlo, Monaco resident became known as a renowned poker player, he had made a name as a backgammon player. He is still one of the top backgammon players despite the career jump to poker. Although he started playing poker in 1993 when he was a exchange student in the University of California in Santa Cruz, he build his career in New York but later on moved to a more popular game: poker. While touring in New York for his backgammon-playing career, he hangs out with poker players Huckleberry Seed and Phil Laak who eventually introduced him to poker. Since Gus Hansen is a very talented player, card game is the same for him even if the rules are different. Although he started on the Texas Hold’em, understanding the basics of poker is easy for him and he was able to play and master other types of poker game.

The short-lived backgammon career took a backseat in 1997 when he finally started playing poker professionally. Back in 1996, he joined his first World Series of Poker playing No limit Hold-em’ despite the very small chance of winning. Proving his ability as a professional gambler, this all-around player started his progress as a great poker player during the first year of World Poker Tour by bagging million of dollars in the inaugural event and L.A. poker classic game. After mastering the game of poker, this Denmark citizen referred to as “Great Dane” is now known as a dangerous card game opponent because of his skills and aggressive playing.

The most unforgettable game he played is in 2006 where he played against poker pro Daniel Negreanu in the High Stakes Poker television show’ second season. Gus Hansen was able to win in the game the biggest pot totaling to the amount of $575,700. A year after his winnings in 2006, he was able to bring home another prize, which is the biggest, $1.2 Million for winning in the Aussie Millions Main Event.

Among those players to be the first to be inducted in the “Hall of Fame” of World Poker Tour, he was able to garner four of the World Poker Tour titles for the following games: Five-Diamond World Poker Classic, L.A. Poker Classic, the Bad Boys of Poker tournament and the main event of Poker stars Caribbean Adventure. His unstoppable winnings were not prevented by his decision to focus on cash games and thus limiting his tournaments game. In his absence on tournament games, he is a regular at Bellagio playing in the “Big Game” against pro poker players.

He has a lifetime winnings of five million dollars from all over the world poker games with around four dollars from the USA and the rest from Europe. The highest booty he had was this year with a total amount of $1.9, which is around $1.8 coming from his US games alone and the rest from Europe.

Some people might tag him as crazy and very aggressive player but well-respected poker players regard him as an active or loose player. Even from Hansen himself, he regards the reputation branded on him as overrated. Despite his fame, he maintained a low-key profile. He keeps his style volatile and makes great decision for each game. Although like any other players who loose money on betting, Hansen claims that he is not broke despite admission of losing a lot. He, according to some interview does not play every hand as rumored. On his reputation as gambler, betting is something that comes naturally but not on the bad light. He bets like ordinary people on things such as tennis games or even on simple things such as delayed plane flights schedule.

Investment on business did not escape Gus Hansen. He ventured on poker related business like the online poker site, www.pokerchamps.com that was later on sold to the British company Betfair. The Betfair acquisition in 2005 includes the company and the game software technology for more or less fifteen million dollar. Even after the change of ownership, he still took part in the Pokerchamps Danish championship that was held in the later part of the same year.

Moving on to other business venture, this year he established an online poker community, (website: ThePlayr.com) that contains articles and blogs he wrote himself. In the online community, members can follow his activities such as his whereabouts and games he plays under the “Gus Tracker”. The Gus Tracker has three features: Live, online and screen. The last feature shows Gus clips as he played the card table games. On this site, he maintains a blog on poker and even has poker school where he shares his tricks and analyses on the poker trade.

Gus Hansen is a very busy young man. He is not only playing the role of a great poker player in the card table games. Gus Hansen also made an appearance on instructional series of DVDs and frequently gives commentary for Danish and American television shows. With fame and recognition, he is currently the model for Frank Q, a fashion line for men. He also appeared in a People’s Magazine sometime in 2004 where he is voted as one of the 50 sexiest people and featured as the sexiest poker player in the December 2004 issue.