Gus Hansen, or ‘The Great Dane’, as his fans have dubbed him, was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1974, as Gustav Hansen. He was a well-versed sportsman, with tennis as his main talent, and started his professional career as a backgammon player. He quickly became one of the best backgammon players in the world and moved to New York to try to make a living there. Due to limited opportunities in his field, he gave up and discovered poker as an exchange student at the University of California in 1993, with Texas Holdem being his specialty. It didn’t take long to master the game and discover his own unique approach to playing it, and he became widely known for his wild betting method.
In 1995, Gus had to return to Denmark to fulfill his public service obligations, but returned to the United States in time for the country’s new enthusiasm for poker and devoted himself to the game. He caught the public’s eye by becoming the top winner of the inaugural World Poker Tour event – he paid the buy-in fee and it was his first professional tournament, but that didn’t stop him from beating 146 players and winning $ 500,000.
In addition to ‘The Great Dane’, Gus has other nicknames like ‘Trashman’ and ‘The Poker Tramp’ Poker QQ, both coming from ‘non-fans’ – jealous and admired judgments of Gus’ style of play, which doesn’t seem to be any style. Other poker players tend to be surprised at the way he plays – Gus is known as a loose, aggressive player who can take any two cards and play a hand. He just doesn’t seem to follow conventional poker ‘rules’. So, playing with ‘trash’ hands and being ‘willing’ to ‘play with anything’ earned him both names, but the uncomfortable fact for other players is that he can really win with any two cards! As Hansen says, ‘I play the players, not the cards’, and he really takes advantage of other players’ weaknesses, keeping them off balance when making wild, contradictory and difficult to track bets. Few other players could do this consistently, but Gus does it in a way that looks like he is not really making decisions, but is betting, raising and folding hands at random.
Hansen is the only poker player to win three open World Poker Tour tournaments – Commerce Casino, Bellagio Casino and PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, and he continues to dominate WPT events – currently he only joins buy- in to play for the biggest prizes.
The risky gambling technique of Gus’s cards, his huge $ 4.7 million fortune, bad boy personality and looks that led him to be named one of the sexiest people in the world at People Magazine, ensured that he had many fans and was away from the table has a lot of time for women! His rebellious nature and enormous talent guarantee that he will keep his fans for a long time!