Growing up in Copenhagen, Denmark, Gustav “Gus” Hansen grew up playing different sports, although tennis is his favorite. He became a youth tennis champion. He is also fascinated with math and numbers that when he was introduced to Backgammon, he never looked back. He practiced nonstop and would play it for hours. He moved to New York to be a professional backgammon player and it was during this time that he was introduced to various types of pokers.
He started playing poker in 1993 when he played at the Ocean View Card Room when he was an exchange student in California. In 1996, he played his first World Series of Poker event and was knocked out during the first day of the tournament. This led to his determination of succeeding in the poker world by practicing and experimenting on different game styles. It has always been his game to mix up different game styles.
1998 was the year when Hansen played more poker than backgammon. He chose poker because the field is larger compared to backgammon. His trips to Las Vegas have become more frequent during this time.
During the 2002 World Poker Tour, he developed a loose aggressive style that led to his success and notoriety in the world of professional poker. He would raise with any two cards that opponents won’t know if his hand is legitimate or not.
He won the first WPT event, $10,000 No-Limit Hold ‘em tournament at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic, then later that year also won the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’ em Championship at the WPT’s L.A. Poker Classic. This is the beginning of a wonderful professional poker success.
The next year, Hansen won the invitational Bad Boys of Poker Tournament. Then in the early part of 2004, he earned his fourth WPT win at the Caribbean Adventure tournament. He could have captured another title that year during the Bellagio Five Diamond tournament but his pocket 10s lost to his opponent’s A-Q and had to settle for third place. He also made the final table at a European Poker Tour event in Barcelona.
It was also in 2004 when he played at the final table of the Bay 101 Shooting Stars tournament but once again had to settle for a third place finish. His four WPT titles and five final table appearances earned him an induction to WPT’s Walk of Fame, along with James Garner and Doyle Brunson. He is the only player to win at least three WPT open tournaments.
In 2005, Hansen focused more on cash games and played only a few tournaments. Still he made it to the final table of FullTiltPoker.Net Poker Invitational in Monaco and won the first ever Poker Superstars Invitational.
2006 was a memorable year for Hansen. He made High Stakes Poker history by winning its biggest pot of $575,700 by winning over Daniel Negreanu’s 6-6 with his 5-5 hand with a board of 9-6-5-5-8. Then later on the year he won at the first European Poker Masters FullTiltPoker.com London All Star Challenge. During this year’s WSOP Tournament of Champions, he reached the final table only to be ousted in the first hand when his A-K lost to pocket 9s. He was part of the Danish team, with Theo Jorgensen and Kim Christofte, to win the PartyPoker.com Football & Poker Legends Cup tournament
Though he finished 61st in the 2007 WSOP $10,000 no limit Texas hold ‘em championship, he still brought home $154,194. It was this year that he won his biggest pot ever, $1.2 million, at the Aussie Millions Main Event.
2008 saw Hansen place second place at the Season 6 WPT Championship where he lost to David Chiu. This year he has also launched a poker community website called ThePlayr.com. It contains his blog, articles, and a Gus Tracker that traces where Hansen goes.
Gambling is in his system. He is known to take on bets on different sporting events every now and then. Well he has a lot of money to gamble. As of 2008, his total poker earnings have reached at least $7,200,000.
When he is not playing poker, he would spend that time playing sports like golf, tennis, squash and soccer. He says that physical activities such as sports build up his stamina that’s needed when you’re a professional poker player.
He was the founding partner as well as the house pro of pokerchamps.com, which was launched in 2003. The company was sold in 2005 for $15 million. Despite selling it, Hansen was still involved with the 2005 PokerChamps Danish Championships.
He has also appeared in an instructional DVD series called Texas Hold’em Poker Advanced Strategies with Gus Hansen. He is currently the endorser of Frank Q, a Danish men’s fashion line. This year Hansen’s Every Hand Revealed is published. It tells the story of how he won the 2007 Aussie Millions.