Gustav Hansen (born February 13, 1974 outside Copenhagen, Denmark) is a professional Danish poker player who lives in Monaco. In his poker career Hansen has won a record three World Poker Tour open titles, the 2007 Aussie Millions main event and was the season one winner of the Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament. Before turning to playing poker professionally in 1997, Hansen was a world class backgammon player and a youth tennis champion. He was known for being a sports enthusiast throughout his teens, competing in several indoor and outdoor sports as a successful junior athlete. In 2000, he moved to New York City, and tried to make a living playing professional backgammon, but found the field too small for his taste.
He calls himself a professional gambler and has been known to take private bets on various personal athletic challenges (such as a boxing match against WSOPE bracelet winner Theo Jorgensen, other than poker and professional sports. Hansen has been involved previously or currently in several online busines ventures including PokerChamps.com (now Betfair Poker), ThePlayr.com and GusHansenTV. He is also involved with Full Tilt Poker.
Hansen started playing poker at the Ocean View Card Room in Santa Cruz, California. while he was an exchange student at UC Santa Cruz. As of 2010, his total live tournament winnings exceed $7,500,000. Hansen finished in the money in 150th place in the 2004 Main Event. In the 2006 Tournament of Champions, Hansen made a World Series of Poker final table, but lost on the very first hand with Ace King against a pair of 9s. 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.
Hansen is the only player to win three World Poker Tour (WPT) open tournaments. He also won the first WPT Bad Boys of Poker invitational event. In 2004, he was inducted into the World Poker Tour Walk of Fame, along with Doyle Brunson and James Garner. On April 27, 2008 Hansen came in second to David Chiu at the Season 6 WPT Championship, earning $1,714,800. In September 2006 Hansen won the inaugural EPM event, The London All Star Challenge, eventually beating Marc Goodwin heads-up to take home the title and cheque for £53,600 ($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.
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. In 2006, Hansen was a member of the winning Danish team in the PartyPoker.com 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 ($575,700) when his 5♦ 5♣ defeated Daniel Negreanu’s 6♠ 6♥ on a board of 9♣ 6♦ 5♥ 5♠ 8♠. He was in Singapore in November 12–17, 2006 to participate in the Betfair Asian Poker Tour. Hansen 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, Hansen 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. His book Every Hand Revealed (ISBN 978-0818407277) is a detailed account of many of the hands he played en route to the title.
Hansen was a founding partner and house pro of the online poker site pokerchamps.com, launched in 2003. In 2005 the company and game software technology were sold to the British company Betfair, for over 100 million Danish kroner (approximately £8.8 million / 13 million euro / $15,000,000 USD). Despite the sale, Hansen was involved in a PokerChamps Danish championship in October 2005. In 2005, Hansen appeared in Texas Hold’Em Poker Advanced Strategies With Gus Hansen, which is part of the Going All In instructional series of DVDs.
In 2007, Hansen launched a poker forum and strategy website, ThePlayr.com. Prior to selling his interest in that site in 2008, it housed his blog, articles and a “Gus Tracker” to track his worldwide poker play along with other poker news, videos and content. In 2008, Hansen joined the commentary team on World Series of Backgammon, a high stakes televised backgammon tour broadcasting on Eurosport across Europe. In May 2008 Lyle Stuart Kensington published Hansen’s book Every Hand Revealed, a hand-by-hand account of his triumph in the 2007 Aussie Millions. In February 2009, Hansen launched GusHansenTV branded as a free poker channel broadcast over the internet.
Despite his ongoing success, Hansen has struggled with money problems, reportedly because of losses during live cash games. Hansen is a regular in the The Big Game normally held in “Bobby’s Room” at the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas. He has said that his losses aren’t a secret and has admitted to losing a million or so at a couple of games.