Gus Hansen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1974. He got his start in poker while attending the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1993 on an exchange program. When he returned to Denmark, he continued playing poker as well as backgammon, where he was ranked as a professional. He tried his hand at professional Backgammon in New York, where he met Huck Seed and Phil Laak, who got him more interested in poker. He decided to focus on poker full time and in 1997 chose to become a professional poker player.
He is known for being an extreme risk-taker, playing an unbelievably loose game at the No Limit Texas Hold'em tables. He will not hesitate to bluff at huge pots (often winning) with nothing in his hand and will play almost any cards he is dealt. He is also known to be a tremendous reader of his opponents. His apparent reckless style has served him well and he is very well respected on the professional circuit by his peers.
As of 2007, Gus Hansen has won $4.7 million in live tournaments. He is very selective in which tournaments he plays and generally only joins some of the larger buy-in events. During the first WPT season, he won two championships—the Bellagio Casino and the Commerce Casino. During the second season, he won the WPT’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, becoming the only player to win 3 WPT open tournaments. When asked what his secret is, Hansen responds, “Not to say that I am a great player or anything, but somebody has to win.”
Gus Hansen was a founding partner of the online poker site, Pokerchamps.com, which launched in 2003. Later in 2005, the company was sold to BetFair for a reported $15 million, and then joined Full Tilt as one of their sponsored pros. He also has a DVD instructional series on Texas Hold’em and is a spokesmodel for a Danish men’s clothing line.
Gus Hansen Fun Facts and Finishes
- In 2007, won the Aussie Million for a cool $1.5 million
- In 2006, won the European Poker Masters inaugural event
- In 2004, was inducted into the Poker Walk of Fame
- In 2004, Hansen was voted one of People magazine's sexiest men alive!
- In 2004 , won the WPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure
- In 2003, won the WPT L.A. Poker Classic
- In 2003, won the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic